Tete-a-tete ArchivesAn eclectic sampling of my award-winning humor columns. New columns can be read online at www.nashuatelegraph.com on the first Thursday of the month, with columns posted here later in the month.
More in "Tete-a-tete"
- Tete-a-tete: Newsboys reunion concert elicits a nostalgia suckerpunch, yet reminds that awesomeness does not change
- Tete-a-tete: When it comes to cat toys, sometimes there are strings attached
- Tete-a-tete: Youngest Brother finds a hobby thanks to 'The Great British Baking Show'
- Tete-a-tete: Evolution of a football fan, or why I'm looking forward to Super Bowl LII
- Tete-a-tete: Younger Sister's penchant for staying on schedule never takes a holiday
- Tete-a-tete: Grandpa had a 'Wonderful Life'
- Tete-a-tete: Streamlined technology makes it easier to come home for the holidays - unlike when I was in college
- Tete-a-tete: Terrifying toys make childhood memorable
- Tete-a-tete: The pitfalls of dining out as a slow eater
- Tete-a-tete: Pop culture references lead to unexpected connections
- Tete-a-tete: "Handicapped accessible" doesn't really mean what people think it means
- Tete-a-tete: The ins and outs of the college moving experience
- Tete-a-tete: When dealing with cabin fever, this cat's on a roll
- Tete-a-tete: An artistic masterpiece 20 years in the making
- Tete-a-tete: Promp and circumstance: Modern-day prom prep
- Tete-a-tete: Blue Apron - a Pandora's box of weekly culinary adventures
- Tete-a-tete: Serve up a slice of family traditions, new or old
- Tete-a-tete: 'Family court' has a whole new meaning at our house
- Tete-a-tete: Drafted on the farm: Grandpa's war at home
- Tete-a-tete: With family, you have to give it the ol' college try
- Tete-a-tete: Walk a mile in my Boots: Viva la feline difference
- Tete-a-tete: Slacker movies offer unlikely heroes
- Tete-a-tete - Bag that theory: Purse contents aren't all that enlightening
- Tete-a-tete: Keeping up with the pace of modern-day elder care
- Tete-a-tete: Easter dinner reveals a shocking family secret
- Tete-a-tete: Time flies when you forget to change the clocks
- Tete-a-tete: Here in New Hampshire, we don't take voting 'for granite'
- Tete-a-tete: An Eagle takes flight in another family milestone
- Tete-a-tete: When choosing heirlooms, cross your Ts and dot your ... claims
- Tete-a-tete: Even the best-intentioned Christmas traditions can fail to take hold
- Tete-a-tete: How to enjoy a wedding, even if it's not your own
- Tete-a-tete: A tale of unintentional cat ownership
- Tete-a-tete: Admissions about the college admissions process
- Tete-a-tete: Avoiding car-tastrophe while purchasing a new vehicle
- Tete-a-tete: As American as apple pie: U.S. culture, through other eyes
- Tete-a-tete: The geek gene runs strong in our family
- Tete-a-tete: Grieving entertainment losses with a few simple steps
- Tete-a-tete: Parents, do not give your child the name equivalent of the April birthstone
- Tete-a-tete: Memento or clutter? Don't leave that decision to the historians
- Tete-a-tete: How Mom and Dad saved Christmas (and a hamster)
- Tete-a-tete: Having trouble keeping your New Year's resolutions? It could be "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" Syndrome
- Tete-a-tete: When Christmas starts before Thanksgiving (a reflection on temporal discombobulation)
- Tete-a-tete: Sizing up a new family pet, or the difference between a cat and a hamster
- Tete-a-tete: When your worst fear comes true
- Tete-a-tete: Family game night can leave you drawing a blank
- Tete-a-tete: When you have a really good reason to skip class
- Tete-a-tete: The downside to the world's most flattering bridesmaid dress
- Tete-a-tete: Say it with flowers - just don't say where you got them
- Tete-a-tete: Shockingly true tales of my Herculean, heroic great-grandpa
- Tete-a-tete: For goodness 'sakes - generational namesakes can confuse
- Tete-a-tete: Confused by the weather? Signs spring has almost sprung
- Tete-a-tete: Seeking the Holy Grail of a universal bridesmaid dress
- Tete-a-tete: Love poetry gone bad, or why I'm still not allowed to use matches
- Tete-a-tete: A traveler's guide to the Big Apple
- Tete-a-tete: Feats of strength aren't just for Festivus festivities
- Tete-a-tete: Change comes from within - sometimes, literally
- Tete-a-tete: Car games: from punch-buggy to punching cell phone buttons
- Tete-a-tete: I mustache you a question about costume practicality
- Tete-a-tete: Functional furniture is making my family dysfunctional
- Tete-a-tete: Jungle Speed board game can bring out the beast in you
- Tete-a-tete: To call it a ‘mooving’ ride would be inaccurate
- Tete-a-tete: When saying ‘sweetheart’ just won’t do
- Tete-a-tete: Eat your heart out, Festivus: Stymchastynchula is here
- Tete-a-tete: Hoping Korean music can explode in the U.S. with a K-pop
- Tete-a-tete: Holidays, especially with Grandma, are always colorful
- Tete-a-tete: Sometimes, it's the grilled cheese that makes the memories
- Tete-a-tete: Still recovering from Dad's forays into home education
Tete-a-tete: Love poetry gone bad, or why I’m still not allowed to use matches
Nothing inspires a man to write poetry quite like his love for a woman. Consider Dante and Beatrice, Petrarch and Laura, Shakespeare and his Dark Lady.
