Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today's fortune: March 12, 2011

Today's fortune: An unexpected event will soon make your life more exciting.

It's the unexpected things that make life worth living.

A couple years ago, I unexpectedly discovered bleu cheese. As a child my cheese tastes tended toward American, but as I got older I eventually branched out to cheddar. Moldy, stinky cheese did not appeal to me at all. Now, though, I'm learning to love a nice gorgonzola over pasta, a slice of provolone on a sandwich or a dusting of asiago with just about anything.

And a simple bleu cheese stands above the rest (I know, gorgonzola is technically a variety of bleu). I hardly ever order a hamburger without bleu cheese crumbles. Bleu cheese dressing has become my favorite on salads. And screw you if you eat buffalo wings with a side of ranch.

Today Jamie and I are spending the afternoon with my parents, brother and sister-in-law at the old family homestead. Nothing unexpected about that, but as we were relaxing together in the living room after lunch (I had a burger with bleu cheese), an unexpected movie showed up on cable television. A movie that happens to be one of our family favorites but also an odd choice for mid-March: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

I am one of a group of cousins (and, from what I hear, a group of millions of Americans) who can quote that movie line for line - much to the annoyance of normal human beings who can't. If you've never seen it, first I'll ask "What the hell is wrong with you?" Then I'll offer you the following appetizer:

An afternoon with the Griswolds always makes life more exciting.

The most unexpected event, though, came courtesy of my mother. I'll begin this part of the tale by sharing with you a common marriage tradition: the bride and groom are supposed to keep the top of their wedding cake and freeze it. On their first anniversary, they thaw it out and eat it.

Jamie and I were living in Arkansas on our first anniversary, and the top of our cake was in a freezer eight hours away in Missouri. So we promised to eat it on our second anniversary. That September 20th passed, too, and another and another without the cake being thawed. Eventually, the cake was forgotten.

My mother cleaned out her freezer a few days ago, and tucked in the back, behind a large clump of frost, was the top of our wedding cake. Today, as we sat watching Christmas Vacation, Mom said, "Do you guys wanna eat your wedding cake?

Jamie cut out a slice and microwaved it for a few seconds. Remarkably, the texture was still surprisingly cake-like. Nearly seven and a half years after our wedding, my wife and I re-created this moment from the first few hours of our marriage:

We had fun with it. And we each only ate a little piece. It was nearly eight-year-old cake, after all. The true unexpected event will be if we don't come down with dysentery.

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