We were talking not so much of family heirlooms as decades-old artifacts. (Ed. Note 1: middle-class folk from South Euclid don’t accrue heirlooms; they accumulate artifacts. You know: dated letters and such … old programs … dusty report cards). Memories they are — each of them — and aren’t memories the purest of birthrights? (Ed. Note 2: Jewelry? Well … there are my father’s Army dogtags!).
“They’re organized,” I told Stacy. “In boxes for each of you.”
“You know, Dad,” she offered, “You CAN be selective. You don’t have to save everything.”
I knew she was right, but it’s hard to let go. Every time I try to do so — to discard the perhaps less-than-vital mementos … like a 1984 birthday card — I just can’t pull the trigger. Back in one of four boxes it goes.
This was not our first such discourse, by the way. Just the most recent. In town for Noah’s Bar Mitzvah. Stacy brought her style, her smile, two daughters (and no car seat).
— So it was a weekend I ate right.
— And wore a seatbelt.
— And danced.
When WAS my last time at Landerhaven? The Bohrer wedding seemed so long ago … and yet it didn’t. Had seven years truly passed since some idiot naively posted his Little One’s bridal picture on Facebook one hour pre-ceremony?
(Ed. Note 3: How was I to know? As the Costanza once averred: “Had anyone said anything to me at all that this was frowned upon…”).
An elegant evening it was. Quite festive, and important on a personal level as Lucy’s first adult night party. Ed’s younger son had been called to the Torah that morning and Ed was proud. Rightly so.
My buddy was happy. Resplendent. Fulfilled.
And me? C.J. at my side I sat with one third of my children and one third of my granddaughters. How thrilled do you think I was?
“Can I sit next to Carrie?” purred an approaching Lucy.
The Prayer over wine, The “Motzi”, Dinner, Conversation… First strains of “Hava Nagila”! (Electric guitar? Really?)
The guts of my night were spent on the dance floor.
— Lifting Weiskopf (Ed. Note 4: He ain’t my brother; he’s just heavy).
— Singing “What Makes You Beautiful” to my still-newlywed bride. (Someone requested the song. No names, please.).
— And dancing with one Lucy Hannah Bohrer. Ad hoc choreography at its best.
It was eleven by the time we left. Exhausted as Carr and I were. Stacy’s Little One rolled on. Ten minutes later we were home.
Tired, ass dragging, I hung up my suit. Emptying its pockets there, in the quiet of my closet, I pulled out the cardboard seat card I’d culled from our table.
“Miss Lucy Bohrer, Table 7”, it read.
Pausing, smiling, I placed it in the box marked “Stacy”.