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Advertise on the Tentacle

October 22, 2007

Wishful Thinking v. Reality

Tom McLaughlin

Now that Dad has passed away and I am free from my caregiver duties, I must elect where I am going to live. I have already decided to purchase a house in Middletown. (Down, Realtors, it's a private sale.)

My quandary is my second home here on the Shore. I need to choose between Ocean Pines, a community of about 2,000 homes nestled in a forest on the bay, or an ocean front condo.

Being single, my main goal is to attract women to my lair. I can just imagine wearing a silk burgundy robe with matching ascot, drinking red wine with the sound of the ocean in the background. My hair is slicked backed with gel while I escort my potential conquest to the balcony to admire the stars and the ocean waves. The Brandenburg Concertos play on the sound system.

I will ply the pool and the beaches, visit the bars and nightclubs to seek new members of the fair sex and entice them with readings from Yeats. Dinners will be prepared in my kitchen, consisting of crusted aged Angus beef, pearled potatoes and asparagus drawn to a close by a chocolate moose.

One of the bedrooms I will turn into a writing room and I will promote myself as the scribe by the seaside. Using my lothario experiences, I will churn out Nora Roberts' style novels and become rich beyond even her wildest dreams.

My other idea is a cozy house nestled in the pine trees where we can step nude from the back door into a bubbling hot tub. The walls will be lined with shelves holding my library. The fireplace will burn with crackling pine logs where we can read poetry on a bearskin rug. The rooms will be decorated in "man" - with heads of African game, portraits of Theodore Roosevelt and John Wayne on the walls, with the scent of old leather permeating the air. I will choose only the finest refined ladies from the upper societies of the Eastern Shore to visit my abode.

The reality is more like this. When I finally do get a date, I will forget when she is coming until about two hours before I am scheduled to pick her up. I will grab the two-week-old sheets off the bed and run them down to the washer, which is full, move them over to the dryer which is also full. Scattering the clean clothes into my "writer's room," I will add Snuggle as a water softener permeating the sheets with the scent of baby.

I will have to go outside and chip the ice off the hot tub, clean up the bird poop and then forget I set the thermostat to "roaring boil." If at the condo, I will have to shovel the sand off the balcony and clean up the morning breakfast dishes. There will also be a bellowing drunken party on the balcony next door complete with the vilest language, unimaginable even to the foulest HBO Comedy Special person.

Dinner will be Hungryman prepared meals. I will pry out the frozen meat and put it in a casserole dish, bang the veggies out over a frozen saucepan and, using a screwdriver, skewer the cold orb of potato into a pot. I will pour Mad Dog 3030 into a bottle where I have carefully preserved the label of a very expensive vintage.

When things get romantic, the next CD disc to drop down will be the 1812 Overture at the spot where the cannons boom. This will come after we are both rubbing burn cream over our legs after a foray into the hot tub. I will remain forever as her worst date experience and the story will be passed down for generations as a deterrent to young girls who wish to date early.

It really doesn't matter if I live in the Pines or a beachfront condo. The problem is I will be there.

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