Happily Ever After

I found this in my drafts. I wrote it back in March and I’m not sure why I never posted it.

Tonight I had dinner with my mom and grandfather. First let me tell you about the restaurant, Taste. If you’re in Indianapolis, you really have to eat there. I’ve been a fan of their brunch for awhile (who are we kidding, I’m a fan of brunch in general), but just last week had the pleasure of eating dinner there for the first time. My mom and grandfather are apparently somewhat of regulars there and have a favorite waitress named Anna. She’s great. And so is the food. Last week I had an amazing salad with shrimp and greens and asparagus and green beens. This week we shared a beet salad with blood oranges, feta cheese, and greens, and I had a braised short rib that literally fell of the bone and melted in my mouth. The best part though might have been the beer experience. Some background. My grandfather, who is almost 94 years old, loves beer, but stopped drinking it about three years ago on doctor’s orders. Tonight I ordered a Goose Island Pere Jacques, this wonderful, syrupy, carmel-like beer. He watched me drink it and gush for a few minutes and then promptly ordered his own. His first beer in awhile. Mom and I were somewhat nervous, but he downed the glass in 15 minutes, clinking glasses with me and saying “l’chayim” on the first sip. Not a whole lot can beat having a magical beer with your grandfather.

One of my favorite parts of hanging out with Papa is listening to him talk about my grandmother, Mimi, who died when I was in 7th grade. She was this beautiful, opinionated, somewhat intimidating I think, woman, who absolutely loved to spoil those she loved. Papa adored, and adores, her. You can hear it in his voice each time he says her name. Tonight he, and Mom, reminded me of the kind of relationship I aspire to have. You know, the one where you’re spending your life with your best friend. He says he’d always loved Mimi, that I knew. The last six months they knew she wasn’t going to make it much longer. They would get in bed every night at 7:30 and watch Seinfeld. And those, he says, were the happiest six months of their life together for him. Just laying there, enjoying each other’s presence, and being each other’s best friends. My mom said the same thing about my dad. That as she says good night to him each night, she thinks how lucky she is to, well have me and my brother, but also to have my dad, to have her best friend right there beside her. And honestly, I know that my mom and dad balance each other out and fill in each other’s gaps in this really stupidly corny and great way.

And that’s just it. That’s my relationship standard. It’s a really high and awesome one. Let the search begin.


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