Mid-March 2010. And I had dreaded it all week. I did not want to visit my family. I wanted to stay home.
It had been since Christmas that The Man and I had been for a visit. Typically we visited the family back in
once each month. This was the longest stretch that I can remember with my going without a visit since I lived in Louisiana almost seven years ago. But still ... I didn't want to go. I wanted to hang out at the house, listening to music and working in my yard. Los Angeles
But I knew we had to go. My son had increased the frequency of his "when-am-I-going-to-see-you" calls. My step-mom had posted "Hey ... when are ya'll coming in" on her own Facebook page (she’ll get the hang of it one day).
Saturday morning, we were packing the truck. I turned to The Man and sighed, "I really don't wanna go..."
"We don't have to, baby." He smiled. (He is so perfect). "We can unload the truck and call your family. We'll just tell them that we need to stay home this weekend."
"No." I said. "We have to go."
So we headed out. Our normal trip routine. Gas up. Breakfast at Whataburger. Rock tunes on the radio. And we're off.
Now here's where you can add a tally mark in the "Dork" column on the Queer's sheet. We were listening to a mixtape that I had made from downloads of last season’s American Idol performances ... yes, yes ... I know... But anyway, Lee Dewyze's version of Shania Twain's "You're Still the One" came on. And I started singing to The Man. Total cheeseball... yes, I know. But he got all teary-eyed (he's apt to do that often). But it was beautiful. After the song, he grabbed my hand and said, "I'm so lucky!"
I just agreed.
We arrived in my hometown and checked in at my sister's house (always the first stop), and then we headed out for something to eat. We called my son to see if he and his fiancée wanted to join us. He had just eaten and his fiancée was at a family party, so he asked us to just stop by after our meal.
We got to my son's place and hung out, just watching movies, laughing and shooting the breeze. It was a blast. One of our cousins showed up, so we made a beer run. As the evening moved along, my son suggested that we crash at his place. We were going to get a motel room. But this would be the first time that The Man and I would stay with my son. So we took him up on the offer. It was an ideal evening.
Later that evening, The Man and I headed to the local pizza joint to pick up some grub. As he was waiting at the counter, I ambled over to the juke box. I checked out the tunes, not at all surprised that Shania Twain’s greatest hits CD was in the machine. I paid my money. I made my selection. And then I stepped slowly and silently to the far side of the room.
As the music came in, I watched as The Man began to reflexively tap his toe to the rhythm. Then as he started to recognize the tune, his head turned back and forth a bit like a puzzled pup. When he fully realized what song was playing, he began to look for me. When we finally met eyes across the room, he smiled broadly. I waved.
I’m glad we visited the family that month. I got a magic moment out of it.