Because I’m a bittersweet cheeseball, I frequently take a mental picture of a moment in my life while the moment is happening and store it for future bittersweet, cheeseball remembrance.
These are a few of these moments, in no particular order.
1. The time I watched my mother reconnect with two former boyfriends and it was kind of beautiful: (This requires some lengthy context- I apologize). Recently, life required that I attend the funeral of a man who was very dear to my heart in a way that’s complicated to explain because short of you actually being me, or having a similar relationship with him (looking at you former Egreen staff members), you wouldn’t understand the deep, and very serious meaning this man took in my life. That being said, I attended his funeral with my mother and one of my best friends. My mother’s life seems to be cosmically intertwined with the family of the deceased (and because “the deceased” sounds super creepy, I’ll call him Gordon because that’s his name). She dated various members of his family throughout her life, decades before I was even born and was an integral part of this circle that lovingly called her “Ange”. One part of this family would build a golf course (Gordon himself literally built a golf course), the other part would build a mini golf course across the road. Years later, after frequenting the mini version for most of my childhood, I would get a job here DURING A TIME THE FAMILY LEASED IT TO A TOTALLY UNRELATED (and vastly unimportant) PERSON/CHARACTER IN THIS ANECDOTE. So the people, who had known my mother since she was younger then I was when applying for the job, were not even the ones to give it to me. I digress.
The funeral occurred on a beautiful day, my mother whispered to me, loudly, as we entered the receiving line “You have to point *Dan out to me, I haven’t seen him in 25 years. I have no clue what he looks like.” She didn’t have to worry because we ended up in the pew in front of her former boyfriend, her with her daughter and friend, and he with his two sons (who I knew well, also from working at the mini golf).
We walked to the cemetery after the service to watch Gordon be laid to rest, and I watched as Dan slowly edged over to my mom, wanting to say hi, but not wanting to break the weird, but very old, ice. My mother turned and simply said, “Hey Dan,” to and he grinned, and said “Hey Ange” and I watched something beautiful unfold. Two people, who, a lifetime ago (my lifetime, to be exact), had been significant to each other in immeasurable ways, reconnecte. As they shared a few old, but precious, anecdotes of their own, his sons stood back behind him and I stood behind her, and I saw two people whose paths had split and lived totally separate existences, and created completely different lives (the products of which were standing directly behind each of them), reconnect for a few brief moments. They smiled, they laughed and they said goodbye and it was perfect. Because, whenever I lose a significant other, I assume there’s no way it can go in the future but terrible and awkward. But watching my mother navigate this potentially terrible and awkward situation with success, gives me hope that one day I will see my former loves and smile (with sincerity), and be happy for the direction their life has taken them.
2. Roses from Gordon- The many times that Gordon would venture up to Evergreen Miniature Golf, after painstakingly picking flowers from his garden, and bring them in his ever present red cooler to his “rosebuds”. His consistent greeting of “Hiya, Rosebud!” followed with the presentation of the flowers was one of my favorite parts of my summers.
3. The Kevins- One night, one of my best friends, Chris, a semi-consistent hookup of mine, Kevin, and I were wandering home from the bar at 3:30 AM (we had made a lengthy stop at 7/11 because, why not?) and we passed a man carrying a guitar case. This man looked like a time traveler, with his hippie attire and Jesus-length beard, but when we asked him to play something for us (because, why not?), he happily obliged and immediately sat down on the sidewalk of the intersection by my house, and played for us for over 30 minutes. Chris, Kevin and I sat on the sidewalk with him in a circle, and drunkenly gazed at the stars while Kevin riffed on his guitar, beautifully. I sat there, pleased with every aspect of my life in that moment, and thought that if I can get someone to play music for me at the drop of a hat on a weekend night/morning, while my best friend is with me (and my hookup too, I guess), anything is possible.
4. Mustangs and Fall Out Boy- Recently, a best friend of mine went through a weird time in her life that caused some drastic changes. This led to us getting recklessly intoxicated together at several social events and just generally being in love with each other in the way that only female best friends can understand. However, the night before this “weird time” began, we decided to go to what we assumed would be a house party, but was really 5 people drinking copiously, around a picnic table on a chilly night. However, we got a ride to the event and with the “fuck it” attitude that leads to ALL great decisions, we imbibed. We had a great evening at the party, the other 2 people there found us to be charming and delightful (our driver was not a part of our fan club), and we turned the night into a two-women show of us just telling long-winded inside jokes, and going off on extremely lengthy hypothetical tangents that led us to come close to peeing our pants more than once. On the way home, filled with Elvis Presley Coconut Vodka and Bud Lite Lime, our driver put the roof down on his mustang, I turned Fall Out Boy’s “Alone Together” on repeat (not ironically), and we cruised beneath the stars of our sleepy, summer, hometown and I kind of fell in love with it all over again.
5. The time the love of my life (at that point) broke up- A weird one. We had dated for a long time, not in the grand scheme of things but in the small scope of life that I had, and we had been friends before we dated. We promised that dating wouldn’t ruin our friendship, but that was an ill-conceived plan. (You can read a little more about the relationship here). After a lot of ugly words, passive aggressive weeks, and emotional turmoil, I called for the “in-person talk”. I demanded it. He begrudgingly gave in to me (as I often forced him to), and I drove over to his house in a fit of …acceptance. He got into the passenger side of my minivan and we drove to the other side of his development. We didn’t look at each other. I started yelling. I started crying. He held my hand. We stopped holding hands. We talked about the merits of breaking up. I said he needed to experience college- I was holding him back. “You need to experience it too!” We broke up (I think). I clarified the break up. “So we’re broken up. We’re not on a break.” We really broke up. We held hands. I drove, one-handed, the too-short distance back to his house. I stopped. We decided he would be the one to change the Facebook relationship status first (we really discussed this at length). We hugged. It started to rain. We kept hugging. I choked back a sob. We kept hugging. My windshield wiper squeaked…loudly. We pulled apart, laughing. “We had a good run, right?” “We had a great run.” “You’re gonna be okay?” “I’ll be okay…will you?” “I think so.” He left. I drove right to my best friend’s house (the mustang and FOB one). I cried so hard I hiccupped. He texted me because he couldn’t figure out the Facebook settings. I made her do it for us. This night was one of the last sincere moments he and I had together. A really beautiful moment that was a testament to our great friendship prior to our love. We don’t’ speak anymore…the reasons behind that are stories for a less “beautiful” blog entry. However, I was not lying when I said my mother inspires me. My first beautiful moment, her story, gives me hope for my story. That perhaps, if our paths cross again, he and I will have the same happiness for each other and lives we have built… that happiness that she had with Dan.