Peter’s Engaging Column ….

As I settled back into bed, my senses took stock of my surroundings. I heard Betty stirring peacefully in her sleep beside me. My eyes flicked over the dim shape of CoCo, who was also resting quietly, unafraid and unworried. I then looked up at the ceiling and sighed contentedly, finally at peace. As I drifted off to sleep myself, I couldn’t help but think back a year, to when my life had been different, very different indeed.

I make no secret of the darkness that enveloped my life after Lois had passed. The loss of my little buddy Reg last November only added to my misery. I became a recluse, not very pleasant company. I began to shuttle between my apartment and the liquor store. Things looked really grim as I desperately flailed, as I wallowed in despair. The thought of self-harm never crossed my mind, thank goodness.

Early in the new year I became determined to try to bring things back to normal, or at least what passes for “normal” in my life. I “streamlined” the number of “online” dating sites I was registered with, and tried to clear my mind of superfluous thoughts. As Thoreau wrote, “simplify, simplify, simplify”.

Well, it worked. My deep-seated belief that the right woman was out there for me was realized when I met Betty. We exchanged very few messages before agreeing to speak on the phone on a regular basis. Ironically, the pandemic gave us the advantage of getting the chance to really get to know each other, as we would have regular, lengthy telephone conversations. I was pleased that Betty and I shared many of the same “core values.” We agreed to meet.

After several abortive attempts to meet, we were finally able to do so on May 29, 2020. CoCo took to her as soon as she entered the apartment. As I have previously written, my apartment had basically been a bachelor’s “crash pad” for 7 years, and it showed. If Betty had any reservations, she hid them very well. We began to build on our relationship, and it was amazing to merge into domestic bliss. I found pleasure in such mundane tasks as making a shopping list. My love for Betty is as strong as my love for Lois was, but the joy of living together gives it an added sense of permanence which I find very sustaining and refreshing.

It was obvious that our basement apartment was too small for our needs, so we began to look for something more suitable. Betty was very enthusiastic about the “hunt”, especially after I told her that I would not object to living in another city. So it was that she began to look in London, Ontario, her hometown. I realized that compromise is vital to any successful relationship, so I agreed to this course of action. We both successfully adjusted our ways of thinking, and were able to find a wonderful apartment in a high rise. (This is the first time I have ever lived in a high rise building, it has been a novel experience.)

After some “toing and froing”, we got cable installed. I had gone years without cable, because I had no need of it, but Betty wanted it, so I agreed. We have an interesting channel changer. It can be “voice activated”, which this luddite finds intriguing. One afternoon, Betty was asleep, and I wanted to watch some TV. After a fruitless search, I acidly requested “anything that isn’t stupid.” You can see the results in the picture.

Another time I wanted to score some “brownie points” with Betty, so I said to it “I love Betty”. My grin faded when “I love daddy” showed on the screen, as Betty tried with little success to keep a straight face. It can be quite amusing for me as well. Betty has a channel she likes called “Detour”. Often she will request “Detour”, only to have “You Tube” come up on the screen. There is also a terrible movie called “The Detour”, which will materialize on the screen sometimes. Betty will frown and try to get the proper channel whilst I concentrate mightily on the book I am reading.

We are slowly settling in, getting unpacked and looking for household support services such as a garage and a veterinarian. I have met some of Betty’s family and friends and I am pleased that they have accepted me. Betty is pleased that she has become a part of my life. I tell her that she is the most important part of my life, and that she is making me a better person. I have cut back on my alcohol consumption, sometimes going a few weeks without a drink.

We do a couple of things to build our relationship. We realize that no relationship is perfect, but communication goes a long way towards easing tensions and preventing things from escalating. Neither of us is afraid to change our minds on any issue when faced with irrefutable logic during a discussion. We both agree that a lot of situations get blown out of proportion based on incorrect and/or hasty reactions, so we both take the time to think before replying. If need be, we will put a decision off until a future date, if possible. We never follow a course of action on a major issue unless we both agree that it is the right thing to do.

We try to shut off our phones for an hour a day, to remove distractions and focus on each other. both treat our relationship as the most important part of our lives, and we are never too proud to say that we are wrong, because we have to move past ego and squabbling over petty items, although I do find that “Yes Dear” is still an excellent response. I hope that you can find a useful point or two to use in your own lives, by the way.

Last week I formalized my intentions vis a vis Betty, and we will be married as soon as possible once I am “unencumbered.”

So Loyal Reader, things are going very well indeed for Mrs Montreuil’s Little Boy, very well indeed. I am at peace. I am happy.

See you soon.


6 Responses to “Peter’s Engaging Column ….”

  1. Teresa Coulter Says:

    Great column! Great subject! I am so happy for your happiness! You deserve this! Can’t wait til we can see each other again and I can finally meet Betty! ♥️

  2. Damon Hines Says:

    Congratulations, Peter and Betty, and Coco! ❤

  3. June Pollard Says:

    Hi Peter & Betty! Congratulations on your Engagement!!! I am so happy for both of you. Peter, I find your columns, no matter what topics you discuss – always in some way affect me – sometimes directly – sometimes indirectly. You always seem to bring your own personal touch of humour to your writing which I enjoy so much. Thank you for your devotion in bringing your written word to us so regularly – you serve as an inspiration to all who read your column & especially friends & family who know you personally!!! I love that you always ‘tell it like it is’!!! No pulling punches with you Peter! You & Betty stay well & stay safe! Take care. june/x0 ❤

    • Peter Montreuil Says:

      Thank you so much, June! I apologize because I just saw your sweet comment. We are very happy indeed.

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