Thursday, May 12, 2005

I had lunch with Vicky…

Mother's Day passed this year without a visit with my mother as it does most years. You see, her birthday falls towards the end of the month, so we usually plan a combined kind of get-together, wherein I usually take her to lunch and give her a present. (It just works better for us that way.)

So, today, Vicky and I went to her jewelers to buy my mom a present. (I call it "her jewelers" because, well, she pretty much keeps the woman in business… recently, it's been me!) Vicky had gone before and found a beautiful bracelet. I can tell you comfortably because I know my mom doesn't read this site. Today, Vicky and I picked it up.

It wouldn't be an insult to say that Vicky is not the warmest person in the world. She nice - don't get me wrong - in fact, she's wonderful, but she's not prone to showering affection. That's more my style. But as we looked through jewelry, we also looked at wedding rings. (Those paying attention will know she already has hers. This one was for me.) The closer we get to the wedding, the more I'm freaking out about it. Looking at wedding rings made me even more freaked out. But standing there with her, holding her, talking about wedding rings felt so right somehow.

I love Vicky very much.

After, I suggested we have lunch. So, we drove over to Carrows. Inside, I said, "Could we have a table for two, please?"

The waitress, a short, stodgy, Winston Churchill of a woman said, "Sure thing, honey. Follow me." in a voice that sounded like any smoker's worst nightmare. You could imagine her chain-smoking through a tracheotomy hole.

Carrows is far from the Ritz, alphabetically or otherwise. In fact, Vicky and I often joke, "You take me to the nicest places." But it's so rare that I get to share a lunch with her, it was worth it.

Then, we had to split as we returned to our jobs.

Driving back on a day as hot as today, with the rippling heat of the asphalt invading my car, I thought only of Vicky and how - my god - we'd be married in just a few months. Terrifying!

Something else occurred to me as well. And it made me smile.

I've said that writing this autobiographical novel is good for me but this was unexpected. A new story came to mind. I've been living off the threads of old stories for so long, it was like tasting treats from childhood.

Here's the story: There's this young man who has the unique talent of knowing, wherever he is, what had happened there before. He'd be in a garden at a stranger's house and say, "A small child named Maria would play with her dolls out here and her parents would worry that she'd spend so much time alone but she was perfectly all right." And the stranger would say, "That was my grandmother!" One day, this young man met a girl and, after they were married, his talent went away. Before too long, the girl was ostracized for taking away his talent. But when they had a son, they could see that something of his talent went to the boy, and they were happy.

Not much of a story, I'll grant you. In fact, it's only a piece of a story. But seeing this - I see stories, if you can imagine that - made me realize another way I'm so blessed to have Vicky in my life. I feel as if being with her is bringing me new stories to tell and tell them I will.

It was a nice lunch.

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