Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Meeting the Future In-Laws: The Prequel

We arrived in Ash's hometown late on Thursday afternoon after a whirlwind not-quite-24 hours in East Lansing, during which I had a great time. We ate Sal's Memorial Shroom Burgers at the Peanut Barrel, got ice cream from Melting Moments, played pinball at Pinball Pete's, and took a long, long walk around a tiny fraction of the enormous MSU campus. It was an astoundingly sunny and bright day, and as we walked across the wide lawns, the air was filled with the sound of bells, pealing a song in a minor key that made me feel as though we were walking through a Tim Burton movie. Ever since Ash and I started dating, I feel like unexpected good things happen to me quite frequently, tiny moments of serendipity around every corner, and on this particular day, we walked up to Beaumont Tower just in time to climb the stairs to the top of the tower and watch two women playing the carillon. I even climbed the ladder to the belfry and looked at the bells. It was just amazing. According to campus lore, if you kiss someone in the shadow of Beaumont Tower, you'll be together forever... so, of course we made sure to do exactly that. Who needs a wedding when you've got MSU legend to bind you together for all eternity?

I'd been told that I should pack for "early fall", so I'd filled my suitcase with jeans and light guage sweaters, but also brought along a couple of short sleeved sweaters, just in case it was warmer than usual. Turns out, my idea of "early fall", and Michigan's idea of "early fall" are two distinct and entirely different things. What Michigan calls "early fall", I call "late November". It was cold. Or at least, colder than someone with one semi-thick sweater in her travel wardrobe would like. This gave Ash a perfectly good excuse to buy me a Michigan State hoodie, which is warm and soft and perfectly snuggly. He bought one for himself at the same time, and I made him swear on a stack of (hypothetical) Bibles that he would never wear his at the same time as I wear mine.

Having taken care of my need for warmth, we wandered into the lovely labyrinth of books that is Curious Bookshop. I wallowed in the German section for awhile, perusing children's books from the 60's, which were obviously intended for girls around 5 or 6 years old, but used very dense and complicated language and very few pictures-- no wonder Germans of a certain age grew up so grouchy! (I kid because I love! Please don't hurt me!) Most of the selection consisted of overly serious "literature" and translations of American novels. One of the books, published in the late 70's, advertised itself on the cover as "the comedy sensation sweeping Bavaria!", which made me pick it up and flip through it, and I was promptly reminded of the terribly overused joke that the shortest book in the world is entitled "German Humor". (Really! I love Germany! Truly! I'm too young to die!) While we were there, Ash got a phone call from the Second Circuit inviting him to interview for a staff attorney's position! He, of course, is over the moon about it, and I'm very proud of him as well. We spent a large chunk of time joking about living in a 15 square foot apartment on his "it's-an-honor-to-be-chosen-for-this-job" salary, and he kept announcing to no one in particular, "I've got an interview with the Second Circuit! I'vegotaninterviewwiththeSecondCircuit!"

Anyway, that first day was so idyllic that I couldn't help but think that it must be a harbinger of bad things to come-- because, you know, I just can't get used to that "good things happen to me" thing. We climbed in the car and headed over the hills to Ash's hometown...


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