Friday, August 5, 2011

third wheel

My parents have been married for 30 years. It wasn't until this summer that I realized that even after all this time they act like a honeymooning couple.
They still walk with their hands clasped in public; they sit on the same side of the table at restaurants; in the evenings, they spend hours talking to each other and laughing, my father always walks around the car to open the door for her; and every night even though he hates it, they take an hour long hike around the park.

My father works a few states away, but he flies back every Friday and always gets to the airport early in the morning so he can wait on stand-by. This is a person who refuses to step into a Starbucks because the background music is too loud and "heathenish."
I'd never thought of him as being particularly romantic, but I realized that was a really sweet gesture, and someone who truly loves his wife.

It's been disconcerting for me to feel like the third wheel, an over-grown awkward daughter. They actually forgot about me when we went out to dinner, I had gone to the bathroom, and when I came out, they were gone.
I called my mom from the hostess's phone in a semi-panic, what had happened, had something gone wrong? Medical emergency? No they'd just forgotten, paid the bill and left. They had laughed, hysterically... ha ha our kid? what kid?
And then I saw them walking back to the restaurant, slowly strolling hand in hand to come claim me.

I suppose it was cute.