ABOUT MY PARENTS

  1. They met at ballroom dancing school when they were 7 and 9 years old, respectively.
  2. When he was a teenager, my Catholic school dad dated a girl named Sharon Coppola with winged eyeliner and a "reputation" even though my mom (his dance partner) totally had a crush on him. We all still talk about Sharon Coppola.
  3. My parents were teenagers in the 60's but never smoked pot or listened to the Beatles. They preferred "Razz-Lime" sodas at the "fountain" and the music of Frank Sinatra.
  4. My parents were the 1966 National Ballroom Dancing Champions. They were 15 and 18, respectively, but my grandfather used Wite-Out to forge "16" on my mother's birth certificate to make her legal for competition.
  5. They went on the Ed Sullivan show, met Diana Ross and Jimmy Durante, performed at Madison Square Garden and won a trip to Spain. Their mothers were waitresses. My mom's family lived in an apartment above the A&P.
  6. My mom's dad was a truck driver. He died of a heart attack at 42. When the secretary found him in the truck, his coffee was still piping hot.
  7. My dad is very responsible and decided to go to medical school. My mom was all, "Seriously?!"
  8. Mom became a nurse & worked at the Mass General. She drove a VW bug & worked very long shifts. Regarding these efforts, her mother said to her, "You can stay here & work like this & maybe one day they'll build a statue in your name, and the only thing that will happen is birds will shit on it." Mom moved to California (briefly) shortly thereafter.
  9. In California, Mom was the head nurse in a 44-bed cardiac unit in the 70's. People still smoked inside hospitals then. Like, ashtrays in the corridors. Jimmy Connors was her patient. Fancy.
  10. During her time in California, my mom (obsessed to this day with Barbra Streisand) had a side gig singing at a place on Sunset called Sneaky Pete's. She climbed on the piano and sang songbird songs. Every time I drive down Sunset I think of this.
  11. My dad became a surgeon. He is an excellent surgeon, but he has the soul of a dancer. His relationship with music is one of the most moving things I've ever witnessed. I think he would have been very happy as a lifelong performer.
  12. They are a doctor and a retired nurse-slash-real-estate-agent in Connecticut. They are artists living other lives. They have three children. I am the oldest. Sometimes when you give them a few drinks & ask very nicely, they'll dance at weddings & stuff. Everyone else instinctively clears the dance floor. They are 64 & 66, and they are spectacular.