Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of boomer lit novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

Perigee Moon is the story of a man who has a life crisis, who comes to realize that he must be true to himself and makes the changes necessary to remove himself from a ruined marriage and the ”should do” world in order to have the lifestyle he craves.

This is another section from Perigee Moon that I especially like. I have blogged about it before, the idea that events happen at a certain time, in a certain order, and cause our lives to be changed because of them. Like Abby and Luke seeing each other at the high school reunion. Luke hadn’t been to a reunion in 35 years, and Abby had never been to one, yet they meet up at their 45th. The excerpt is from Abby’s POV and she thinks of all that happened to cause their paths to cross. I think of this myself sometimes. What if I’d done this instead of that? It’s an interesting thought process.

They are at the Friday night casual event when this takes place. Luke has just asked Abby if she will return with him the following night for the dinner dance, which is a more formal affair.

He wants to come with her, he wants to be with her tomorrow night. She thinks about her Aunt Maude – who’d been dying for the last thirty of her ninety-eight years (or so she’d told anyone who would listen) – and how Aunt Maude had picked this particular time to succumb. But of course, Aunt Maude hadn’t picked the time of her death, it had just happened that way. And what if she, Abby, hadn’t been here tonight? She would never have seen Luke Koslov again and would never have talked to him, and here he is asking if they could go together to the dinner dance tomorrow night. It makes her think that somehow events are planned to coincide and intersect in such a way that it alters the course of a life, or what’s left of a life, as if the person or persons whose life might change because of a chance meeting might be in the eye of an almighty somewhere and deemed important enough that He has designed it for the sole purpose of having them reconnect.

Interesting thought. She likes to think of it. What if. What if Aunt Maude had died last Tuesday, a week ago, and not this Tuesday? What if she hadn’t come for the memorial service? What if she hadn’t arranged to meet up with her cousin, Anne, for lunch at Applebee’s on Thursday? What if she hadn’t run into her old friend Dorie Wester, whom she hadn’t seen in decades, just as Dorie was pushing her 90-year old mother in a wheelchair past the table where Abby sat? What if they hadn’t recognized each other? What if Dorie hadn’t mentioned the reunion? What if Dorie hadn’t suggested she come? What if Dorie hadn’t insisted that she come? What if Abby hadn’t said she would come?

But Dorie had said, “Delia will be there too. It’ll be fun, Abby, you should come, I won’t take no, you better be there, what have you got better to do, anyway?”

She’d finally badgered Abby into saying yes. “Well, okay,” she’d said. “I guess I could go to the Friday night thing.”

And most important, what if Luke hadn’t come? He’d said he rarely came, the tenth was the last, and here he was thirty-five years after that and here she was too.

I’m a Blogger, but am I Versatile?

Ms. Blogdramedy has kindly nominated me for The Versatile Blogger award. You may remember, Blogdramedy sponsored the trend-setting Blogfestivus this past Christmas season, where a number of gluttons for punishment ambitious, aspiring bloggers signed on to write a 243-word story about each of Santa’s reindeer, one per day, for a nine-day period.

Ms. Blogdramedy, who wisely keeps her true identity hidden, is a house-fixer-upper, a martini-drinker (or so she says) and a wise, yet sarcastic, writer of amusing and insightful bloggery.

So, now I too, can be known as an official The Versatile Blogger, and for such an honor I am probably unworthy. I have been nominated because I “embrace my Boomer babedom in all its glory”.

Is it really that, Ms. Blogdramedy, or is it more like you were desperate to find someone else to offload this award onto? Did you feel that you couldn’t, in good conscience, accept it without duly nominating other under-appreciated bloggers, those who might be just a teensy bit sub-par, the straight man to your comic genius, the Jerry Lewis to your Dean Martin, the Tonto to your Lone Ranger?

Hah! Ms. Blogdramedy probably doesn’t even know who those last two duos are!
But seriously, I am humbly grateful for The Versatile Blogger award, and to earn it I need to pass it on. In order to do that, I have nominated a few bloggers in the BLFBE (Boomer Lit Friday Blogging Extravaganza), who take part to be awarded this auspicious accolade.

Here are the rules. (I just knew there had to be a downside to this.)

