Just got a call from Melinda, whom have not spoken to in months and called out of the blue because it is, after all, Christmas. After updating each other on work and life in general, she brought up the dreaded subject of relationships. The woman is, as ever, basking in the glow of an eight-month-running relationship — and of course, the Florida sun — then balked when she learned that am single. After explaining to her the multitude of reasons for being single right now — not the least of which have only about four and a half months left in this country — she laughed and said, “You’re such a hopeless romantic!”

Am not, though. Granted am cursed with the tendency to fall in love rather easily — though with good reason — and am compelled to bend (a little too far) over backwards for the man who matters, but am not really a hopeless romantic. Unlike other girls, am not really one for grand gestures or outsize floral arrangements or archaic pledges of eternal, undying love. Am more of a romantic realist, perhaps. The belief that ultimately there could be the right person has not been — but is close to being — entirely stamped out of system, but am also realistic enough to know that certain circumstances can’t be helped, and even when we think we might have found them, there’s always a chance that we could lose them.

As the conversation progressed and I was ardently disproving Melinda’s stand, she suddenly — and a bit huffily — said, in one of her very rare bursts of insight, “If you’re not a hopeless romantic, you wouldn’t have just told me that story.”

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