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Online Dating – What Would Mark Twain Say

February 15, 2024 | McAvoy Lane

Were it not for some surprisingly fruitful results that I have observed recently, I would consider online dating to be a laughable endeavor. No, it wasn’t that long ago that Mark Twain gave us Adam’s account of noticing Eve: “If she could quiet down and keep still a couple of minutes at a time, it would be a reposeful spectacle. In that case I think I could enjoy looking at her; indeed I am sure I could, for I am coming to realize that she is a quite remarkably comely creature – lithe, slender, trim, rounded, graceful; and once, when she was standing marble-white and sun-drenched on a boulder, with her young head tilted back and her hand shading her eyes, watching the flight of a bird in the sky, I recognized that she was…beautiful.”

Alright, there weren’t many chances for online dating in Adam’s day, nor Twain’s, and I am such a chicken-heart, I could never get up the nerve to try it myself, so I admire folks who can, and do.

Twain met his future wife at a small reunion of the Quaker City excursion, and when scheduled to leave the next morning, he positioned himself on the horsedrawn carriage in such a way that when the horse jumped forward, he fell out onto the driveway and bought himself three more days to recover and woo Livy. Good move. He would say about her after 34 happy years of marriage, and her promotion to glory… 

“She had a heart that was tropically warm. It is in the heart that the riches lie.  A loving heart is riches, riches enough, without it, intellect is poverty, and Olivia possessed a heart of finer metal than any gold that was ever mined or minted. So blessed be that moment that brought us near together and taught me to know the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit. If ever there was a man who had reason to be thankful for divine providence it is I.” 

I once met a girl in a Honolulu Tiki Bar, that I was sure was going to be my future wife. When she asked me what I did for a living I told her I was a clown diver in a water show and rode a tricycle off ten-meter towers into swimming pools. She excused herself to the powder room and I have not seen her since, though I continue to wait for her call…

As is our custom, we shall leave the last word to Mark Twain, this time from his Diaries of Adam & Eve

This is Adam at Eve’s grave: “After all these years, I see that I was mistaken about Eve in the beginning; at first I thought she talked too much; but now I am sorry to have that voice fall silent and pass out of my life. It was better to live outside the Garden with her than inside it without her, as wheresoever she was –there was Eden.”

Audio: https://anchor.fm/mcavoy-layne

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