Still vulnerable

I love the film Three Coins in the Fountain. It’s a “classic” set in Rome in 1954 where three American secretaries live and work. As you can imagine there’s a good bit of romance in this story (which is probably why I like it so much) aside from the beautiful scenes of both Rome and Venice.

The eldest of the three flatmates (played by Dorothy McGuire) has worked as the assistant for an author (Clifton Webb) for 15 years and subsequently fallen in love with the man. Yet she claims to her younger compatriots: “I’m glad I’m not young and vulnerable anymore.” Later in the film (spoiler alert) she proves the exact opposite.

With the exception of her little scene where she drinks to forget her feelings for Clifton Webb’s character, I usually feel very much like Dorothy McGuire’s sensible secretary. The calm, sage balance to younger female friends who are battling with the trials and travails of love is pretty much my MO these days. Until recently, I, too, thought I wasn’t “young and vulnerable” any longer. It has been years since my last date and I thought I’d had gotten all that emotional response “nonsense” out of my system.

Of course, I was wrong. Very wrong.

It’s a little unnerving to discover that a man can still affect me in that way after all this time. To discover that (despite all the indications to the contrary) I’m still just as bad as my soft, vulnerable 20-something self on the inside: Still susceptible to all those thoughts and emotions. And it’s pretty, darn, annoying. One guy shows an interest and I melt? Ridiculous!

I had already convinced myself that I was too tired, too old (in mentality, not age, obviously), and too sick to care about things like love and attraction, anymore. Too set in my ways. Too limited physically to even be a good partner. And definitely beyond even a tiny opening in my well-guarded heart to let a smidgen of such a thing break through.

Again: Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

Well, if you see a curly-haired girl drinking six double Scotches in a cafe (a la Dorothy McGuire), just gently point me back home and make sure I stay away from any fountains.

Jenn

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