50 ways (not) to leave your lover

Mom on her wedding day

Mom on her wedding day

Ever since Doc B hit a half century a couple months back, she’s been asking me how I want to mark my 50th next year.  My standard answer and mantra has been “ask me after my parents’ 50th anniversary”.

Mom and Dad celebrate their actual anniversary this Saturday but the whole family honored their milestone accomplishment by getting together in Michigan over Thanksgiving weekend.

I had planned to wait until after this Saturday to start making it all about me, but when my siblings decided that I, as the oldest, should make a speech during mom and dad’s celebration, that plan fell apart.  My brother and sisters were getting back at me for all the crazy things I made them do when we were kids by springing this news on me at the last minute.  Never mind that all three of them are probably Toastmaster Presidents and likely do public speaking at least once a day in their jobs.

So here’s how it went.  I vaguely remember welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming, and then I’m pretty sure I went right on to me.  I looked over to the wall where my mother’s wedding dress was displayed and told the crowd how when I was in 5th grade I was just dying to try on the dress and how I couldn’t even get it zipped up given my mom’s 18 inch waist and all.  Spanx, where were you when I needed you?  I think I must have thrown a few more words out there and then wrapped it up by congratulating them on their nuptials that took place exactly nine months and ten days before my birth.

Well, now that their party is over, I can start planning my own celebration.  I’ve been polling random friends and co-workers to see what they think I should do to commemorate the date.  All the typical suggestions have been offered up, you know, a party, a trip, a non-silent/non-meditative/non-yoga retreat, a strip club, a 21-day detox.  But then at the hair salon Saturday, Pam had one of her signature ideas. Since we are almost 9 months away from my birthday, what if I were to write about the time period between my conception and my birth?  I could ask my parents where I was conceived, what memories they have about those nine months, review what happened in history, etc.

I told Pam it was an interesting idea but that I was pretty sure that the first thing I was going to discover was that I’m a foreigner – possibly conceived during mom and dad’s Montreal honeymoon – and that I’ve wasted umpteen years of my life trying to master Spanish when I should have been learning French.  I’ve never even been to Montreal; perhaps that should be my 50th birthday trip?

So I checked in with my mom today and she has the guts to join me in this adventure by offering up her side of the story – I guess she figures anything she says or reveals at this point in her 50 year marriage won’t cause my dad to slip out the back, make a new plan, hop on the bus or drop off the key.

Mom still hasn’t told me if I’m Canadian and yes, I’m still deciding on a “real” 50th birthday present to myself.

original napkins from mom and dad's wedding

original napkins from mom and dad’s wedding


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