Blogging from A to Z: I is for Infatuation

AtoZ2019tenthAnnWhen the fruit and cheese were gone, Erik brought finger bowls and towels so that we might clean our hands. While I did so, he went to the piano, where he sat down and played an air that was unfamiliar to me. I joined him at the piano, leaning against the black wood.

“Is that your own composition?” I inquired.

He nodded and continued to play the beautiful piece. He did not speak again until he was through, and then he turned to face me.

“What is it called,” I whispered.

“It has no title yet, but right now, I think of it as your song,” he said, not looking me in the eye.

I felt my knees go weak. It was at that moment that I realized what was happening. In fewer than two days’ time, I was completely infatuated with the Phantom of the Opera. This was so unlike the practical view that I held of myself that I was nonplussed. — Excerpt from In The Eye of The Beholder

Webster’s Dictionary defines “infatuate” as follows.

1 : to cause to be foolish : deprive of sound judgment
2 : to inspire with a foolish or extravagant love or admiration

That’s the transitive verb version. They then go on to discuss the adjectival form, “infatuated.”

“When we speak of someone being infatuated it very often is in relationship to that person having seemingly taken leave of his or her senses, especially in a romantic context (“he was so infatuated that he could not remember what day of the week it was”). This is fitting, as the word shares an origin with the word fatuous, which means complacently or inanely foolish. Both words come from the Latin fatuus (“foolish”), although fatuous is not often used in the romantic contexts in which we find infatuate. When used with a preposition infatuated is typically followed by with.”

That’s where Claire finds herself where Erik is concerned. There are a lot of reasons that this is the case. By the time we get to Erik’s home, Claire has had several frightening incidents. She’s uneasy about a lot of things, but he’s a calm and steadying influence. He’s also more kind to her than anyone has been for quite a while. Still, Claire is surprised by her own emotional response, because she doesn’t see herself as a romantic or silly person.

Here’s another look at infatuation, through the musical talents of Rod Stewart. Enjoy his 1984 hit, “Infatuation!”

An Unexpected Passing

Hi, everyone. I’m still on my day job business trip, but I needed to write something.

You may remember me mentioning my cousin Kenny in my article about Uncle Al’s autograph. He was my favorite of all of my cousins; he lived with our family for a while after Uncle Al died. He played accordion, which was fun when I played violin. About half of my little girlfriends had a crush on him; he was a high school boy who treated us with respect and like our thoughts were worth hearing. We could talk about just about anything, and when I was facing a challenging time as a young adult, he was always there on the other end of the phone to talk. At one point in his life, he was a police officer in Wheatland, Calif. At another point, he managed a bowling alley. He became a gifted wildlife photographer, and at some point I’ll share some photos.

Kenny died unexpectedly yesterday afternoon, after being admitted to the hospital. I think he was only 7 or 8 years older than me. I’ll admit I’m only just processing it.

Kenny was an avid bowler … and I am fairly atrocious. Our group went out bowling tonight, and I like to think that Kenny was chuckling when I was not so great, and cheered when I made my one-and-only strike or picked up the spare.

When Kenny lived with us, he often listened to this record. For years, every time I’ve heard it I have thought of him. This is Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s “Lucky Man,” in honor of Kenneth Paul Fretz.