Do you remember Blix, the irascible 85-year-old matchmaker from Matchmaking for Beginners who went around saying things like “Whatever happens, love that”? She led an interesting, colorful life, and readers still to this day, four years later, write to me and ask me to bring her back. Honestly. They send me soundtracks of what Blix would listen to, they paint little pictures of her and her sayings on postcards, and one woman even got a tattoo of her.
Well, now Blix is back.
She woke me up out of a sound sleep the other morning and said she’d like to start giving me some more of her wisdom. (Clearly 2020 and the first ten days of January 2021 have convinced her that I need a little extra.)
And so she’s going to have an advice column! Feel free to write to her, if you wish. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org, and she and I will try to answer questions. If we can. (If you’ve read Matchmaking for Beginners, you know that Blix doesn’t make promises. She does what she does.) And if you haven’t read it, you fix that right now! Take a minute to check out Matchmaking for Beginners and it’s sequel, A Happy Catastrophe, and then scroll on down for the very first ever Ask Blix column:
Dear Ask Blix,
I know you say “Whatever happens, love that,” but I have been stuck in my house for nearly ten months now with a man who, it turns out, chews toothpicks recreationally while he works and won’t listen when I tell him I can’t stand the crunching sound of wood against teeth. Also, he believes that I should be able to cut his hair as well as the barber did and is still mad about the big chunk of hair I accidentally carved out of the back of his head, WHICH NO ONE CAN SEE BECAUSE WE NEVER GO ANYWHERE. So whatever am I supposed to love about this?
Yes, the pandemic has shown us new sides of each other and ourselves. My good friend, Eloise, has been “outed” as a person who is working on no fewer than 37 knitting projects, all stashed around her house in bins and drawers—now discovered by her stay-at-home husband, who is continually coming across yet another ball of yarn and ten rows of stitching and bellowing, “HOW MANY PROJECTS DO YOU NEED AT ONCE?”
Eloise’s answer, I think, is stunning in its brilliance. She drew herself up to her full, imposing height and said to him: “You should just be glad these are balls of yarn you’re finding instead of half-empty bottles of vodka.”
So that’s my answer to you, Quarantined. Perspective, perspective, perspective.
And possibly some headphones.
When he’s snacking on wooden sticks (does he perhaps lack fiber in his diet?), you can simply put your headphones on and smile as you listen to some lovely alto flute music. Or Gloria Gaynor’s hit song,“I Will Survive.” (Turn it up LOUD.)
As for his haircuts, I think it’s possible you have already been fired as his barber. If not, tender your resignation at once, and tell him how lovely you think he looks with long hair.
There are so many ways of expressing love, even with the imperfect people we find around our own houses. But maybe the two of you want to limit the number of sharp objects in the vicinity, at least until everybody can go outside again.
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