Friday, September 24, 2010

No Fond Return of Love

I am re-reading Barbara Pym's hilarious book, No Fond Return of Love. Parts of it are like looking into a mirror.

I was once agonizingly in love with someone who essentially bore me no ill will. I couldn't do enough for him. I made him a quilt which (since I am not a very good seamstress) took a very long time to make. I made him a shirt which unfortunately opened the wrong way. But the worst folly was when I made him, at his request, a nylon cover for his kayak.

Dealing with tent-weight fabric and thread was enough of a challenge, not to mention trying to deal with something eight or nine feet long on a small sewing machine in a cramped space. The design, made after taking many measurements, was something like a banana peel.

When at long last I had finished the kayak cover, I found that there was no way to get the kayak into it. It was a kind of metaphor for the love affair (which is what he called it) itself. I don't mind writing about this now because my husband, who truly DOES love me, never reads anything I write.

As for the kayak owner, Bob Dylan said it best: "You just wasted my precious time. Don't think twice; it's all right."