This could happen to YOU! It happened to me!
Man Overboard! Metaphorically, that is.
Get it? I thought so.
What happens if you LIVE for TANGO, but your dance partner’s secret desire is for YOU to want to dance with him ALONE?
“Baby, I want you to love me like no one has ever loved me.”
I guess that means I never loved you enough? Has anyone? Is it humanly possible?
“If I was the LOVE OF YOUR LIFE, you wouldn’t WANT to dance with anyone else.”
How many times have you been dancing… let’s say, in a class in Miami, New York, Buenos Aires… and your boyfriend suddenly walks over and rips you away from the guy you just rotated to?
Yes, he’s an animal! Sorry! Talk about embarassing!
How about when two of your favorite teachers comment that you are a saint to put up with him?
Yeah, the relationship was disintegrating over the last year or so. The vibe was toxic. I had to get out.
He’s a extraordinary guy in so many ways: smart, sexy, generous… a real heartbreaker. “Qué pinta de malevo!” they said in Buenos Aires. Definitely old school.
He played the possessive, jealous Latin Lover to a T. He expects a woman to devote herself to him 100%… you know, like our parents’ generation. He was raised that way. All the women’s lib and progressive politics never really made a dent in his consciousness. He couldn’t hear what I had to say or understand what I was feeling. Blah blah blah!! You get the drift.
Yeah, he should’ve been a King. Maybe he was in a past life. Carlos V? Shakespeare’s Othello?
Ah, yes, my Caliban, the “passionate child-curious part of us all…” (from The Tempest).
He would have been happy burning and pillaging, plundering women by the score. Taking “art groupie” to a new level!  ¡Cómo no, Comandante de mi vida, por supuesto que te quiero! Be Merciful, O Love of my Life!
I just had to get lost in Jane Austen for a while. Like, take a time out from the 21st century?
I reread Persuasion. Dashing sea-captain wins girl’s heart. Girl’s family doesn’t approve: he’s not sufficiently rich or well-connected. She breaks the engagement. He goes off to sea, endures raging tempests and howling gales, pillages French merchant ships aplenty, survives enough courageous exploits for a whole season of telenovelas. He returns 7 years later, fabulously rich. Everyone adores him now. Quite the huffy Salty Dog about town. What happens next? Read it yourself, you lousy knave! Or at least see the movie version.
Have you noticed “the versatility of shipwreck imagery in conveying various forms of misfortune?”  Speaking of his ship, the Asp, our hero was rashly confident: “I knew that we should either go to the bottom together, or that she would be the making of me.” (Persuasion, 71)
The guy’s got attitude. My guy had plenty of attitude, too. Definitely a tough customer.
But whom would you prefer to live with? A feudal warlord or a happy village idiot? As those really our only choices? Of course not, silly. But my point remains: we have indeed strayed far off course in this 21st century. Are there no crossover models available? Like, a compact SUV? A mini-Hummer? What ever happened to the ideal Renaissance Man? You mean the DNA still hasn’t evolved?
Wherefore art thou, Leonardo? Veni, Vedi, Vinci: I came, I saw, I conquered. Not sure who said that; a Roman Emperor perhaps? Maybe THE Holy Roman Emperor… Carlos V? Alexander the Great?
Recognize this guy? Old Alfonso the Wise is the tío that kick-started the Renaissance. I’m not kidding! Check him out. He wrote the first book about the game of chess around 1283. The original lives at the Escorial, in Madrid. Yeah, he was a heartbreaker too, you can be sure. Renaissance Man cultivated “…a harmonious mind, whose splendid passions and imaginations are controlled and directed by [his] enlightened reason…” [Wiki] Where can I find one of HIM? Does HE exist?
No, I don’t think he’s got it. His motto is Vini, Vedi, Vegi. ja ja! I came, I saw, I ate salad, I bored my cousins to death reading from Fordyce’s Sermons, then I got drunk and made a complete fool of myself. Too bad, so sad. Not my knight in shining armor. Not even California Chrome.
I’m tired of being the subjugated woman! Internalized oppression, get thee hence! Somebody please let me OUTTA HERE! Hmmm… no answer.
Am I dreaming? Do I have unreasonable expectations? Am I thinking too reductively? Is it too tempting to boil it all down to the struggle between dark and light? Am I done playing out my postcolonial subjugation fantasies?
Guess I gotta be my own Rescuer.
Free at Last!! Lord have mercy!!
The Captain’s delightful sister, Mrs. Croft, comments on the voyages she has enjoyed with her husband, Admiral Croft. She advocates that women should go to sea with their husbands, and not be left behind to wait and wonder, despite the discomforts of life on board… not to mention being the only female amongst the crew… yikes!
Must have been tough to be a drama queen with no other women to bitch to. Oops, I meant to say, to pour upon each other the sisterly balm of wise and considered counsel?
“We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days,” Mrs. Croft advises Anne, Austen’s heroine in Persuasion. (75) A critic notes, “Mrs. Croft is arguing, obviously, for the place of adventure and geographical mobility in women’s lives.” You go, girl! 
Maybe I’ll go live on a boat… a little morning yoga on deck, anyone? Plenty of sushi and piña coladas? Warm, tropical waters?
It’s my turn to forge ahead with a little borrowed relentless self-confidence! I know you’re all anxious to see if I’m brave indeed or just foolishly reckless. Back on land, summertime is just around the corner… throwing out those delicious green tendrils, the tiny budding sweet peas, the gorgeous bursting hollyhocks… yeah, could be salad, could be scenery… is there still time to plant my garden?
Jane Austen describes a farmer in Persuasion, the scene at Winthrop. I feel like him. He “does not simply think that the season will change; it is as if his exertions will somehow help to bring the change about. His labor is a sign of his hope.” 
The farmer’s hard work can be seen not as an attempt to control the natural world, or to force a particular outcome in the narrative of our lives, but as a collaboration or stewardship with nature which guides our efforts, and which may grant us a deeper understanding of nature, including human nature, and give us hope for bounteous harvests to come.
“When characters in this novel exert themselves in such a spirit, they gain, by degrees and despite inescapable human limitations, the liberty of soul that makes possible authentic happiness.” 
Yeah, I have been reading and rereading the last issue of Persuasions, the journal of the Jane Austen Society (JASNA). Does random literary analysis float your boat? I find it particularly convenient when trying to escape reality. Yet another rereading of Persuasion is next, as soon as I unpack my books. Yes, moving again. How many times now in the last three years? I’ve lost count. For now, it’s the ranch for the summer. Just me and that ornery palomino mare, let’s hope she doesn’t slam me into any more phone poles! Full speed ahead! Let loose the topsail! Damn the torpedoes!
and goodbye to a great friend.
 Stole that line from Woody Allen’s movie, Midnight in Paris. A must-see for all Francophiles.
 Toby R. Benis, “Shipwrecked on land in Persuasion,” Persuasions, No. 35, 2013, 203.
 Ibid, 202. Persuasions is the annual compilation of critical essays on Jane Austen’s life and works, published by JASNA, the Jane Austen Society of North America.
 Kathryn Davis, “Austen’s Providence in Persuasion”; Persuasions, No. 35, 216.
 Ibid, 223.