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4 kittens

Gruesomely platonic

Posted on 2017.03.12 at 23:02
I was not particularly looking forward to spring break. School is tiring, driving to Florida seemed like work.

We packed on Friday night. We left on Saturday morning. Like last year, we crawled through Louisiana.

For a moment they stopped fighting:





I should really make an animated gif of those doofuses.

It took us 8 hours to cross Louisiana, which should only take five hours.  I guess Spring Break traffic plus rain?

We Atchafalaya-Bridged ourselves:



Louisiana always seems to have more hard liquor available than the average state:



I didn't frame that photo properly - you need the context that the liquor is next to the cash register. And on the other, the ice-trough of beer. All states have the open ice-trough of beer, but I can't recall seeing bottled mixed drinks in there too, except in Louisiana.

Oh Louisiana, don't make a spectacle of yourself:



Oh come on now. Eventually we exited Louisiana and crossed the dinky states and made it to Florida.

Like last year, we got to my parents' house at 3 am, Texas time.  Like last year, we got hit with Daylight Savings Time and the time change, so it was actually 5 am on Sunday when we arrived.



Lantana sprig in a tiny vase, a collaboration by Hawaii and Dama Tollie. The vase looks like a lightbulb to me.

Basically the whole thing still feels like work. I think I need a good night's sleep. I like being here with my parents, though.

.....

Apparently my Aunt M has taken to telling the following story: when Hawaii and I were in Wisconsin, Hawaii played a lot with baby S, who was about eighteen months old. Aunt M asked her, "Is baby S like Rascal?" and Hawaii replied seriously, "No, Rascal is a lot more violent."

It's true though: he's a loud, aggressive two year old. He just loves tackling people and pulling them over and hitting a lot. There's a lot of joy to his violence.

....

Finally, this. My mom's long-lost bridesmaid realized that my parents got married fifty years ago. To celebrate, she tracked down my uncle, and sent him this letter. In other words, my mother wrote this letter to her friend in 1966:




Dear Sue,

It is so good to be back at school. In one sense I don't really feel like a senior, since this is only my second year at Stanford. But on the other hand, the Freshmen I meet seem all very fresh, and I have a decided feeling of standing on a pinnacle and serenely regarding the plebians who swarm over the campus for the first time.

I arrived at Stanford a few days before classes started. Ken met me at the airport. Oh was it good to see him. I was quite sick the week before, so we were gruesomely platonic, but even so, wheeeee! In the short interlude before classes started, we went exploring. San Francisco and the northern coast were our agenda.

When I was little, I can remember asking my mother about marriage. She told me that when you find a man whom you enjoy doing things with more than doing them with a "friend" or by yourself, when every time you see him it's harder to say goodbye, and when you can look at him and see him as the father of your children, then you've found the right man.

Ken asked me to marry him on Sunday night. I was so scared and excited when I said yes. I'm so much in love wih him, I can't believe it! We celebrated by buying the most beautiful bottle of sparkling burgundy in the world (it's now on my book shelf, filled with flowers), and drove high in the hills in back of Stanford. At first, as we climbed, we could see the delicate glimmer of the lights from San Francisco. Later, the view was hidden by an enveloping cloud of heavy mist, and there was just Ken and me in a red Volkswagon.

Hey birds! Beward of flying objects. I've gone into orbit!

It is unreal. Every so often I become overwhelmed: the life cycle of birth, marriage, and death is awesome. What kind of wife will I be? Will I be able to be the best person possible for Ken? What IS a parent? But, most of the time I am just too elated to really concentrate on anything but Ken-clouds. Happiness is having Ken for ever and ever! WHEEEEEEEE!

Sue, do you remember that it was because of you that I went to the medical exchange this time last year? Sigh. Now you can point to the event that will make your name hallowed in my heaven! No date is set yet, but I'll let you know. WHEEEEEE!

Much love,
Tollie



And here they are, fifty years later. I am happy to report that they have been continuously devoted to each other. My mom is effusive in her devotion.

The part of the letter that rings strangest to me is hearing my mom exclaim over her own happiness. She is much more comfortable being happy for other people - as in, when she justifies feeling happy, it's usually framed as a credit to someone else in some way. Even though this involves my dad, she's really owning her happiness here. It's got me all weepy.

It occurs to me that I am not all that effusive about Jammies here. It somehow seems like bad manners or in poor taste, like I'm dangling my riches in front of others, if I were to ramble on about how lucky am I. The truth is that Jammies is amazing and being married to him never feels like work. Have kids seems like work. But not the marriage.

Jammies: his is the mind that I always want to get to know better. His is the opinion that I want to know most on a subject. Jammies' perspective on everything is the perspective I want to find out, in order to feel like my understanding on the topic is whole and complete. Like dumb shit: everyone and their brother posted the BBC video of the toddler and baby crashing the BBC interview of the Korean analyst. It was discussed everywhere. But I still want to discuss it with Jammies before I'm done with it, and we need to crack up over the merry elbow-throwing way the toddler strides into the room, together.

It's not that we always agree. It's just that his worldview plus mine adds up to a whole.

(Although seriously: Jammies' judgment is the soundest on the planet. You should trust him if he weighs in on a topic.)(Also I'm too much of a prude to lick my chops and waggle my eyebrows licentiously, publicly, on the topic of Jammies, so you will just have to infer that I have absolutely no complaints on salacious matters.)

Comments:


(Anonymous) at 2017-03-13 21:12 (UTC) (Link)
"Now you can point to the event that will make your name hallowed in my heaven!"

What a lovely, poetic choice of words! Your mom lost touch with Sue? Makes me feel bad about all my friends who have been close in certain stages of my life and who have slipped away for various reasons...and it makes me all the more grateful for the ones who have hung on.
heebie-geebie
heebie_geebie at 2017-03-20 04:18 (UTC) (Link)
They did lose touch. Sue tracked down my uncle, and sent the letter to him, along with an update about her current life, and he sent it down to my mom. So I don't know if my mom has actually gotten in touch with her at all yet.

It kind of inspired my dad to see if he could track down some of his best men from the wedding.

It's really weird and unpredictable which friends transition to being long-distance, longterm friends. It's just a different sort of compatibility. I'm not close with anyone I was close with in high school, although I'm in touch with people that I wasn't particularly close with then.
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