By Hannah Reich Berman

It is so nice to love again. And that I surely do! I refer not to the love that I have for my children and my grandchildren; that one loves his or her family is a given. But my latest love is of a different nature. It’s a type of love that is decidedly hard to define. It is mystifying even to me. But suffice it to say that I have fallen, and fallen hard!

When I lost my life’s partner, who truly was the love of my life, I was devastated. I didn’t weep in public because of my determination not to let the immediate world know how difficult my life had become. More than three years later, not much has changed. I am still devastated, life is still difficult, and I still don’t weep publicly. It is not my way.

Nevertheless, in spite of missing Arnie Berman as much as I do, I am once again in love. I never thought it could happen, but it has. And I am so enthralled by the depth of my feeling that I want to share it. What is most remarkable is that it’s a doubleheader; it isn’t just one, but rather two who have captured my heart.

The first of my new loves is someone who looks nothing like my late husband. To begin with, he is considerably shorter than Hubby was. For that matter, he is shorter than I am, and I am no giant. For a male, his height is unusual. His complexion is another issue. Hubby had olive skin tones yet this fellow is considerably darker than Hubby was. Please understand that he and I haven’t actually spoken. How could we? We have never been introduced. But the attraction is there. At least it is there for me. In point of fact, I have no idea if he feels the same way about me.

I see him often and have heard him speak, but it is doubtful that he has ever seen me or heard me speak. I love the timbre of his voice and am completely taken with his accent, in spite of the fact that I have yet to determine just what the accent is. It sounds like a British accent but, as I have a tin ear, it could just as easily be a South African accent or possibly even a Scottish brogue. It doesn’t much matter, however, because, whatever that accent is, and regardless of where he hails from, listening to him speak gives me a great deal of pleasure.

I am also attracted to him because of his deadpan sense of humor. He is almost as funny as Hubby was, and he’s deadpan about it. I have heard him make many comical remarks but have yet to see him crack a smile. Simply put, he is innately funny. He makes me laugh, and I love that about him. Also, I am just wild about his gait. He has an odd way of walking yet he carries himself with a dignity that belies his size. Possibly it also belies his age, but I can’t be sure of that since I have no idea how old he is. He doesn’t limp but his lovable gait is a sure attention-getter!

Having given as much of a description as I am capable of, I will now attempt to describe the second male that is currently making my life worthwhile. There are several similarities between them. Coincidentally, this male too is significantly shorter than I am. It’s said that good things come in small packages; still, it is odd that I should be so smitten with ones who are so short. I was always attracted to tall men. Hubby was well over six feet when we first met, and even as he grew older he was never less than 5’10”.

This second new love of mine, like the other one, also has an unusual gait. However, unlike new love number one, he is not darker-skinned than either Hubby or me. In fact, it is quite the opposite. He has a considerably lighter complexion. The same set of circumstances apply here because, just as with new love number one, I have often seen him and heard him speak but he has never seen or heard me. We have never been introduced–formally or otherwise. So, he too probably doesn’t know that I exist, but that does nothing to dampen my ardor.

His voice is delightful but I am unable to determine if he actually has an accent. If he does have one, I have yet to identify it. I can’t even narrow it down to a particular part of the world or of this country. It is the pitch and tone of his voice that captivates me. What a set of vocal cords!

My children don’t know about either of my new loves and, until now, neither did any of my friends or the rest of my family. I have told no one. But now, of course, they will all learn my secret because my need to share this news overwhelms me and I have chosen to do it right here. I make no apologies for my feelings as I inform the world here and now that, although I don’t even know the first names of either one of these chaps, I am in love with them. One is a lizard and the other a mallard. That’s right! I adore the Geico gecko and the Aflac duck.

What eludes me is why a gecko was selected to represent an automobile insurance company and why a fowl was chosen to advertise for a supplemental medical insurance outfit. But, whether I understand it or not is irrelevant because, in my case, it seems to have been very effective. Without that little green lizard and that undersized white duck who loves flapping his wings as he quacks, neither Geico nor Aflac would have captured my attention as they have. And, more important, I would not have known what it feels like to be in love once again. But I am in love and that’s just the way it is. v

Hannah Berman lives in Woodmere and is a licensed real-estate broker associated with Marjorie Hausman Realty. She can be reached at or 516-902-3733.

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