from A Year of Morning Thanks
An old friend from my boyhood sent me a note he scratched out late one night not long ago, a note to his friend, a man who’d just walked away from his wife, supposedly, I guess, for someone else, someone younger. It was a sweet, heartfelt admonition, just one paragraph, one long extended metaphor about the pitfalls of trading in a car--you know, trading in an old junker for something with great new lines. I swear, any species of feminist would have gone ballistic.
The night, he said, had gone like this. He said he couldn’t sleep, and his wife was bawling. I mean, these people were friends, right? So he got himself up out of bed and wrote this thing about the glories of an old car. The man is not a writer, nor does he know a thing--not a blessed thing--about political correctness. But he's got these friends, right?—and they have been for a long time; and what his buddy did just broke his heart.
Honestly, some people I know would think that single paragraph not only sexist but crude, but this old friend of mine was just trying to bring some healing order to a world that had suddenly turned inside out.
I know, I know--I've said it myself a thousand times: "the road to hell is paved with good intentions."
But this morning I’m still thankful for good intentions because sometimes they’re better than no intentions at all.