28 THOUGHTS ON MY PARENT'S 28TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

  1. 1.
    My mom and dad went to rival high schools. My mom the public school and my dad the Catholic school. My dad coached girl's rec basketball and one of the girls on the team was my mom's sister. My favorite aunt, my aunt Debbie. She told my mom "you've gotta meet my coach, he's so cute." My mom picked my aunt up from a practice one day.
  2. 2.
    I remember sitting on the beach with my dad once, on a vacation, and he told me that he grew up thinking he would be a trash man. Thats all he could be. And he was ok with that. And then, he says, he met my mother.
    He's the Chief Financial Officer of a hospital
  3. 3.
    One time my mom told me that she plans when to get her hair cut based on when she thinks my dad might be working late. Because after 28 years she just wants to hang out. "He's my best friend."
  4. 4.
    I think of my coming out to my parents as a collaboration. Because they saw who I was and that I needed help saying it out loud. They asked what was wrong, but I couldn't say it. So they guessed. And because they knew me, and saw me, and loved me, they guessed correctly. My dad's first words after I said it out loud: "Dan. It's the 21st century."
    And then he said we would change churches. That was a no-brainer.
  5. 5.
    My mom describes a time before they were goin' steady when my dad went on a weekend trip with his ex, telling my mom he "needed space." She was furious. She cleaned out her closet. Literally. She didn't call my dad for a week. Because my mom is a bad ass. My dad came crawling back. Because of course. Because that's what was supposed to happen.
  6. 6.
    My dad is a Scorpio.
  7. 7.
    My mom is an Aquarius.
  8. 8.
    My dad's cousin is named Michelle, which is my mom's name. My mom and dad's first date was actually a mistake. My mom called my dad and said, "Hey, it's Michelle. Wanna go to so and so's party tonight?" And in a time before caller ID, and probably cause he was a little stoned, my dad thought it was his cousin. They had a lovely time all the same.
  9. 9.
    My parents quickly saw I wasn't an athlete. My dad abandoned the classic, heteronormative American notion that his first born son would be his "lil' slugger" with ease, at a time and in a place where that wasn't popular. Instead of tossing a ball in the backyard, our Sundays were for playing pretend. Puppet shows and pop up plays performed for Mom.
  10. 10.
    Sometimes I remember my parents fighting.
  11. 11.
    Mostly I remember my parents making up.
  12. 12.
    My dad's mom, my Nana, came to me the summer before my mom and dad's 25th anniversary. She said she knew she wouldn't be around for their 30th. ("Of course you will be!") We were to throw a balls-to-the-walls surprise party. My dad is one of my Nana's three children, and the only to have what could be called, even remotely, a healthy partnership.
    My Nana was right, as always. She won't be around for the 30th, at least not tangibly. The photo we used for her obituary was taken at the surprise 25th she planned. We all agreed it was the photo in which she looked the happiest and the healthiest in recent history., the one where she looked most like herself.
  13. 13.
    When my parents used to hug or kiss, my little brother used to say "I wanna be in it!!!!!"
    Sometimes he still does it to be funny, even though he is this tall, manly bro now, and it makes me immeasurably happy.
  14. 14.
    My dad got Instagram before my mom did and made his username "roberttwr"
  15. 15.
    When my mom made her account, she made her username "mrsroberttwr"
  16. 16.
    It's the little things like that, stupid little things, that break my heart in the good way.
  17. 17.
    My parents go on all these vacations and trips together. Sometimes they take us, sometimes they don't. I can't keep up with their travel itineraries. Usually they go by the water. Usually they just do the simplest things, like eat and drink and sit and go for a walk and they are just with each other. Isn't that crazy? But doesn't it sound easy?
  18. 18.
    I want to believe there is a love as deep and magical and challenging as theirs out there for me. I often tell therapists that some people get fucked up from trying not to become like their parents, I get fucked up from trying too hard to become like mine. I'm 24 years old now, the age they were when this photo was taken.
    So in that way this is sort of a special anniversary for me. Strange/special. Reflective.
  19. 19.
    My parents like to remind me how hard this shit is, too. I like to say they've always seemed to be gloriously yet hard workingly in love.
  20. 20.
    My dad's hand writing has slick and long lines, choppy and sharp edges.
  21. 21.
    My mom's handwriting is round and soft, curvaceous and sweet.
  22. 22.
    My favorite oral history, my favorite story, is the story of my mom and dad. It's the story I want to tell my children. It's the story I've always asked to hear again and again, the story that keeps me up at night, the story that makes me laugh, the story I get lost in, the story that chokes me up.
  23. 23.
    It's the story that taught me how to love, how to be wrong, how to make difficult things easy, how to be patient, how to fight, how to be loyal, how to trust.
  24. 24.
    I'm obsessed with old photos, and when I go home I lose hours, entire nights, pulling the boxes and the albums down, pouring over all the images, the colors and the outfits and all the things that are gone and the all the things in the background and the expressions on all the faces.
  25. 25.
    My favorite photos of my parents are the ones of them when they were my age, in their 20s, looking so cool and so sexy and fun.
  26. 26.
    I like to put one of my mom next to one of my dad, and look at them side by side, each unaware at that moment what was to come.
  27. 27.
    I think there's something wonderful about looking at them in those two separate moments, in their own little worlds, from all the way over here, in this new world, the one they created together.