Love at First Sight?
"Mum I have to ask you a romantic story about you and Daddy for English. Then I'm supposed to write about it," I inform my mum.
"Okay, what do you want to know?"
"Was it love at first sight?" I already know she will say no.
"No, but your father said he loved me when he first saw me. We were in Psychology 101. I was majoring in psychology and he had to take the class as a required course. A girl on my track team introduced us. We talked a great deal. After a while he started bringing me fudge every day. They don't make much fudge in Australia so he brought me a different flavor each time. But I started gaining too much weight for track and I had to tell him no more. So the next day your father brought me an orange."
"Daddy I have to interview you for English. I'm supposed to ask you a romantic story about when you and Mum met and turn it into a short story. Question Number One: Was it love at first sight?"
"Love at first sight?" He puts down his toothbrush. "There's no such thing."
"Okay, then I need to ask about something romantic that happened to you two."
"Hmm…a romantic story, I can't think of one." We walk into the den where my mum's vacuuming.
"Mum, Daddy can't think of a romantic thing that happened to the two of you."
"I'm sure he can."
"I can't. What was yours?" Dad asks.
"I'm not telling," Mum gives me a look saying I cannot tell either.
"Come on Daddy you have to think of something."
"Like what?" he asks.
"I don't know, what about your first date?"
"I took her to Santa Fe and we ate at a restaurant overlooking the Plaza." A look of triumph comes over his face. That sounds romantic.
"You thought that was romantic?" asks Mum making a face. "You got lost and I thought you hated Santa Fe."
"I didn't hate Santa Fe until I started working for PNM." Daddy replies. I am biting my lip so as not to laugh at them.
"You said you've always hated Santa Fe," argues Mum. "It was where the tourists went."
"You were a tourist."
"Let's try something else," I interrupt.
"Mum, what about you?"
"I already told you my story and I'm not telling until he can think up one on his own." Thanks so much for the help Mum.
"How about your honeymoon? Honeymoons are romantic by definition. Where did you go? What did you see?"
"Well," Dad grabs onto this. "We went to Melbourne and Sydney. We saw the sights and your mother spilled soup all over me."
"Remember I wanted to buy you this really trendy jumper," puts in Mum. To me: "He didn't like it but I made him get it. It looked really cute on him."
"But we all know Daddy doesn't like to wear trendy clothes," I giggle.
"What?" he protests. Mum and I laugh.
"We visited your uncle on our honeymoon and enjoyed that," Dad tells Mum. He walks into the kitchen to get some popcorn. I follow him. Mum continues with the vacuuming.
"Daddy, you have to come up with something." The phone rings and Mum picks it up. Dad and I go back into the den where he flops onto the couch with his popcorn. I perch on the arm of the couch. That is a big no-no in my family.
"Get off the arm of the chair," Dad says. I shift a little.
"Let's think Daddy, what's something romantic that's happened to you and Mum? Hey! I know, what about your anniversary this summer?"
"What about it?"
"That was really sweet, that card Mum wrote you. Happy 15th Anniversary. I love you. Come away with me. And you went to New York for a week. Wasn't that great? What did you do?"
"That was a fun trip. We went to a Mets' game and Broadway."
"Romantic?" I ask.
"How about when we were dating? The first time it snowed, your mother and I built a snowman. It was in the dorm courtyard. She had never seen snow before so we spent all day building a giant snowman. It was so big that we had to have people help us and we almost couldn't get the head on."
"There you go Daddy! Great."
"When your mother went to Kansas and then back to Australia I wrote her a letter every single day." Mum walks back in.
"Get off the arm of the chair," she tells me. I get off.
"Daddy says he wrote you a letter every day when you were gone," I say to her.
"Every day for a year and a half. I bet my story beats hers," he says triumphantly. I tell Mum's story. "See, I love you better," he says.
"No, I love you better. I wrote you every day on the tram," Mum counters.
"You only sent me one letter."
"But it was nine pages long."
"I wrote you every day."
I leave them arguing happily. While my mum and dad might not be the most romantic couple, they love each other. And even though theirs wasn't love at first sight, it is a love that grows stronger with every mishap. Besides, my parents are extremely funny. Love at first sight? That's no fun.