Friday, May 12, 2006

El Viejo Verde


In my very first blog post, I wrote about the decision to not hurry to have Frank's quilt finished in time for his upcoming birthday, but rather I would get the quilt as far along as I comfortably could, give it to him on his birthday, with the promise to finish it before cold weather returns. "After all," I rationalized, "it isn't like he's going to need it in July."
. . . .
Frank and his wife Maggie are relatively new but very dear friends. They are another case where the "generally speaking" piece of the circles of relationships concept doesn't quite work for us. We discovered them to be our neighbors when we moved seven years ago, and quickly learned that we enjoy each others' company enormously and hold many interests in common.
. . . .
Frank and Maggie are funny, easy-going, liberal Democrat, music-loving gourmets, to sum up their most obvious characteristics. They are Cubans who are remarkably tolerant of "mi Espanol rota" (my broken Spanish). Frank's upcoming birthday is his 85th; Maggie is closer to us in age.
. . . .
One evening they introduced us to the concept of "El Viejo Verde" (the old green men) which they explained as kind of a teasing Spanish equivalent of "dirty old men." The next time we got together, Joe and I sported green ribbons in Frank's honor and presented him with one to wear, too.
. . . .
Ever since deciding to slow down on Frank's quilt, I've felt vaguely uneasy and couldn't pinpoint why. Another dilemma was whether the quilt I was working on for Frank was really right for him. It is made of lovely neutral fabrics in one of my favorite patterns. Simultaneously, I'd been working on a second neutral quilt, one that was much farther along, and it was planned to be a gift for a friend's September wedding.
. . . .
The second quilt was all finished except the binding, and the more I thought about it, the more I thought that perhaps this quilt was Frank's, and the original one was the wedding gift. I went back and forth for a little while.
. . . .
Then a few nights ago as I was stitching the rows together on what had been Frank's quilt, I realized what was at the root of my discomfort. I immediately stopped my work, reached for the second quilt, and began to bind. Binding doesn't take very long. It will easily be finished before Frank's birthday. And he will be pleased.
. . . .
And so will I, because, you know, you just shouldn't give a guy an "IOU" for his 85th birthday.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Exactly what *I* was thinking!