..right after this message from Bertha's Kitty Boutique.


GK: All of her friends have been trying for years to find a suitable man for Daphne.

SS: The most important thing to me is honesty. The ability to share who you really are with another human being.

GK: We've all talked to our friends and had them talk to their friends, trying to find Mr. Right for this wonderful woman.

SS: To be able to talk about needs with the other person. To fulfil each other.

GK: Daphne would make a wonderful partner for the right person.

SS: And for me, what I need is to be with someone who truly needs me. Who needs my love and nurture.

GK: She is such a nurturing, generous, giving person.

SS: I need to be needed, it's that simple. I respond to need.

GK: Daphne is one of those people for whom the Sixties never ended.

SS: I don't care what it is, listening, sharing food, sharing stories, whatever way I can give love to people --- the act of giving only creates more love within me to give.

GK: She's so sweet and all of her friends love her, in her long dresses and her tremendous mane of hair and her wonderful oatmeal banana bread and avocado barley loaf that she served on her earthenware plates that weigh about eleven pounds apiece, but because she is so generous and good, she has been stuck with one inappropriate jerk after another.

TR (TV AUDIO ON): Come on, come on, come on----- third and long - -- you got to pass ---- let's go! ---- Look at that!!! I DON'T BELIEVE IT! Look at that! The draw play! Stooooo-pid! Buncha dummies! You've been running that stupid draw all afternoon! Man! Come on! Be subtle! ----Hey! Dopey. You just walked in front of the TV set!

SS: I was only bringing you food, my love.

TR: Well, bring it around in back of me. Okay? You make a better door than window.

SS: Is there anything you want to share with me right now? I'm here.

TR: Yeah, the fact that they ran the stupid draw play again! I can't believe it! They can't even run a draw play! So what do they run? The draw play!

GK: Either Daphne gets a jerk, or she gets a creep.

TK: Hi. Can you see my nametag? My name is Larry. See? Right there. I've had this nametag since 1976. It's a Bicentennial nametag. You see the bison?

GK: And when you're looking for guys in middle-age who are single, who aren't jerks, aren't creeps, are interested in women, not so interested in beer and whiskey, are not currently in an adult correctional program, and are not in heavy therapy, you're talking about, at the most, about fourteen guys nationwide. And one of them is Jeff.

TR: Hi. Jeff Jaeger here. I'm forty-five years old and I want to settle down and get married, now, right away, to a good woman, and I don't care what you look like ---- I am not into objectification. I am perfectly willing to relocate ----- if you have a job and like it where you are, fine, I'll come and live with you. Full-time job, that's okay. I love to cook and clean. Kids from a previous marriage? No problem. I'm crazy about kids. To me, kids are reality. A chance to share love and to witness growth. You see, I spent my twenties and thirties building up my brokerage firm, Jaeger Corps, and now that it's one of the top ten in the country in earnings, I've sold out my interest, so I can devote the rest of my life to pursuing my values and making someone else happy. I've received so much and now I want to give. I'm 6'4", 172 pounds, blue eyes, brown hair, neatly-trimmed beard ---- will shave if that's a problem ----- good build ---- what else do you want to know? ---- I have a cat.

SS: You have a cat?

TR: Carlos Cateneda. (MEOW)

SS: He's nice. Is this a cat you're taking care of for a friend?

TR: Nope, he's mine.

SS: That's your cat?

TR: Sure. I've always liked cats. (MEOW) Don't you?

SS: I do------

GK: A man who likes cats: is there any surer sign that he's the one for you?

SS: I was hoping for two and now there'll be three of us.

GK: The next time you date a man, check his pants legs for cat hair. It's a sign of quality and of caring. And men---- if you're serious about a woman you're seeing, call Bertha and ask about a rental cat ---- and the rental can be applied to the purchase price if things work out.

© 1998 Garrison Keillor