I jokingly suggested to my friend that maybe we should have a marriage of convenience because we could both use some convenience in our lives. I think that IM robbed me of my humor. His reply was “my parents would get a heart attack”.
I found his reply both funny and poignant. When is it that we learn that our parents will love us even if we don’t live our lives they way they envisioned? Is there a moment? Is it a process? Of course we know it on the surface, but when do we know it deep down?
I found it funny, because I’ve heard that answer from men before about other women and about me. JJ said this to me once. B said it too – on a crisp spring night. He was 32, I was 25. He said he could never allow himself to commit to me because he was a Hancock. His parents would have a heart attack. He was young and full of romantic dreams. Of course love was right around the corner. Always right around the corner. One day he thought the woman he had dated after me was the one. She was intoxicatingly calm and aloof. Instead she tore him apart. But there was a young one around the next corner, and a world of possibilities around the one after that.
When I was 38 and he was 45 he mentioned it again. But this time his voice was different. Rough. “My dad always thought you were nice,” he said.
He was alone. Lonely. It was all still the same. A string of relationships behind him full of tart, and sometimes bitter, memories. I wanted to ask him, “do you think this is what your parents wanted for you? Were they proud of you for turning away from love when you had it?” I drank my wine in silence and loved him quietly still instead.
Heart Attack recipe
1 can Red Bull® energy drink
4 1/2 oz vodka
Pour over ice and serve to your parents.