INTRIGUE

TODAY’S WORRY

Last week I got a call from my sister, Phyllis. She said that there was a piece of mail coming my way. It is being forwarded to me in a very roundabout way and is quite mysterious. Here’s the story. A letter has arrived addressed to Mary H. My Maiden Name, 120 Some St., Small town, NJ. This is the house that I grew up in and haven’t lived in for 33 years. Mr. and Mrs. X (I don’t know their names) now live in the house. They are not the first owners since my family sold the house. So Mr. X is in a quandary. The piece of mail could be important. He takes it next door to Mr. C who has lived there a long time, probably 40 years. Does Mr. C know who this is? Mr. C knows that my family lived in the house next door and that there were three daughters. He really only knows the youngest one. He recalls that she had a friend, Betty, who still lives around the corner. Perhaps Betty will know how to contact Phyllis who will know how to contact me. They call Betty and she calls Phyllis for my current address. The letter should arrive next week.

What makes this especially intriguing is that the letter is from some insurance company and is from the unclaimed property department. No one has opened it. This information is from the return address. So, what could it be? Am I the beneficiary of some bequest? Is this some policy that my parents took out on me that has been collecting interest for over 30 years? Wouldn’t they send that certified? What a disappointment it will be if it turns out to be one of those letters saying, “Mary H., you could lower your mortgage interest rate.” I’m sure the anticipation will be much more exciting than the outcome. I’ll keep you posted.

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Intrigue

This is kind of interesting. Originally, intrigue was only a noun with the accent on the first syllable meaning a secret or underhand scheme; a plot or a clandestine love affair. Then, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, “The introduction of the verb intrigue (accent on the second syllable) to mean “to arouse the interest or curiosity of” was initially resisted by writers on usage as an unneeded French substitute for available English words such as interest, fascinate, or puzzle, but it now appears to be well established.” The use of intrigue as a verb has only become well accepted in the last 40 years.

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