Well, I think I will post the next installment of the David saga.
In my family, we have always gotten together with the extended Bogle family on Christmas Eve and then had a quieter Christmas at home and visiting my Pickering grandparents. After Grandpa Pickering died, Grandma would usually come to our house, or even sometimes come to dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Bogle’s. This was a big to-do. All of the cousins that lived in town and often the ones who didn’t would gather for a traditional Mexican dinner of tamales and chalupa. I’m not exactly sure where our chalupa comes from, but it is heaven. Start with a base of corn tortilla chips, top with the chalupa (pork, pinto beans, and green chili) and all the fixings, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa, sour cream. Later in the evening, Grandma would bust out the ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins. Every year, without fail, this was Christmas Eve dinner. This year, I had let my Grandma know that I would have a guest coming with me. Oh My Gosh! (To paraphrase The Fantastic Mr. Fox, It’s kind of a big deal, so don’t just say okay.) This was David meeting my entire family. Think My Big Fat Greek Wedding except in a parallel universe where everyone is kind of midwesternish and less dancy.
Now would probably be the time to mention the missing member of my family. My older brother, the one who had teased me and tormented me and overprotected me from other boys, was in the army, stationed in Germany. We were in a constant state of waiting to hear if he was deployed to fight against Saddam Hussein. His wife and daughter were with him, probably wondering a lot more than we were. At least I didn’t have to worry about anyone commenting on the size of my plate in relation to the size of other things.
In my opinion, the evening at Grandma and Grandpa’s went well. We had the traditional tearing into the presents from relatives. Grandma wrapped up a bag full of pistachios for David. He seemed appreciative. I’m sure my Grandma wondered about that too, what to gift this boy who really hadn’t been defined as yet. Of course, I knew that we grew pistachios and we had the same giant box full in our cupboard at home that my grandparents did. But hey, she did wrap it up in a gift bag.
Afterwards, we got to the big show. David and I went out on our own. I gave him his beautiful box (that I had pain-stakingly rewrapped). And he gave me a bag. I pulled out a big white teddy bear. Kind of typical. Kind of boring. Kind of wearing a ring.
No, not that kind of ring! But a ring none the less.
It was a gold band, a pinky ring, with “♥ I love you, David ‘90” engraved inside. Well, let the wondering begin! What did this mean? Or did it mean anything? It was definitely time to talk.We’d come full circle, back to New Year’s Eve, although this time I was pretty sure I would have a date. I just had no idea how that date would end.