  1. Thank the person who gave you this award. (Okay, that’s easy enough.) Thank you, thank you, thank you! to Ms. Blogdramedy.
  2. Include a link to their blog. (I did that. Seven times.)
  3. Select 15 blogs/bloggers whom you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly. (I have selected a few Boomer Lit authors taking part in Boomer Lit Friday. To qualify for this award, one must have a blog upon which the Holy Seal of Versatility can be proudly displayed, and also, it must not have been aforeto affixed.)
  4. Nominate those bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award. (Nominated bloggers have the option to ignore this propitious award. Voluntary cooperation is appreciated, but not mandatory.)
  5. Share seven things about yourself. (Seven things? I am not sure I can find that many items even remotely interesting. You nominees, however, feel free to share as much as you like.)

The list of nine nominees are:

Shelley Lieber (Elyse Grant) — Author of the Prince Charming Hoax
Checking Off the Bucket List (Sarah Gordon Weathersby) — Author of Tell Them I Died
Claude Nougat The Blog — Author of A Hook in the Sky
Mutinousboomer (Marsha Roberts) — Author of Confessions of an Instinctively Mutinous Baby Boomer
Incomplete Passes (Linda Lange) — Author of Incomplete Passes
Goodbye Emily (Michael Murphy) — Author of Goodbye Emily
I.O.U. Sex A Novel (Sandra Nachlinger and Sandra Allen) — Authors of I.O.U. Sex
Baby Boomer Novels (Lillian Wade) — Author of Girlfriends
The Crone Club (S. V. Peddle) — Author of The Crone Club

I only nominated nine. .

Please, nominees, feel free to ignore this invitation!

Please. Just leave me alone, already.

Please. Just leave me alone, already.

Seven things about me that 1) you might already know, and 2) even if you don’t already know, you probably don’t care about:

  1. I don’t like sweets. I never eat desserts, except I do like one Dove Dark Chocolate piece after dinner. (See, I told you, you won’t care about this stuff.)
  2. I used to be a pretty good dancer, but alas, I am no longer. (Now I can barely make it through one round of I’m a Wanderer before calling 911.)
  3. I am really good at cleaning out clogged up drains, which I am including here because I just did it. (Blech.)
  4. I like to stay indoors for days at a time. (Especially in winter.)
  5. I avoid left turns, unless at a traffic light with a green arrow. (There is almost always another way to go.)
  6. I like to knit. (The bigger, and more boring the project, the better.)
  7. I am going to write another book. And it might take me a long time. And I’m taking another class first. (And the title might be No Left Turn, but I’m not sure about that.)

3D Man photos courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

This excerpt takes place a few weeks after Luke’s divorce from Kate has been finalized. He has returned home to celebrate this first lonely holiday with his parents, and his sister, Barbara who is also divorced. Apparently Luke’s mother, Muriel, has opted to choose ease of meal preparation over proper nutrition. Both Luke and Barbara are shocked by what they find in her kitchen pantry.

On Christmas Eve, Luke and Barbara helped Muriel in the kitchen preparing the turkey, stuffing it with Barbara’s homemade dressing lest they be subjected to Stove Top. Luke peeled potatoes. Barbara and Luke had exchanged a look when Muriel had insisted that instant mashed tasted just as good. Apparently Muriel had succumbed to convenience in the kitchen and now used products which, if the labels were examined closely, would strike terror in the heart of anyone with even a stray thought of proper nutrition.

“Mom, really, these things in your pantry. Some of them are quite gross.” Barbara had a container of a microwavable concoction (no refrigeration needed!) in each hand. “This is on a par with say, spam.”

“There’s nothing wrong with spam,” Muriel said. “I’ve eaten it lots of times, and fried up it tastes like a hotdog.”

“My point exactly. Ever wondered what’s in a hot dog?”

“No, I haven’t. I buy all-beef franks and there’s not a thing wrong with them.” Muriel sniffed at being criticized for her non-label-watching behavior.

“All-beef lips, and eyelids, and assholes.” .

“Don’t buy anything with a label,” Luke said.

“That’s not possible. Especially not today,” Muriel said.

