I am putting together a book of images of my dad's storied 60 years for his birthday next month. My aunt seems to have digitally archived all her photographs and has them tagged so she can sort by the faces featured therein. I am envious and impressed - my pre-2005 life is sorted in unmarked shoeboxes, my post-2005 life is ghostly barnacles on hard drives.
These pictures of she and my dad in Europe together are killing me. He looks just like my brother. (My brother looks like him? My brother should maybe grow a moustache?) The image of my parents above reminds me of the cover of Annie Hall, standing opposite each other on a beach, looking away from the camera.
Everyone at the office has left for the day and this wet solstice feels like early spring. My mother-in-law calls my cell phone and I answer. "Hey Ev, for a white, do you like pinot or chardonnay?" Oh man, people are calling to take my wine order in advance? What a hard life.
In an hour, Nick and I and our fleet of wrapped gifts (How are there so many? We did not mean for there to be so many.) are driving north. I will not set an alarm, I will not stare at a screen for eight hours straight. I will drink too much and challenge others to push-up contests I absolutely cannot win. I will lapse in my best in-law-appropriate manners and say something off-color and be relieved when it gets a laugh. I will take late night strolls with my husband despite the suspicious hairy eyeball from suburban neighbors ("Who walks around?" we imagine them saying after drawing the shade.) It will be resplendent. And if you Christmas, Merry Christmas.