May 1, 2009
A full life

A full life

After my wife died, I spent a brief time on an Internet dating site. It worked out for me, but not before a couple of things worth noting.

The first is sick/funny. The very first woman who noticed me (I was kind of passive, letting others take the lead) sent a “flirt”. I responded nicely, mentioning my status as a widower, and she replied in more detail. Here, for your horror and enjoyment is the first sentence of her note:

“At least the person you loved is dead.”

Word for word; I’m not lying. She went on to rant about her husband of 27 years who was now running around making a fool of himself with a younger woman.

The other thing is related – baggage. Either people had none or they wanted none. “I come without baggage” and “No baggage, please” are constant refrains in profiles. Why? When did empty-handed become an asset?

Here is my belief – we are our baggage. No baggage means you’ve led a pretty empty life and probably don’t bring a lot to the party. If you show up without baggage, I have to provide everything.

I’m full of baggage. Successes and failures; joys and regrets; fun and woe; health and illness; happy and sad. Without it, I’m really not much except an eating machine.

Baggage is the source of our memories, and as I once wrote, there comes a time in your life when remembering the past becomes more rewarding than imagining the future. When that happens, I hope your baggage is full.


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