Fair Use or Copyright Infringement

AllRightsReservedThe other day, a fellow Boomer Lit author tweeted about using song lyrics in novels and since this is a subject that I am interested in (because I like to, or would like to, quote lyrics) I decided to read it. It was very clear and well-written so thank you very much to Anne R Allen and Michael Murphy for compiling this informational blog post.

Since I was getting ready to send the first of three novels back up to Smashwords, after finding little punctuation errors and some issues with chapter breaks, I decided to get rid of all my quoted song lyrics so that became part of my editing process too.

I am not sure about quoting song lyrics, especially older songs, but I do know that anything before 1923 is pretty much in the public domain. And I also know that it is perfectly fine to quote the titles of songs because titles can’t be copyrighted, Just the lyrics.

There is a way around this, though, which is to describe the lyrics but not quote them directly. I am not an expert on Fair Use but I don’t think anyone can complain about that, so I removed all quoted lyrics from Second Stories.

I had quoted some from Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are, which was an integral part of the story. All of the lyrics of this song are beautiful and it was hard to pick just part of that song to quote. I want very much to put them in but no, they’re out.

Lydia had told Geo how she felt about the Billy Joel song when they’d heard it performed one night by a tinkly piano player in a bar. This is what she said about it:

“I love this song,” she said. “Billy Joel did this.”

“I don’t remember it.”

“The lyrics are sweet, that you may be imperfect but I love you anyway and I wouldn’t want you to change because if you changed, then you wouldn’t be you, the one I love. It’s a song a man could sing to a woman, but not the other way around. The lyrics wouldn’t work, woman to man.”

“Why not?”

“Because women change to accommodate men. He’s telling her not to, because he wants her the way she is, but that isn’t usually the case. That’s why it’s such a romantic song. Because it doesn’t work that way in real life. It’s bullshit.”

Later on, when he is very desperate to win her back, and avert the divorce that is surely coming, he remembers what she said and makes a CD with that song recorded over and over. I so wanted to quote those lyrics.

But I described them instead:

She listened to the familiar lyrics, which she knew by heart, and thought yes, it was a very sweet gesture on his part. But to think the song could be considered  meaningful in any way with respect to their particular relationship was far from the truth. That she shouldn’t change, that she shouldn’t think he would want her to change, that he would love her in the hard times as well as the good times. None of that was true in their situation, and so a lot of the memories he might have hoped would be stirred in her, weren’t. Still, she had to acknowledge, it was a gift he had made for her, and he had made it with thoughts of her and what she might like, and she would accept it for what it was. Nothing more.

It is my understanding that this is acceptable to do and will not violate any copyright laws. If anyone knows otherwise, I would be grateful if we can start a conversation about it. It seems to be very nebulous, about whether it okay or not and what is Fair Use and what is not. Though it is always wiser to err on the side of safety, I think quoting the actual lyrics would be preferable, and more meaningful to the story.

Just for reference, here is a YouTube of Billy Joel’s Just the Way You Are. Funny that I can include that with no problem but I can’t quote the lyrics in a novel.

I think this may be my favorite song of all time, which is why I wanted to incorporate it into the story.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

Luke’s wife, Kate, has become a successful realtor and the great entertainer. She likes to party. Luke barely tolerates her coworkers and her events, as he is definitely not a partier.

The office parties started out with obligatory hugs, shoulders bumping while maintaining a minimum of body contact and air-kissing, lips puckered up next to cheeks so as not to disturb impeccably applied lipstick. Oh, so sorry to be late, I have that closing on Monday and at the last minute, wouldn’t you know… blah blah. And then the serious sucking up would start. How good you look in green, Kate and that new hairstyle is so flattering, love your house, love your furniture, love your garden, amazing and fabulous and fantastic and awesome.

Everyone sucked up to everyone else, and aren’t we having fun, and aren’t we just the best of friends, and isn’t it great loving what you do, and loving who you work with? And at that point, when the conversation turned to how happy they all were working for the best boss in the world, old Mel would invariably lift his glass and make a toast, and it would go on and on, about how his employees were as dear to him as his family, and how they all were a family, and finally he seemed confused as to whether they were his family or not his family and got teary-eyed and slobbered in his martini glass and had to be helped back down to the couch before he fell down a step into the sunken family room or tipped onto a glass-topped coffee table.

