My Dilly Dally On Main Street in Southampton – A Lesson To Us All

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MY DILLY DALLY ON MAIN STREET IN SOUTHAMPTON- A LESSON TO US ALL © 2014 Laurence Stuart Warshaw -1-212-365-4895 Main street in the town of Southampton has a sparkle to it. It has quaint architecture with lots of clean lines and flower boxes on the street not to mention hardware, high fashion and fudge stores. Sometimes you even see a celebrity or two. Personally, I keep an eye open for Sir Paul as it is rumored that he frequents these parts. Although, I’m not sure what I would actually say to him if I could get close enough to say anything at all. This town represents in large part, the celebrated Hamptons mystique that attracts people from areas near and far. Main Street is especially inviting and welcomes one to saunter about. From time to time, I accept the invitation to saunter and urge you to do so as well. This brief sagacity, describes what can occur there when it is least expected because on one fine Saturday, as I was walking about, my eyes were opened wide and I got some facts learned. On this day, there were no celebrity sightings to score, but lots of other people were weaving through the town and walking about enjoying ice cream. As I looked around I saw a dog that looked a bit like my pooch and began talking to the owner about the breed. It’s something dog people do all the time. Unless you have a dog, you won’t understand why this is done. I certainly didn’t until I became an owner as well. So there we are, standing in front of a fudge place waxing eloquent about how there is no greater therapy than that of a dog licking your face. I was mid sentence and leading up to my joke about “unless you could talk Jennifer Anniston into doing it,” when suddenly, the person to whom I am married rang me on my cell phone. It seems that in the hour or so that I was gone, plans were stealthily made to destroy the rest of my weekend and the fuse was lit. I should hurry up and get back pronto. The Mighty Re Arranger had struck. Either we were going to meet some one for drinks , or someone was coming to meet us for drinks. It’s a blur, but I am sure that summer drinking was involved in a perpetual half off Hamptons happy hour which I had already discovered is another time honored reason for a trek east from the city. At the time the call came in, I was planning to walk to a shoe store down the block from where I was standing to check something out. I have weak, lousy feet and need to wear lace shoes with lots of support. I informed my betrothed of my plan of action. She informed me of hers. I was told in no uncertain terms that I should not “dilly dally. We have a lot to do .” I was then informed by this lovely woman from Queens, that I frequently dilly dally and should not do so on this most unceremonious of mornings. I got the serious voice. On a basic level, I found this comment to be offensive. But, then again, as I prepare to exit my 50s I find many things to be offensive on one level or another. I’ve read that such an outlook can be considered to be a gift of sorts that really makes the day. Still, I recognized the solemnity of her plan and desire to meet someone somewhere soon. But, my feet hurt and I still needed to look for shoes. I had to think fast. By now, the dog and its owner picked up on the vibe, nodded and went their merry way, tails a wagging. The clock was ticking . So, I acknowledged what she said and remembered something I read in a fairy tale about how compromise is supposed to be what the joy of marriage is all about. Eureka, it came to me . Accordingly, while standing there on Main Street I figured my way out was a reasoned compromise designed to achieve peace in our time. Then, I proudly offered it to mi espousa. What if I only dillied, but did not dally? Or, vice versa. Would that be o.k.? The dichotomy is supposed to offer a distinction with a difference. I explained that if I just walked by the store and looked in the window with a general purpose, that would be a dilly. However, if I actually went into the store it was a dally because it was more focused even if did not make a purchase. I paused and heard silence. Then I began to expand and question other things about the world we live in. Who decides these things and why couldn’t it be the other way around (dally dilly) ? Admittedly, a silly notion. Try saying it that way ten times and you will see what I mean. I asked her to think about how no one ever just says “don’t dilly” or “don’t dally”. Like salt and pepper- they are served together with the dilly preceding the dally. But, one is always cautioned to avoid doing both simultaneously. Prolonged silence. There was finally a mumble of resignation on the other end of the phone. “How long will it take, but hurry up.” I made it to the shoe store, saw what I wanted and left quickly without trying anything on -technically a dally, or so I think. I made it back to our condo just as my angel was starting to fire her engines. Apparently, she was not as receptive to the great Main Street compromise as I had hoped she would be. Who knew? Although I had followed my part of the compromise plan, the frustration it caused lingered for a while but eventually it gave way to mere disdain. This allowed things to calm down and we met the people we were supposed to meet. The drinks were chilled and the humus was fresh so that a good time was had by all. Thus, I was able to save the week end and peace, like a might mighty river found it’s way along Montauk highway to Hampton Bays where we were safely ensconced and lovee was silently searching for another happy hour. I eventually picked up a pair of shoes a week or so later on another walk about. Still no sign of Sir Paul, however, there is always the next time. But, it was here in Southampton in the midst of compromise that I stumbled upon a universal truth that could lessen the distance between people and possibly lead to a better world: What I learned is that during your next walk about on Main Street, it’s really not so terrible to dilly dally, just as long as it isn’t done willy nilly.