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Monday, February 14, 2011

Let me call you Sweetheart on Feb 14

“Will you have a tea with your meal, sweetheart?” the voice of the elderly gentleman sitting beside us in the diner caught my ear.
“Yes, I believe I will have a tea. To take the chill off,” answered the diminutive blue-haired woman.
I smiled at the Farmer, tipped my head and rolled my eyes in the direction of the couple beside us.
“What?” my partially deaf husband asked.
The woman spread the Ottawa Sun on the table between them.
“Is there anything in the newspaper, sweetheart?” he asked his wife.
“Nothing,” she answered.
I smiled, catching the Farmer’s eye.
“Stop,” he hissed. “You aren’t supposed to be listening to them. They think they’re having a private conversation.”
I knew it. But they spoke loudly and I couldn’t help tuning in.
“Are there no headlines, sweetheart?”
“They say B.C. is still the best Canadian city in which to live.”
“I once wanted to live in B.C.” (pause) “I suppose it’s too late now.”
“Yes. We’re too old to pick up our lives and move to B.C.”
“We would have to tell everyone where we moved to. We would have to change all our identification, health cards, cheques.”
“And as soon as we got there we would have to find ourselves a doctor.”
“Well, sweetheart, I suppose we’re okay right where we are.”
“Yes, we’re okay.”
Their meal came and it was quiet for a while. The Farmer and I had our own conversation, centred around plans to wean lambs, and to train our children to take care of things while we are gone on our long-awaited honeymoon. It’s been three years since we married. I’m pretty sure the honeymoon never would have happened if I hadn’t taken the lead and bought the package as a Christmas gift to my husband.
When we were married, we were far too busy merging families and moving me into the farm to go away on a trip. But this year we have the lambs coming in April and the foal coming in May. Our calves have all been born and they are thriving. It’s the perfect time for me to kidnap my husband and take him somewhere warm. And I think he’s getting excited about it. He’s already sporting a tan, as I convinced him to visit the Silver Bullet at Du Soleil once a week before we hit the beach.
The couple beside us had finished their meal, and their conversation started up again.
“Will you have some dessert, sweetheart?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
She started leafing through the paper again as she sipped her tea. “Here’s the Sunshine Girl.”
“Well now. She certainly has long hair. Look. It goes all the way down to there. That can’t be right.”
“It’s probably not her hair.”
“Well, sweetheart, I do believe we are finished.”
“Yes, we’d best be goin’.”
I watched as they slowly got to their feet and he helped her on with her coat. He led her down the restaurant aisle with one hand on the small of her back.
I looked at the Farmer. “When we’re that age, will you call me sweetheart six times in one meal?”
He winked at me. “Come on darlin’. Let’s get back to work.”
“Thanks for lunch, sweetheart,” I smiled, as I felt the pressure of his big hand on the small of my back.

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