Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Yesterday was the anniversary of the seven months that the The Lady-Killer and I have been together, and to celebrate this, I am going to tell embarrassing but endlessly charming stories about him.

The day before I left for my Buffalo Christmas vacation, The Lady-Killer and I attended a family Christmas party. His father's large family had crammed into a cozy kitchen and living room to eat and engage in a large-scale Yankee Swap.

Before the swapping began, I was talking to his mother in the kitchen. We both had plates full of cookies and we were watching TLK and his brother needle each other across the room.

"You know," I said, "anytime you feel like hauling out old embarrassing pictures of TLK, I would absolutely love to look at them."

She told me that was easily done--that there was embarrassing video, too... plenty of it!--but until we could get to all that, she could tell me a few stories. Both of them had to do with TLK's father's influence on him.

"My husband," she said, "has a very dirty mouth."

We both looked across the room at TLK's dad, who was at that moment hefting a giant meatball into his mouth.

"And I kept telling him he needed to watch what he said in front of TLK because he was going to start mimicking him eventually. And then one day we were all in the car, and TLK started shouting from the backseat, 'Daddy! Fuck! Fuck, Daddy! Fuck! Fuck!' I turned to TLK's father and said, 'See? See what you've done?'"

But it turns out TLK wasn't exactly talking like a sailor for the fun of it or even because he'd heard his father say that word so many times. At that moment, a truck was passing the car, and TLK was trying to tell his parents that he was really, really excited, that he was just super psyched to see a truck--a fuck! a fuck!--cruising along next to them.

"That's adorable," I said. But it wasn't the cutest thing. The cutest thing she told me about came later that afternoon, as we were standing out in the heated garage, watching the kids try to hack apart the annual homemade Christmas pinata.

TLK had one of his little cousins in his arms, and he was holding her out at an endearingly awkward angle so she could wail on the pinata she wasn't tall enough to reach. That was cute already, but then his mother leaned over and told me a story about TLK in pre-school.

One morning, all the children were sitting around for some circle time, and the teacher was asking them questions about their lives. The first question was what are your parents' names?

One by one, each child spoke up and gave his or her parents' names. When it was TLK's turn he sat up straight and said, "My daddy's name is Tony, and my mommy's name is Honey."

His mother loved that story. "He heard his father call me that so many times he just assumed it was my name!" she laughed.

We looked at him then, and the cute little cousin he was holding out made contact with the pinata and her turn was up, so he brought her back to him, snuggled her into his chest, and I loved him so much then I thought my heart was going to burst.

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