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new featureAn Out of Country Experience-Part 16
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Rebecca L. Morgan
The Power of Commitment
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Barfly Tales From The Barstool By: Clint Lien
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In My Opinion
By L.N.P.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Occasionally, when the mood strikes (or when the muse doesn't) we "featured columnists" come up with the brilliant idea to do a column about nothing. Not "nothing" like Seinfeld did it; that was inspired nothing. More like just a bunch of stuff floating around in our heads, none of which warrants expansion into a full-length column, but all of which is cluttering up our brains so we might as well get it all out.

For openers, and for those who responded in varying ways to my Wedding Column, I feel obligated to follow up on the actual event. It WAS an amazing wedding. Sara, the bride (and my new daughter-in-law) was incredibly beautiful; my son Peter, the groom, strikingly handsome. My favorite moments: seeing my son choked up, wiping tears from his eyes as he watched his bride walk down the aisle. The look on Sara's face when she entered the dining room for the rehearsal dinner and realized that everything looked exactly as she had planned it, down to the last rose petal strewn across the last candle lit table. The appreciative reaction to my video; my hours of loving labor were richly rewarded by applause, laughter, and numerous compliments, which of course, made it all worthwhile.

I can't begin to describe the wedding reception, except to say that it was magical: from the picture-perfect setting (imagine a sprawling New England lawn, resplendent with trees, overflowing with flowers, the sparkling sea in the background); the endless stream of clams, mussels, shrimp-to say nothing of lobster dinners for one hundred and thirty guests-the thoughtful, tasteful, loving attention that had gone into every last detail. Other favorite moments: the newly married couple's first dance; the best man's heartfelt toast; my son's remarkable poise (most notably on the dance floor); and being surrounded by family and friends gathered together for only one reason: to share in this once in a lifetime celebration.

Strangest moments? Only one, really. The sudden awareness that my son was not only beginning his own new family, but was becoming part of another family who, for all intents and purposes, are complete strangers to me. Least favorite moments? Not having the time I thought I would have to spend with certain special people, like my Dad and his wife. Missing my mother, who would have so loved being there. And on a less serious note: catching my reflection in the mirror after partying for hours in the east coast humidity only to discover that my smooth, straight hair had morphed into the curly wild-haired look I thought I'd abandoned in the '70s. Oh, and my very least favorite part of the whole adventure? Traveling.

I used to travel a lot when I was in the museum design business. It came with the territory. And after the initial excitement of traveling to new places and seeing new sights had worn off, I remember that traveling, even then, was not what others imagined. It was always a hassle, always physically and mentally draining, at least for me. I never handled jet lag very well. Now, having been out of the travel game for several years, I found that nothing had changed; the entire experience totally wore me out.

And, despite all that I had read and heard about post 9/11 security, I couldn't help noticing that nothing much had changed there either. Yes, the lines were longer. But not for those of us with E-tickets. Turns out that if you ordered your ticket by credit card, all you had to do was go to a computer, swipe ANY credit card with your name on it (or at least, the same name under which you had purchased the ticket) and you were issued your boarding pass. Voila! No lines, no muss, no fuss. I don't get it. I mean, wouldn't even the dumbest terrorist have a fake ID and credit card? And while the metal detectors were obviously turned up to extremely sensitive, picking up the rings in my plastic binder, they still missed the nail clippers and tweezers in my makeup case. When we grabbed a bite to eat, we saw backpacks and carry-on bags sitting unattended for at least fifteen minutes. And that famous locked cockpit? Not on our plane. Not only was it open, but several people walked in and out of it as we watched. Finally, although we were all issued baggage claim stubs, no one at Logan Airport, and no one at LAX seemed to care whose bag we walked out with; in fact, there was nobody at the doors even pretending to check our luggage.

There's nothing like coming home. Aside from the delight we take in sleeping in our own beds, on our own pillows, with our very own bedtime snacks, for me just reuniting with my dogs is pure bliss. Watching their ecstatic rumps wag as fast as their tails, being smothered with licks, being loved with such utter devotion and forgiven (for leaving) with such pure hearts, is something impossible to duplicate in all of human experience.

And speaking of forgiveness, if only it were as easy for us as it is for dogs. I'm harboring some deep resentments that I would give anything to get over, some people I would love to forgive, but it's just so damn difficult. I suppose that's because forgiveness is all about wanting to be forgiven. I think I could forgive anyone almost anything if they were truly sorry; if they just apologized. Although it was unnecessary, some would say ludicrous, I apologized profusely to my dogs for going away. With humans it's so very complicated. We do all this thinking, and analyzing, and rationalizing. We would rather be right than say we're sorry. We would rather prove our point than be forgiven. What a shame.

Send me your opinions at Lynn@netlistings.com

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