Point of View: A Toast to Charlie

I am ashamed to admit that my work, by and large, is fun

“I play like you work,” I said the other day to Mary, who works very hard, and has precious little time to play, though I am encouraging her to become more like me — minus the neuroses of course.

I am ashamed to admit that my work, by and large, is fun, so, while I would rather say to her, “I work like you play,” it is not so, at least at the moment, though she has been working out weekly with Rob Balnis at East End Physical Therapy, as I do, and we hit tennis balls whenever we both find ourselves free.

Would it be better somewhere else? We ask that question frequently, but, no matter how idyllic the setting, there always seems to be a worm in the apple. The Golden Years, she was told recently by a Golden Ager, are “a myth.” A way of saying, I guess, that “Shit happens. Always.”

She takes things more seriously than I do, which I sometimes envy, but I’ve also seen the toll it takes. I’d love to say I’m looking at the big picture, but it’s more that I’m afraid to look, and would rather continue on my insouciant, selfish way.

I told her the other night that the secret was to “divest, divest, divest,” but that I hoped, of course, she would not divest herself of me.

There is reason not to reason overmuch, and to try not to let facts get in the way of a good time.

Her 5-year-old granddaughter, Ella, and she had experienced a beautiful moment, Mary reported, on returning home yesterday from Southampton Hospital after having visited with Ella’s newborn brother, Charlie, and with Ella’s parents.

Ella and she, who are very close, have at times labeled one another chatterboxes. “But we didn’t say a thing — we just looked at each other . . . and it was wonderful.”

My present to the baby was a well-wrought church key bought at Hildreth’s.

“Some day, he’ll open these bottles with his teeth, when he’s an offensive lineman at Wesleyan,” I said in sharing a Stella Artois toast to Charlie with Georgie and Gavin, who had both been yearning for a cold beer, and I had been glad to be of help.

I don’t generally drink beer myself, but it sure tasted good.