At one of their summer parties where Luke was the bartender and cook and general go-fer, not to mention he’d be in charge of clean-up as well, he happened into the kitchen to get the barbecue sauce for the chicken he was slow-roasting on the grill. Kate was bleary-eyed and stood in back of the bar as several women hung on or around the bar stools.

“There’s Luke!” She slurred, more like thersh. “Don’t you think my husband is cute? In a duh sort of way?”

More Scam Spam Fun!

Email ScamSince I had a bit of a virtual romp with Olga a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been receiving some other types of interesting propositional emails from people.

Some like this one from 楊惠君.

Disclaimer: This is an actual email, copied and pasted from my Yahoo email account. It was not altered in any way, in order to make it more ludicrous or humorous. I did not compose the email sent by Mrs Vina Long.

From: “”楊惠君”” <>


Sent: Friday, March 8, 2013 5:51 PM

Subject: From Vina.



I am Mrs. Vina Long an aging widow suffering from cancer, a long time illness. Before my late husband died we had no children. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband. I will ask my attorney to prepare the necessary document to transfer the funds from my husband online offshore account and property to you. I want you to help me with this as I am very sick and cannot do this myself as I have to make my last wish come true. I have an estate in Medford NJ (USA) and a total sum of GBP£4.3Million (Four Million Three Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds Sterling) in my late husband online offshore account, which I have instructed my attorney to transfer the account of the person I have decided to make my next of kin. I need you to sell the property in Medford NJ USA. And 30\25 of the total sum should be transferred to any orphanage home. I need a very honest and God fearing Christian that will use the fund for God’s work, I found your email address from the internet and decided to contact you. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the Lord’s work, kindly reply me back.

Thanks again for you concern and Stay blessed.

Mrs Long


This is terrible! My heart goes out to Mrs Vina Long! O the unfairness of it all, widowed, suffering from a long cancer illness, having no one to bestow her fortunes on! What could be worse. I ask ya. Just what could be worse.

Of course, her cancer being a “long” illness rather than a “short” one, seems beneficial. Maybe I can point that out to her.

My heartfelt reply to Mrs Vina Long follows.

Hello Mrs. Vina Long,

I am replying you back and am sorry that you are an aging widow, suffering from cancer (a long time illness). Also, I am aging (aren’t we all?) but not a widow. Cancer is sometimes a short term illness, though, so let’s hope your particular illness continues on for a very long time. We are all terminal, don’t forget this, and perhaps you will outlive the cancer. Meaning of course, that something else will get you in the end. Not a pleasant thought, unfortunately.

You say before your late husband died, you had no children. Does this mean that you had children after he died? If so, that is also most unfortunate.

It is very generous of you to ask your attorney to prepare the necessary document to transfer the funds from your “husband online offshore account” and property to me. I am already quite well-to-do and look upon this as a possible tax problem. Can your attorney advise me about that?

Of course I am willing to do what I can. I have no real knowledge of how to sell real estate or of Medford, NJ. The only thing I can say is, I can put on a killer Jersey accent! So maybe I will fit right in down there in “Joisey” Hahaha!

For the humor, I apologize, but am trying to cheer you in this, your hour of great need. You being so sick and all. Sometimes a laugh helps the spirits lift, know what I’m sayin’?

For my next area of confusion, I see you have decided to make me your next of kin. Can you do this? Could you please adopt me first? I am willing for you to become my guardian. God knows, I need guarding (and guidance) because even though I am old in years, I still behave like an utter ass sometimes.

So on to the estate in Medford. I am to sell the property and 30/25 of the total sum should be transferred to any orphanage home? I am not so good at “the maths” as they say there Across the Pond, but it appears as if this is greater than the price I would receive for the property. Does this come out of the 4.3 Million Great British Pounds Sterling?

Please do not underestimate my honesty. It is utter and complete. Trust me — you can trust me! I live to do these good deeds whenever I hear from people such as you.

As for God-fearing, need we fear God? I have always had a problem with that. I guess I don’t fear Him, so does this eliminate me as your potential next of kin? I am very sorry to have to say this, but, since I am so honest and trustworthy (and trusting too!) I will tell you the truth. So can we just strike out the God-fearing part and maybe substitute God-respecting? Or maybe we could just remove that clause altogether?

