Wednesday, August 27, 2008
There can only be a few reasons why anyone would allow this photograph to be made public. A mistake being the first to come to mind, and not being the most computer savvy sort it's possible, but better is the idea that this one, my partner in the costume ball, is still my friend. And certainly he is horrified that I have lost my mind and have violated the sacred bonds of friendship with this move (I designed that dress of course, I can't imagine who is responsible for his choice). Thankfully neither of us has aged a bit in the 25 years that have passed. We live far away, not just across Metcalf, but across the country. We don't see each other as often, rarely, but with friends like this, that's alright. And lucky for me it wasn't just him, I loved his family. At a time when my own family was about to implode in divorce, these people took me in and always made me feel welcome.
Peter's parents taught me how important it was to marry your best friend. They laughed at each other, at their children, at Clifford the Dog (who had gas), and at everyone else in the world. They enjoyed each other, and they enjoyed their children. Mrs. S ran around so fast and furiously we called her Jog O, dashing about in her mini station wagon thing, racing from one child's event to the next. He was always amused. I stumbled upon a private moment once, literally, and found him singing from Camelot to her, "if ever I should leave you"; when he died several years ago, I sobbed quietly thinking of that moment. Of course because laughter is what made these people go, I ran out of gas in the funeral procession and had to hop in with another mourner. I'm quite certain I never told them this.
Peter's mom remains the smartest woman I have ever known. I am convinced she is a gourmet cook who delivered a few bombs early on and was banished from the kitchen, never to cook again. They ate out every night, and every night they all went, Peter, his parents and his sister. And they sat down, in a restaurant, and shared a meal, no television, no racing to be elsewhere; they understood the importance of family meals before it became buzz'ish to do so. From time to time I would try to get him out of it, to eat elsewhere, and he always came back with no, his mom made him go. Now I understand just how important it is to give your children boundaries; I know he loved those family meals, I did. Once or twice I was asked to join them, invading this sacred time, and I jumped at the chance. Who knows where we went or what we ate (although I do know once we were in some old Victorian house eating what I thought was Russian food), because I laughed to hard to notice.
I'm so grateful to have been allowed in their world, and thankful that they are still a part of mine.