Unless you’re one of the aforementioned great poets, artistry is considered secondary to the successful communication of emotion. This includes ensuring that emotion reaches its intended recipient. Otherwise, such a poem could ignite the wrong kind of passionate response.
When I was in high school, I worked part-time at a drug store. One day, I was cleaning up the cosmetics section, located near the front door, when a young man with whom I was casually acquainted walked in.
We chatted for a bit, but it was clear he had something on his mind. After a few minutes of small talk, he handed me a piece of folded-up notebook paper.
“I don’t know why I’m giving this to you,” he said. He uttered a few more variations on that theme before awkwardly departing.
Perplexed, I unfolded the paper. It was a love poem.
It wasn’t the most skillfully written poem, and it didn’t really describe me – I recall something about dark angels and brooding – but I was flattered to receive it as no one had ever written something like that for me before.
One of my co-workers, who happened to be a friend of the aforementioned gentleman, asked what he had given me. I showed him the poem and expressed my confusion at being its recipient.
“I’m surprised he gave it to you, too,” he replied, “because he wrote it for a girl who’s a cashier at the grocery store next door.”
Ah. So that explained why the poem didn’t really suit me. It was about someone else.
Later that evening, I told Mom about the strange interlude in my workday and showed her the poem. Though the poem wasn’t written for me, I expressed my intent to keep it, simply because it was my first time receiving such a missive.
Mom advised me to throw it away, encouraging me to think of my future husband. If, years from now, he and I were going through my high school keepsakes, would I want him to come across that poem and think that it and its writer had meant something to me?
I agreed it would be best to get rid of the poem, and took it upstairs to my room to dispose of it. The more I thought about it, the more upset I became. Why on earth would someone write a love poem for one girl and then give it to a completely different girl? I mean, just because she and I worked in the same retail plaza didn’t mean we had anything in common.
I shredded the poem into tiny little pieces, letting them fall one by one into my plastic trash can. That didn’t seem to be enough, so in the grand cinematic tradition of teen movie break-up scenes, I took a match from the box near my candle collection, lit an errant scrap of poesy on fire and tossed it into the trash can.
As the pile of post-poem confetti started to burn, I prudently picked up the trash can and placed it in the center of my bed lest any sparks fly up and compromise my curtains.
Thankfully, Dad smelled the smoke and burst through my bedroom door before the fire burned through the bottom of the trash can and set my bed ablaze. The bathroom was mercifully close by, so he threw the trash can into the bathtub, doused it with water and demanded to know what had possessed me to do something so dangerously idiotic.
As you may imagine, my embarrassed explanation was less than satisfactory. Dad confiscated my matches as punishment, but he needn’t have worried. Since that incident, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used matches. I do still own a few candles, but they’re for decorative purposes only.
It turns out that I didn’t need to worry about destroying the poem so completely, so quickly. I have yet to meet my future husband, so the poem would have had plenty of time to decompose of its own accord if I had just thrown it away. Hindsight is indeed 20/20.
So, Future Husband, in the event you ever happen to read this, please note that our relationship does come with one caveat. You can leave your dirty clothes on the floor, drink orange juice directly from the carton or completely fail to understand the importance of china patterns and I will gladly take it in stride.
I do, however, request that you kindly refrain from writing me sonnets, odes, limericks or anything remotely poetry-related. I still have a touch of PTSD (Poetry Torching and Singeing Disorder) and I wouldn’t want our marriage to go down in flames.
– Teresa Santoski
Originally published Feb. 6, 2014.