The other day I walked my dog in a park in Beverly Hills. It was old fashioned and quite quaint - hosting a couple lawn bowling fields and an odd golf course that consisted of just 18 putting greens. Near the children's area I passed these two hearts clothes-pinned to a string-line to dry, or something.
I thought that they looked sweet.
When I got home and transferred the photo to my computer the first thing that popped into my head was a very cool story about my father and stepmother. If you'll allow me...
Dad and Sandi have been together for well over 20 years and in that time I have had the pleasure of witnessing a relationship unparalleled to that of any other I have ever seen. Their partnership over all these years continues to be quite remarkable and inspiring. Or, just simply: enviable.
Last year Sandi needed to have an overnight stay in the hospital (all turned out well) and I went to San Diego to hang out with my dad because I knew he would be worried and I wanted to help ease his heart and mind a bit.
We ordered a pizza and found ourselves engaged in a lovely chat. Nothing deep, just a talk about this and that but you could tell that he was really missing Sandi. I could sense that his evening was empty and unfamiliar without her. I doubt they've spent very many evenings apart, in fact.
At one point in our conversation he fell silent for a minute and then asked, "What time are we getting Sandi tomorrow?"
I replied, "Sometime in the morning."
He tapped his index finger to his chin and smiled, "Well, it's 9 o'clock so if I go to bed now tomorrow will come faster and I'll get to see my wife again sooner."
I pondered the logic and then nodded, "Sure." With that he got up from his chair and said goodnight.
When I woke the next morning Dad was already up and dressed - ready to rescue Sandi and bring her back home where she belonged. There was a feeling of quiet urgency in his body language. He paced the kitchen as I fixed a cup of coffee and after a few sips impatience overtook him, "Ok ok, let's go get my wife."
Last month I worked a temp job long enough to get to know some of the gals in the office. One morning I accompanied Laura to the break-room and to our delight we found that someone had baked a banana bread and left it for the office to enjoy.
Laura cut a decent slice, placed it on a plate and threw it in the toaster oven. We chatted about this and that for the six or seven minutes it took the bread to toast. After she pulled it out she opened the refrigerator and got some butter and slathered on a generous portion that melted and soaked into the bread making it look very inviting. I marveled at how this had become a labor of love - thinking that Paula Dean would be proud.
While she buttered I cut a little piece for myself and as I chewed I discovered something foreign had also hitched a ride into my mouth. I reached in and pinched out a hair and showed it to Laura who at this point had spent way too much time preparing her culinary masterpiece and shrugged, "I'm not gonna let that bother me."
When we returned to the office Laura sat down at her desk and took a bite of her bread. She began to chew with great satisfaction - hell, she might have even moaned. A few seconds later tho her face changed to something frightfully unhappy as she reached in her mouth and produced a hair.
We both just stared at it and grimmaced as it was short and black and obviously didn't belong to either one of us. Then, with a great about of heft, she flung the banana bread into her garbage bin and said in a low pissed-off growl born of hunger, "One hair in my food I can deal with... but a full head of hair is just bullshit."