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The gallery I am fortunate enough to work in, is right next door to a gem of a book store. It used to be only used books, but since the awesome demise of Barnes and Noble as well as Borders, they have begun carrying new books.

It smells like slightly mildewed paper pages and dust, just as a book store should smell, in my opinion. It’s the kind of place you would want to curl up on a couch and stay for a day, while being fed a steady supply of books, both old and new.

The people who work there know about books. You can say “I’m looking for this book about something by someone written sometime” and they will know EXACTLY what book you are talking about. They are that good. But I digress as usual.

How I picture myself in a bookstore.

Every morning I walk by the book store on my way to work and for the last few weeks there has been a book in the window that makes me stop and look twice. It has a sunny yellow cover and is titled, THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN. A stylish, graphic lady is shown on the cover in the upward throes of a swan dive before she descends into an unseen pool of water (I hope). Or maybe it is a joyful jump with unkempt hair before she lands in bed. Hard to tell.

Seeing as it is summer time, I chuckle at this title every single morning. It conjures up all sorts of images from an all girl’s summer camp complete with canoes to a seaside house full of women painting their toe-nails, rubbing sunscreen onto each others’ backs, and running up the beach from the ocean toweling off their hair, not a male in sight. A lovely fantasy, that.**

(Strangely enough, all the women in this fantasy are wearing bathing suits from the forties)

My summer has NOT been devoid of men. In fact I have had some great male interactions and re-kindled friendships from years past. I have been hugged and kissed, wined and dined, waited upon, shoulder-rubbed, listened to, admired, and loved. All by men.

A typical work day. With men.

I’m looking forward to the man that decides to do all of the above (except with deeper kisses and longer hugs) and stick around for a while (as in FOREVER. Duh!); that man who decides that I am worth it. That HE is worth it. Worth ALL of it. The good and the bad, for better and for worse.

Until then, I will revel in the proximity to the wonderful men (and books) in my life. My summer without a MAN has been a great summer with MEN and I’m glad I dove right in.

And yes, I will be reading the book.

Carry on, men.

Miss MoL

** There is/was a cyber-place to go for this – The Women’s Colony now re-named as DERFWAD MANOR. You can get a slice of Man Cake with your tea at the Manor as well as smart, witty writing.

And while I think an all-girl’s summer would be AWESOME, I would miss the men after a week. I love men and like having them around as much as possible due to their delicious differences from us women and all the unique ways of doing things they bring to the party, for better and for worse. Yay Men!