“Absence makes the heart grow fonder” this little phrase has always led me to mutter another, “Utter bullshit”. Not only have I never understood the phrase I have, on several occasions, seen it proven absolutely false. Absence, in the arena of passionate love, and strictly in my personal experience, has proven to live up to its name, leave an empty seat. The missing and lack of physical touch, exchanging of glances, being able to brush your lovers arm as you walk past, leading over time to anger, resentment, insecurities, blame, loneliness…lots and lots of tears. The once powerful and strong beating hearts reduced to swollen and glistening blobs, sore to the touch. Yeah, love affairs and long distances, for like extended amounts of time, those don’t work for me and my particular brand of crazy chick. I need the touching, the kissing, the laughing and the late nights with my face nuzzled into the flesh I crave. Just a thing, but a couple visits over the past couple months flipped that little, ‘Ahhh I think I might sort of get it now” switch and while I might still question that whole “Grow fonder” nonsense, I have to say being face to face with a great love after not seeing them for a too long a time…I can see some fondness there.
Last month I was able to spend a few hours with a couple folks I hadn’t seen in years, hadn’t made enough effort to reach out to and whose thrilled to see me faces filled a couple deflated places in this swollen blob of a heart of mine in the most delightful and needed way. One sweet loving friend launching into ball breaking jokes within five minutes of our hugging out the missing and the other stepping out from behind a very private and protective veneer to express a comfort in my friendship, in words so sweetly saturated with affection, and an openness so out of character that it took every bit of badass I had to not start blubbering on the spot. Being made to feel truly loved and appreciated, even when you have been, shamefully less than present, well yeah, who couldn’t see the fondness in that?
This past Saturday, while fielding “Not sure we can be friends anymore” emails and snarling comments on my last post, as well as a zillion Facebook messages from others about the whole thing I got to step away from my laptop and the ire of others and fondly melt into the arms of a far too often neglected Great Love of mine, the wines of Alsace. Standing there in the tasting room, lips tugging at racy Rieslings, luscious Pinot Blancs and wildly spiced Gewurztraminers, letting the friendly familiarity and reminder of great love spill across my palate, slip beneath my skin an wash away any little bit of yuck that had been plaguing me and making my jaw too tight….the fondness for those wines pumping a little beat back into my tough old heart. Got home that evening, feet sore and back a wee bit stiff from pouring for the sixty plus people that turned out, in awe of the fact that we could draw that kind of crowd, not just for white wine but for Alsatian white wines when we pulled in a whopping fifteen for Zinfandel, knowing that part of the reason for that was my years of cooing and nuzzling, sharing my heart and openly talking about the great love, the fondness I have for the astoundingly versatile wines from that little corner of France. My heart pretty fond of that feeling, no matter how long it takes to get there.