Goldilocks & The Reluctant Romantic

(An Old-Fashioned, Modern Romance)


Gwendolyn did not want ecstatic happiness that comes from others.
All she yearned for was the peace, serenity, tranquility that comes from

Then along came Luke. He had all the qualities she had ever wanted in
a man, including the most important: he was crazy about her.

He even got down on one knee to propose, which was all the more meaningful
considering his arthritis. She knew what that meant since she had a
touch of it herself.

Yes, most women want to be loved and adored. But not this woman, not
any more. She had risen above that, or so she had thought. But here she was
all aflutter. She was determined to clip those butterfly wings before they got off
the ground.

And that is why she told Luke, “Please don’t take this personally. I cannot accept your proposal. Not because I don’t find you attractive. On the contrary. Everything about you is just right. You’re the Goldilocks guy. But I
don’t want my happiness to come from another person; I want it to come from

“Don’t worry about hurting my feelings,” replied Luke. “Whether your answer is yes or no, it will not affect my happiness. Although I love you, I am not invested
in the outcome. I can be happy with you or without you.”

“You’ve achieved what I’ve been searching for all my life,” gasped
Gwendolyn . “How have you done it?”

“By accepting life’s joys and calamities as they come along. You can’t
rise above them without going through them,” he said.

“In that case, perhaps I should reconsider your proposal, Luke.”

“May I take that as a ‘yes?’ I don’t mean to rush you, but my knee is becoming

“Yes,” said Gwendolyn, helping him to his feet. “Of course, you understand
that I have no intention of taking hormone replacement therapy.”

“Of course. And I wouldn’t dream of taking Viagra. I fantasize about companionship. But I must also confess that I did feel a twinge of ecstatic happiness when you said, ‘yes.’ I thought perhaps it might be my arthritis, but
then I realized I was in denial.”

“Oh, Luke, that just endears you to me all the more. You’re at just the right
place on your path to enlightenment.”

“Just call me Goldie,” smiled Luke.

And they lived serenely ever after, except for occasional moments of ecstatic

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