Today, June 16th, is Bloomsday. James Joyce’s Ulysses takes place on June 16th, 1904. The day is named after the lead character, Leopold Bloom.
On the actual June 16th, 1904, James Joyce had his first date with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle. Joyce immortalized the date by having his novel take place all in one day.
I do not remember the month, day, or year of my first date with my first serious girlfriend. I was in my mid-twenties, and it may have been in the Fall.
We were set up by a woman with whom I had gone to high school. I wanted to date this woman, but she was not interested in me. She knew a co-worker who was looking for love.
Anne, not her real name, was a classy lady. She wore nothing but designer labels. I had never heard of Yves St. Laurent or Christian Dior until I met her. I bought my clothes at Woolco, which was a rival to Walmart.
Our relationship lasted three (?) years. With Anne, I could socialize with all of my male friends who had married. Their wives were not comfortable with me showing up without a partner. I was more than welcome to show up with Anne.
Anne wanted to get married, but I did not. We broke up several times, during the three years, because of the marriage issue. The final breakup came after three years.
Anne ended up marrying a very wealthy man. He gave her the luxurious lifestyle she deserved.
I look back and think about how Anne and I had nothing but good times. Everyone liked Anne. They gave me hell for breaking up with her. One of my friends said, “Johnston, you let gold slip through your fingers.”
Is Anne still married? Does she ever wonder what I am up to? (Presently 6′ 1″ and shrinking) Does she ever want to meet me for a banana or coffee and talk about the good ol’ days? Who knows?
My last telephone contact with Anne happened while Sir John A. MacDonald was the prime minister of Canada. There have been a few prime ministers since then.
Oh well, wanting is usually better than having.
And on the subject of having, I hope all are having a Happy Bloomsday.