Shift: One Woman’s Treasure

I have a new guy in my life. His name is Dusty. He’s from Texas. We met, of all places, in a second-hand store.

I must have gasped when I saw him. The woman standing next to me put a hand firmly on my elbow, dragging my gaze back from two aisles over, to her face, her warning look.

“Don’t,” she said. Her eyes commanded my attention. “I’ve made that mistake.”

For a stranger, she disclosed a surprising amount of personal information. How she’d had such high hopes in the beginning. How she’d fallen for the promises. Made adjustments, compromises, lowered her expectations…

The gist: he wouldn’t be what I hoped.

But, love is blind. And I knew in my heart that I recognized something about him. This was what I’d been looking for. I needed this. I simply had to have him.

Dusty from Texas. I’d let one like him slip through my fingers years ago when I moved across the country. Now, I was getting a second chance, and I wasn’t going to give him up.

Once I got him home, I couldn’t keep my hands off him. The first weekend, I had time for nothing but Dusty!

Even the dog seemed taken with this newcomer, and that’s a good sign.

In those early days, when we had to be apart, I was distracted by thoughts of the fun we’d had the afternoon before. My mood felt permanently lifted. Things were so much brighter. I was singing again, even while doing housework! And I was doing a lot more housework. With Dusty from Texas in my life, even mundane domestic duties were so much more rewarding. Everything was.

I worried my husband would get suspicious. I really needed to find a way to clear the air and come clean about things. But he didn’t seem to notice, let alone be bothered by my obsession. He didn’t remark on my new, more upbeat tempo, my focus on getting the house in order.

But I was overflowing with this brighter side of life and desperately wanted to talk to someone about it, so I mentioned it to my uncle, who tends to be very open-minded.

He said: “Don’t worry about what other people think. Go for it.”

So I just kept on enjoying the new arrangement.

My girlfriends would have been jealous – had they known. But I couldn’t tell them. Didn’t want the word to get out. There’s only so much to go around, after all.

Dusty from Texas. He’s perfect in every way: slim, quiet, clean. I’m shocked by how hard I’ve fallen. Completely seduced.

Dusty from Texas. He’s provided a good spring cleaning for the heart.

Now and then, when I’m not totally giddy, when the bliss is a little less intense, I think of the woman in the second-hand store and her warning.

As they say: one woman’s trash is another’s charming feather duster.

Julie Ann Luoma is happy to share quirky conclusions drawn from life’s little dramas.