I will however, use the fund for God’s work. He works in mysterious ways, I’m told, so maybe God wants me to invest in a hedge fund.

You found my email address on the internet? How did you know I was honest because of that?

I am very grateful and honored to be chosen for this, and to do “God’s work”.

Please write soon, and tell me what steps we need to take to get the adoption completed. I am looking forward to becoming your next of kin.

You stay blessed too, Mom (can I call you that now?) and write soon…

Your Devoted Next of Kin

Okay! I’m all set to become the NOK of Mrs Vina Long, I guess.

Really. Can we stop with this stuff? There is not a person left ON THE PLANET who will not do the triple eye roll at this. Congratulations though, for landing in my Inbox, and not my spam folder. You must be doing something right.

Unfortunately, to date, I have not heard back from Mrs. Vina Long.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

This is a section from Perigee Moon where I was trying out my satire and sarcasm, describing the work environment of Luke’s first job. He is newly married, and has taken the first job he is offered, and has doubts concerning his ability to fit into a rather provincial assemblage of coworkers. Here he describes what he sees and hears in the small company’s break room, which is where the women clerks, receptionists, typists and secretaries congregate to smoke, eat lunch and gossip. It is the early 70’s, when it was still okay to smoke at work and since it was early in the computer age, many business functions were performed manually, mostly by women.

And the thirty women went “on break”, and collected in the lunch room in groups of six or eight and smoked until you couldn’t walk through the room without inhaling the equivalent of an entire cigarette, and they talked about their kids and one-upped each other about which of their sons ate the most. He once walked in on a discussion of all-day venison, how easy it was to prepare (even though it took all day) – so tender you won’t believe you’re eating venison! – probably shot by their husbands, and fiancés, and boyfriends wearing red plaid jackets and caps that said Union WS 754 during some week in November when it became legal to gang up on a bunch of unsuspecting deer and shoot them between the eyes, and boy wasn’t killing helpless animals great, and handshakes and slaps on the back. Good job!

Once the deer was butchered it was up to the womenfolk to do something with it, so they seasoned it and cooked it for days in order to try to soften it up so that it could be somewhat chewed. And if it was so tender you’d “never know it was venison”, that seemed to indicate that perhaps venison, in itself, was probably not a delicacy, or even remotely edible, so why eat it at all? And further, once determined that venison is not fit to eat, the question can be asked, why shoot the poor deer in the first place except that he looked so good, so regal, all tied up there on the bumper of the pickup truck and driven through town for all to see, the catch of the day, and it had been so much fun to kill him.

After deer-hunting season, the women talked about all the things they could do with tomato soup, another topic he assumed they found interesting, and on any given day they could be heard competing with each other about babies and labor pains, one-upping each other there too. You’d think they would all be dead or hopelessly torn asunder from the sound of what they went through to birth those little things, now grown into lumps of flesh kept alive by McDonalds and Hostess Cupcakes.

Age is Just a Number (Sometimes a Big Number)

Here we go again. First thing on a Monday morning, I get a notice of a new post on Boomer Cafe. It’s called How Old Are You? One Baby Boomer Says It Really Does Not Matter. It’s written by a guy named Stew.

Yet another baby boomer yelling about how “you are only as old as you feel” and “age is just a number”. Bah.

Stew says:

As a person who is “older” (okay, I have trouble with that word), I have learned a few things about aging … mainly, I don’t understand what everyone is talking about. I don’t know how old I am unless I calculate it. When asked, all I know is that I am as old as I am feeling that day – be it 26 or 42 or maybe 31. And that is what I tell people.

Well, Stew, I have learned a few things about aging too. And here’s what I have learned.

  • It takes me longer to do things than it used to.
  • I am now afraid of slipping on ice, when I used to play on it.
  • I now have to read on a Kindle so I can make the text real big.
  • I now have aches and pains in places I never suspected would hurt.
  • I now go places and look around and think “everyone here is younger than me”.

The above is just a sampling. There is so much more. So do I feel 26 or 42 or 31 on certain days? Maybe if my mirrors came with PhotoShop installed, I would feel that way. But no, Stew, not really.

