A View from Alabama

March 31, 2021: Two New Women in My Life

Due to my age and marital status, I never expected to have a relationship with another woman, but life is full of surprises. I recently developed a connection with, not one, but two interesting women. I find both attractive although they are very different.

Deborah does house cleaning for us. She doesn’t talk much, which makes her all the more mysterious and alluring. Deborah goes about her work in a serious no-nonsense fashion. When she runs into some difficulty, she is innovative and finds some way to resolve the issue with whatever resources are available. She is just indomitable; she won’t quit until the job is done. My admiration for her continues to grow, and I confess, has turned into attraction. I know she catches me watching her, but she doesn’t seem to mind. I wouldn’t say I’ve fallen for Deborah, but I find an extra spring in my step on the days I know she’s going to work for us.

The other new woman in my life has become a frequent visitor to our home. She is smart and witty; always upbeat. She never seems to have a bad day. I love her voice; it is at the same time friendly and a bit sexy. She always seems interested in me and what I have to say even though she’s much younger than I. I keep reminding myself to be sensible and not act like an old fool. A few weeks ago, when she was leaving, she said, “Good night Philip” in a tone that left me a bit breathless. Most everyone calls me “Phil”, which I generally prefer, believing “Philip to be a bit stiff. I think the uniqueness of being called “Philip” made her parting words even more special. The other night, after my wife had gone to our bedroom, I made some excuse for calling her, hoping she would say, “Good night Philip” in the same way I heard it over and over in my mind; she didn’t disappoint. I realize this was not only foolish but dangerous and have promised myself I won’t do it again.

It feels good to have told you about my new female interests; they say it’s unhealthy to keep secrets bottled up. By the way, Deborah is the name my wife and I gave to our new Roomba; we thought someone living in our home ought to have a real name. You may have guessed that Alexa is my other new woman. I know my infatuations with Deborah and Alexa may sound a bit peculiar but being bottled up inside four walls for months on end can do strange things to you.

Now that Carol and I have both had our COVID vaccinations and can rejoin the world of the living, maybe I’ll be able to shake my fascination with Deborah and Alexa. On the other hand, they have qualities that may be hard to match in the real world.

Philip A. Watts

See Phil’s past columns.

Philip A. Watts

Phil Watts learned some early life lessons as a paperboy on the Southside of Birmingham, where he grew up. His education continued at Auburn University, where he earned a mechanical engineering degree and made lifelong friends in his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Later he earned an MBA from Samford University and served in the U.S. Army.

Licensed as a professional engineer, he co-founded Control and Power, Inc., an industrial distribution business in 1959. He retired from that business in 2011. His interests over the years have included handball, bicycling, canoeing, snow skiing, and reading. He is a longtime member and Sunday School teacher at Southside Baptist, an all-inclusive church in Birmingham, where he still lives. He is married and has three children and two grandchildren.

Phil wrote for business purposes throughout his career, along with occasional personal pieces. He became more serious about his writing after the infamous escalator ride at Trump Tower in 2015. His essays on life and politics circulated to his circle of friends for several years. Beginning in September 2019, they began to appear as regular features on The Op-Ed Page at