I am not one who needs to visit his past.
But Michael relishes finding wayward family members and reconnecting with Frick and Frack who he bartended with in his Chicago days. He even has an almost manic desire to go to his high school reunion. And to make matters worse he always asks me to accompany him. Year after year (or maybe it's five years after five years) I have dodged this bullet, because really, aside from ingesting Borax in mass quantities I can't think of anything more heinous.
That's not to say I don't understand my husband. He is an actor after all. Showing off is part of his stock and trade. And none of his other class mates defected to the West Coast, guest starred on numerous episodics from Criminal Minds to Monk, and have a current Lowe's commercial running. To put it simply, Michael wants to saunter into the chlorine-smelling conference room at the Alton, Illinois Holiday Inn and have folks unabashedly gush.
Another thing about Michael, he's all about shock value. Nothing would please him more than jolting Midwestern small mindedness by introducing me as his husband. He thrills at the idea of challenging racist and homophobic stares from his fellow class mates. But I refuse to be the prized pekingese on his arm.
I have images of getting all dolled up, making an entrance with my husband and then once the shock of a legally gay married couple wore off, I'd be unceremoniously dumped in the corner with the wallflowers and condom wrappers.
But I guess after all these years, I finally made myself clear. He didn't bother asking me to go with him. Instead, he asked if Sebastian and Maxie could go with him. Did I hear that correctly? He'd take the kids and leave me behind? That would mean I'd have the house to myself. Sure it would cost a pretty penny procuring air fare for the little buggers, but...
"Of course you can take them with you."
I'm in heaven people! Four nights without my family. I'm delirious with sleeping when I want, watching what I want, eating what I want. I'm having one heck of a staycation! People have asked what I am doing. Well, here's the answer...NOTHING.
Lately Sebastian has been wanting a muscle shirt. There's a neighbor kid down the block who wears them and Bash is beside himself with envy every time the kid rides by on his bicycle sleeveless.
Well, the day after the reunion, Michael took the kids to the mall. (Not a surprise. Going to the mall is as commonplace an activity in Alton, Illinois as smothering food with gravy or liquid cheese.) Needless to say, the boy got his shirt...
Bash called me on the phone to tell me the good news. His excitement was infectious, "Daddy got me a Dago tee!"
I immediately cringed. It's jarring to hear my husband's home town vernacular coming out of my son's mouth. Maybe that's why I never really had any interest in going back to any of my high school reunions. Besides having to endure comparisons to my former sickly, geeky, possibly faggy adolescent self, I would wonder what poisoned truths that I once held so dear back then, would come flooding forth. Which of my teenage actions, that seemed impish at the time, would set my teeth on edge? Or like Dago tee, would I suddenly recall inappropriate phases or harsh invective that I didn't know were inappropriate or harsh at the time?
Michael got on the phone all caught up in Sebastian's enthusiasm and with kid gloves I reprimanded, "Honey, you can't go around saying Dago tee. Call it something else, anything else." And then remembering where he was and the influences he was surrounded by I added, "Well, maybe you shouldn't call it a wife beater either."