Saturday, September 18, 2010

On The Horns of a Dali Lama

1775 , playwright Richard Sheridan in his lovely drawing room comedy, The Rivals, introduced us to Mrs. Malaprop - a women who famously struggled to be an  agony aunt of her times and equally famously mangled words with wonderfully funny results. One of my favorite lines from the play being,  "promise to illiterate him, I say, quite from your memory."  Ditsy as she was, and no doubt without Sheridan being conscious of the effect, Maloprops became part of the English language.

My own mother, a very bright woman, intrigued by the foreign currency market in the sixties used her interest and skills  to secure a very comfortable retirement for she and my father, was prone to Malaprops.  When I was very young, we lived in Egypt. She contacted  the sanitation department on the R.A.F  base we lived on complaining of, "hilarious mosquitoes around the drains" - to this day I remember the crusty chap arriving with huge canisters of DDT (oh my, I was exposed to that big time in my youth) shouting out - "Alright then lads, lets have them comedians".  Perhaps her more poignant was in the early eighties and me in the midst of divorce -"Well then," she said to me, "you are on the horns of a Dali Lama" - dilemma being the assumed word.

And those horns poke at  me still.

Do I follow safe course in life, not take chances, avoid being skewered - two reasons to pause in the past week.  A woman, once a close friend but who proved to be treacherous, surfaced via this website expressing sorrow over our lost friendship. "We had so much fun together" - we did. But that was a long time ago and before she borrowed money, implicated me in a scam she was running by using my  business name.  No, I'm not falling back on those horns. She expressed regret at the "misunderstanding" that caused the breakdown of a friendship but she didn't apologize for her role that had my business crawling with IRS audits for two years following her use of my name. She did say that "we do things in our youth that give cause for regret" - youth? we were were both 43. That one I passed on.  I've forgiven - but I don't need to embrace. Saying no was easy.

The other 'horn'  waiting to skewer me these last couple of weeks is far more complicated - causing me sleepless nights, much internal rumination or , to coin  a Malaprop - "there you go, fumigating again" - 'fumigating' on whether or not to 'illiterate' someone from my memory. Someone with whom I had a wonderful ease and relationship. Easier said than done.
Connections theme for October is 'Keeping it Simple' - oh I wish!

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