My Arbitrary Valentine

I was about to sing to you You Were Meant For Me for Valentine's Day--you remember that sentimental old song--when I came across this passage in Alice McDermott's novel Charming Billy, where the narrator hypothesizes that her father might not be her father if her mother's first fiance hadn't been kept so long overseas in the Navy, thus giving her dad his chance with her. Here's what McDermott has to say about that: "Those of us who claim exclusivity in love do so with a liar's courage: there are a hundred opportunities, thousands over the years, for a sense of falsehood...

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