Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's Amore?



Leaves have turned a paler yellow-green and more dramatic colors and have begun falling, mountain ash berries are a brighter orange verging on red, and waves were high on the breezy day with a high in the low 50s. In a couple places I’ve seen the remains of a cone where a squirrel has been gathering nuts. 

I finished reading an advance copy of Amore: An American Father’s Roman Holiday by Roger Friedland. It’s a very personal book of reflections on two years in Rome with his wife and two young daughters, comparing and contrasting that culture with the United States with particular emphasis on love and sex, which will spur a lot of personal reactions and interpretations based on the reader’s biases. Along with individual motivations, he looks at the effects of religion and feminism.

I’m a few years younger than the author, sharing a similar romantic view of love, and negative feelings about the casual hookup sex prevalent in this country. “In the wake of feminism’s third wave, a new kind of female sexual player emerged: a guiltless, apparently dispassionate huntress out for a good time, a woman indifferent to, even contemptuous, of love.” More like a man, many would say, so I’ll be clear that I never respected that kind of man either, and have always been sad to see equality defined as identical, whether it was in the corporate offices where I spent time in the eighties or in sexuality.

I met that female player who was avoiding romance, even fell in love with her. Elsewhere in the book, mention is made of studies showing that even those trying to avoid love are secretly hoping to find it, and I saw that too, which made it even more painful that we couldn’t overcome our barriers. I even saw and heard two of her friends warning an interested woman to stay far away from me based on the version they’d been told about how I got that player to fall for me then ignored her. It was easier to not bother correcting anyone, but I got very tired of moments like that.

Lola was the root cause but not the only reason I left Yellowstone, and the main but not only reason I’m planning to work in a different part of the park in the future. She’s not why I won’t be going back in December though—I didn’t get offered a job. It didn’t come as a surprise and at first I didn’t care much, but then started feeling bad that it meant an extra few months before I’d see that part of the country again, and at my age a few months could be crucial.

I started looking into a winter job at a couple of the ski resorts in the area, and while I think at least one of them would be feasible for me without a car, Yellowstone’s wildlife remains the priority and I’m not sure about when I might be able to begin a new job there in the spring and thus was unsure about how long I wanted to stay at a winter job. Since all these jobs involve an advance contract with specific dates, the resorts are something I’ll consider again next year with more advance knowledge and research.

So it’s another winter in Duluth, feeling fairly confident that it won’t be as severe as last year. I’m still thinking about what if any change that will bring in terms of employment, but I know there’ll be no more amore here.

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