She knew she had seen him before. But where?
We weren't moving to Scotland but to Ireland, a mere half-inch away on the map. As a 13-year-old Jewish girl in suburban Cleveland who'd swooned over "Brigadoon," I was disappointed – until I learned that Ireland, like Scotland, had tartans and mists. I was also happy to learn that it was nicknamed "The Emerald Isle," which gave it a connection to my birthstone. Then, things started looking up.
After our family had moved from New York to Florida to Cleveland, people began to assume that my father was in the military. Actually, Dad wove in and out of encyclopedia sales management and free-spirited entrepreneurialism – his true vocation. Ireland would be our first overseas move and the first without my older brother, who would be starting college in Oregon.
To prepare, I went to the library and took home a stack of books on Ireland and Dublin, where we'd live. My favorite book was "Dublin: A Portrait," by V.S. Pritchett and Evelyn Hofer. As I read this book, I drank in the moist, earthy cityscapes of sooty buildings and cobbled streets. Staring at the photographs of the Dubliners – Trinity College students, tinkers, aproned housekeepers, and tweedy horse brokers in Wellington boots – I would meet their gazes and hold them for what seemed like forever.
After we moved, my twin sister and I landed at a Protestant girls' school, an Anglo-Irish outpost requiring green gabardine attire, the study of "maths," learning about the 12 counties' agricultural products, and attendance at daily chapel where we guiltily sang Anglican hymns.