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2006-06-05 11:45 PM
Mamala went to Texas this weekend to celebrate the thirty-year anniversary of D & B, who are family friends. Their daughter L was a playmate growing up. They lived in a small bungalow one street over from us, close enough that I didn’t have to cross the Big Street in order to walk there.
D & B are both attorneys, and they had given L a bunch of old textbooks which we used in our games of School. We spent many hours underlining them using a variety of felt tip pens. L also had an impressive assortment of Star Wars toys. My favorite was the Death Star trash compactor complete with spongy debris.
D & B were very calm and collected parents. One afternoon L and I got into the cookie dough while they were out on a quick errand. They pulled into the driveway just in time to see us through the window, closing the refrigerator and hustling back to L’s room. They came in and asked, “What were you all doing?”
The ritual at my house was to answer “Nothing” right off the bat, which both parent and child knew wasn’t true, but it was a way of easing into it. This time, my reflexive “Nothing” coincided with L’s “Eating cookie dough.” I looked at her in awe. Wow, she tells the truth the first time!
They taught her honesty and self-assurance both. One time we were kicking the football around in the front yard, being silly, when some older teenagers across the street burst out laughing. I decided they were laughing at us and wanted to stop playing our game. L was genuinely puzzled. “Why should we stop? We’re just playing around. Why do you care what they think anyway?”
Why indeed? I still ask myself that question.
Anyway, D & B have been together thirty years. I can’t quite fathom what thirty years is like, but they inspire me to give it a go. R and I are less than halfway there and it seems like we’ve already been through a couple of lifetimes’ worth of stuff. We’ll hit our thirty-year anniversary in the year 2024—we’re talking hovercraft and apes taking over the planet here. D & B’s thirty years began in 1976, amid the red, white and blue of the bicentennial, I suppose. Now we have $3 gas and the war on terror.
Thirty years. That’s about twice as long as my parents lasted. R’s too. Which is peculiar, seeing as how our parents are all straight, and everyone knows that people like D & B are the real threat to marriage and the traditional family.
Or something like that.
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