They’re wearing different attire to the prom from when I was a kid. Last night was L’s first of two proms. This one was at a Catholic high school in the area, she went with a kid from the nieghborhood who she sometimes teams up with in mixed doubles. They’ve been sweet on each other since about fourth grade. Since this is a private school there’s some money floating around. The car they rode in was the new BMW 7 series. The big one. Lot’s of similar cars in the parking lot, like a couple of Porsche Cayennes. Hmmm, now there’s a concept, a Porshe SUV. That’s one of the beauties of living in a middle class suburb bordering on an affluent upper mid burb. Your kids get to feel underpriviledged even though they’re more affluent than 99 percent of the world. When they complain about how small our house is, I tell them that if everyone in China had a house like ours there wouldn’t be any trees left in the world. They’ve been pretty good about that lately, it helps that we pack them off to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation every summer to do mission work.
I’ll get in trouble for the picture, but I couldn’t resist. They all looked so beautiful. Young men and women or boys and girls, right on the cusp between adolescence and adulthood. So full of promise. As I sat watching the “Grand March” a dreadful thought crossed my mind. How many of these children would be lost in Iraq. How many killed and how many maimed. How bad will it get before we extricate ourselves. Will there be a draft again? If there is, you know they’ll have to take women too. Won’t they. I once heard that for combat infantry they pick the not so smart ones and the really smart ones. L PMSing with an M-16 in her hands is kind of a scary thought.
Nineteen years ago this morning I was standing unsteadily in the shower, head pounding, stomach churning, experiencing dry heaves and feeling as bad as I’ve ever felt in my life. These kinds of hangovers were getting more and more frequent. I decided, that was it, never again. I called the clinic and made an appointment and went into outpatient treatment. Went to meetings for a few years (I found my 6 year madallion in a drawer last week) but soon drifted away from that. I’ve really not had much of an urge since then.
Last night at the prom festivities (which I just hate by the way) I saw plenty of what Tom Wolf called “Social X-Rays” in Bonfire of the Vanities those tight skined overworked out expensively clothed trophy wives going to seed that are usually behind the wheels of the BMW’s an Escalades.
I just wanted to stress that inspite of my bragging about my wife’s youthfullness and beauty, she is by no means one of those.
It dawns on me that yesterday was also the anniversary of first time I saw my wife. It was at a May Day party at the house in St. Paul that we called the Belvidere Museum, because it was on Belvedere Avenue and was absolutely crammed with kitch advertising paraphenalia, most of which was collected by two of the residents who drove a bar mix delivery route. I was sitting in the living room preparing the herbal party favors for the evening when a group of women came through the door. One of which was the girlfriend of one of my pals. She’d brought some of her coworkers with her. I noticed Beck immediately. It was love at first sight. Who was that tiny beauty with the huge, brilliant blue eyes?
One thing I didn’t mention when I was describing Rebecca in yesterday’s post is that in spite of the fact that she’s five four and I was six one (I’ve shrunk some) her legs are as long as mine! Now, I will tell you that my pickup line was someting like “You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.” Which was true, partially because she has beautiful eyes, but also because she was wearing tinted contacts that made them the color of the Aegean Sea. But Beck maintians that the line that I used was, “Look, our crotches just meet!”
I was probably loaded, so what do I remember?