Stew likes to skydive. Doesn’t that just figure? People who blah-blahther on about how they don’t look at calendars except for when they have a dentist appointment always skydive. What is the point of it? Why would anyone even consider skydiving for one minute? Don’t you have enough respect for life to think, but wait, what if that little pull cord thingy doesn’t work? Yeah, think about that. I recently bought a temporary electric toothbrush. It has a little button to press for vibration. It doesn’t work. It’s defective. So think about that pull cord again, Stew.

Speaking of the dentist. Sure, you only consult the calendar when you have an appointment. Old people have to go to the dentist more. Their crowns break, their gums rot, the longer we are on this earth, the more we chew things and the more our teeth get busted up. That’s why you are going to the dentist, Stew, and why you have to consult your calendar.

Don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade here. But shit aging happens and saying you are 26 when you are really 62 just means you are dyslexic, not “young at heart”.

Here’s another good idea. Stew doesn’t think we should travel south. Don’t go to Florida. Everyone in Florida is old.

Stew also says:

My idea of a challenge is not seeing how few times I can hit a dimpled white ball for 18 holes. The only dimples I want to see should be resting on the pillow in bed next to me and making me feel … and act … 25.

This is probably not a good idea, Stew. This sounds like promiscuous behavior to me. Or, sounds like you have a thing for younger women. Very problematic. Or maybe when you say “dimples” you are referring to some other part of the anatomy? In that case, okay. But 25? Really? You taking some of that “Vigara” that keeps showing up in my spam folder?

(And as an aside here, if people are going to spam you with ads for drugs, wouldn’t it be prudent to spell what you’re selling correctly? Just wonderin’.)

So, I did a triple eye roll at Stew’s post. Stew, you need to consult your calendar. You were born back when stamps cost two cents. When your phone number had four digits. When the milkman left dairy products in glass bottles on your doorstep. When you got S&H green stamps at the grocery store. When people still said “gee whiz”. When jello was a food staple.

There’s nothing wrong with aging. I think we, as aging grownups, might be better off accepting our new limitations instead of trying to pretend otherwise. Nothing screams “old geezer” more than someone trying to pretend they are thirty years younger than they are.

Shibui, that’s what we need in this country. Respect your age. It’s what got you where you are.

Boomer Lit Friday

Perigee Moon Cover jpgI’m participating in a Boomer Blogging Extravaganza which will take place every Friday. It’s a way to bring attention to the new genre of books called Boomer Lit. Click here, Boomer Lit Friday  to go to your one-stop shopping boomer lit blog which will feature snippets from a variety of “baby boomer” novels. It’a a good place to get a taste of what boomer authors are writing about.

This is a section from Perigee Moon that I especially like. Abby has been upset all day, about Kate’s following her around, confronting her in the grocery store, calling her. As usual, it looks like Kate might win out. Luke has just returned to Abby, from telling Kate to back off and leave them alone.

“There is such a thing as being too unselfish,” he says. “Why can’t you acknowledge your right to a good life? Don’t they say that before you can love someone you have to love yourself?”

“It’s funny you should mention it because that is exactly what I thought about while you were gone.”

She tips her glass toward his. “To us,” she says. “I decided that when you came back, if you said what I’d hoped you would and you did, that I would put this episode of Kate behind me. That I would do something selfish for a change. Because I love you and you love me and that makes two people happy. If you went back to Kate and were happy that would also make two people happy, so it would be even. But if you aren’t happy and only one person is happy, that being Kate, then it wouldn’t be beneficial to you or me. And I have also decided that I have as much right to be happy as she does.”

“I’m glad the math works in my favor,” he says and laughs. Another example of Abby’s odd logic.

“It’s funny,” she says. “Not funny. Strange. I didn’t see you for all those years and I was fine with my life. Then we ran into each other again and I knew right away that I loved you. And now, after the last few months, I know I couldn’t go back to not being with you and be fine with my life again. I would miss you every day and my life would be less rewarding. Does that make any sense? That I couldn’t go back to the way I was?”

“Yes,” Luke says. “It makes sense. Because it’s the same for me. Let’s get married.”