Unicorns On Display…

By: Talyn Terzian-Gilmour

Every now and then this lucky girl gets to spend the day with Mr. Niceguy and recently, I’ve been extra lucky.  See, while I don’t have steady employment – and when I do, I generally tend to be the CEO, CFO and grunt analyst all rolled into one in other words, the number of employees in my organization equals a whopping ONE.  Lately that figure has doubled: Me and Mr. Niceguy.

This past month has seen me and Mr. Niceguy tackle two very important projects for our family, so we’ve been spending quite a bit of time with each other.  Mr. Niceguy has a very healthy work ethic – one that I didn’t quite appreciate during our graduate school days – he likes to take frequent breaks and generally runs at a steady pace.  I, on the other hand, well you can probably guess: I go hard, very hard, with extreme intensity and the gas pedal is not released until I cross the finish line and see the checkered flag.

Despite my singular focus, I do know when to stop and take notice – like when you’re face to face with a unicorn.  When we finally reached an important milestone a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take Mr. Niceguy to lunch to a place that I normally frequent with my mom friends.  This particular restaurant is not one of my typical choices – I enjoy one-offs, where everybody knows my name – this place has more of a night club feel, day or night.  In any case, we were shown to our seats, ordered a couple of celebratory drinks and waited for our food to arrive when…

Not more than ten or twelve feet away, on the table opposite ours, were seated a couple:  he, looking like a broody, sensitive, artistic type with hair à la John Travolta circa Saturday Night Fever, she, slightly more homely looking but with a seemingly profound stature like an unassuming Joan-of-Arc.  Don’t ask how I put all of that together with a momentary glance…let’s just say my imagination often gets the better of me. 

In any case, I would not under normal circumstances have noticed either except…it was as if I did see a unicorn, and found it very hard to turn away.  I’ll simply say this – no judgement…well, who am I kidding; there is a level of affection that is appropriate for couples to demonstrate in public:  holding hands, arm around waist, a quick peck on the cheek and maybe a stolen kiss.  What was happening at the only-twelve-feet-away-but-not-far-enough-table would be better described as totally inappropriate, “get a room” kind of behaviour.  And as much as I wanted to melt away into my dumplings and lettuce wrap appetizers, I could not.  It took everything in my power to uncurl my lip, ‘un-agape’ my mouth and stop gawking.

Back in my teenage days – and perhaps a little in my university days – I too may have indulged.  We’ve all been there when emotions are running high and you’re not necessarily at the point where you are ready to introduce Mr. or Miss Right Now to your parents and so it’s just all in good fun.  A sly sideways glance, a casual flip of your hair, and that feeling of unstoppable magnetism…all terribly age appropriate behaviour as we navigated through our adolescent and early adult years.  Am I so far away from that time that the display I was witnessing made me feel closer to Her Majesty, the very proper Queen of England, than to my twenty-year-old-self?

Perhaps.  But more than that…I live by a code.  We all have rules for ourselves.  For example, living in such a way so that one never has any regrets.  I used to live by that one…then I came face-to-face with reality (and adulthood) and realized that regrets are simply a part of life – one must learn how to handle them.  Or, making sure that every meal involves some number of fruits or vegetables…again, I left that one by the wayside a long, long time ago…actually, about the time when I moved out of my parents’ house (my mom is the very best at making sure we all have balanced meals and yes, I got spoiled).  Now I count my blessings if my kids eat all of their lunch. 

Of all the rules I’ve had for myself – many of which have changed or adapted over the years, there is one which I have maintained and continue to hold very true and dear:  live each and every day as if you are going to one day, run for the office of the President of the United States.  All that to say, to live in a way so that nothing I do or say can come back to haunt me down the road.

Even that rule, however, must temper of time…after all, surely I am not so far down the road that I can’t remember the early days of passion?

And while Unicorns are not real, what they symbolize, is:  the spirit of childhood and possibility.  So perhaps what I was witnessing was the beginning of a great possibility?  Perhaps this fellow had finally reunited with his long-lost love?  Or they had both overcome some great adversity when they first met as children and now as adults, they could finally be together?  Either could be an explanation.

In the end, we finished our drinks and our meal, congratulated ourselves on a milestone well achieved, and decided that our adolescent days were further away than we sometimes realize…and walked out hand in hand (and with a small peck on the cheek for good measure!)