I travelled to my grandfather's place today in hope that I might catch up with him after he underwent surgery yesterday.
Now before I continue with the story let me add that my grandfather has been widowed 12 years and throughout those years has allowed people to board at his place. He's had quite a mix of boarders too, ranging from a couple of cute backpacking Canadians (Becky & Suzie), to an elderly couple (Gene & Lionel), to some crazy Serbian guy (can't even remember his name - he didn't stay long), to a sweet old lady who's husband kicked her out (Shirley), to a Chinese student (Xiao aka "Wendy"), and probably a couple more that came and went quickly.
I suppose it has helped him get by in his lonely existence especially in such a large house as this.
Anyhoo, a couple of weeks when I was last here he talked about how there was a new person who was boarding here as Xiao had gone back to China for a few months to visit her friends and family. Apparently this new boarder, an elderly lady named Maureen, had similarly received the same treatment Shirley did with Maureen's husband giving her the flick.
It wasn't until today that I think I understood why.
After parking my car in the front driveway I knocked on the door and nobody answered. I then did what I normally do in such situations and go through the side gate and enter from the rear laundry door. Upon finding the laundry door unlocked I made sure everyone knew that I was here...
"Knock knock," I said, but not really bellowing it out just in case my grandfather was getting some sleep in recovery of yesterday's surgery.
I walked down the hall a little and sensing someone else in the house repeated, "Knock knock" hoping not to scare anyone.
"Hello?" said a feminine voice.
"Hello," I returned not knowing exactly where the voice was coming from, "is Bill here?"
"No, he's not," she replied.
After identifying who I was Maureen came out from her room.
"Oh, you're his grandson."
"Yes. I am."
We continued talking a little about Bill's surgery, but as I busied myself searching through some of my grandfather's mail (seeing if anything was addressed to me). It wasn't until the conversation took a strange turn about why Rita was staying here and that she was "ugly" that I looked up from what I was doing and saw her for the first time.
Unfortunately her face had marred by what looked like some sort of burn, her neck and half of her lower face was beetroot red.
After leaving the house and going her merry way for the day I stopped for a little and thought about what my grandfather had said about this woman's history and what I saw.
Now I don't want to jump to any conclusions but I'd be willing to bet that the reason why her husband left her was because of her physical appearance. Which is a shame really because she was actually very nice and polite.
Now I don't doubt that there needs to be some physical attraction between a man and a woman, but wouldn't this be detrimental to the relationship if this was the only (or primary) attraction? Because what if something did happen to the other party where their physical appearance was marred and beyond recovery by plastic surgery? What would the relationship have left?
I also began to wonder on whether it would be more difficult for the husband or for the wife if either party had their physical appearance marred? I ask this because we all know that men are more aroused by sight than women, whereas women are more aroused by how they feel (and that's just putting it simply!) than men.
In any case I just hope that I never get that superficial if anything like that were to happen to my wife. I don't doubt that it would be difficult, but then what love is this if we're only attracted physically?
Is it really love?
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