I’m not good at secrets, and I’m not good at organizing. I am the last person on earth you want to have organizing a surprise party. I’m sentimental enough to appreciate the surprise party, but really, I suck at getting it done.
A couple of days ago I got the word. fuego was coming back to town for his first anniversary. It is widely known that the lad is eight time zones away, setting up for some big movie or another. You can’t say no to the Schmoo brothers. Less known is that the movie has been pushed — production is still a week or two out. fuego is there, in the big wide southwestern US, but his thoughts are with his sweetie, so far away. He hatches a crazy plan. He wants to go back for a few days, to surprise his bride.
Cash is tight. The lad has a job coming up, but in the meantime resources are scarce. I was not there, mind, but here is my understanding of the conversation: “Uh, Mom, I was thinking…”
Mom’s cool that way.
So before you can say “Uh, wha—?” my favorite brother is suspended by Bernoulli’s principle over the frosty Atlantic and it’s up to me to lure his bride to a meeting where she does not expect to find her husband. It was touch and go for a little while, as I was reluctant to lie outright, and I failed to make the event sound even the slightest bit interesting. She was ready to shine the whole adventure. Only the public exhibition of the latest Pirates cut got her there.
Thus it came to pass that I was sitting at a table across from my partially-concealed brother when MaK arrived. I waved to her and she headed our way. Then she saw him. She froze, and broke. It was one of those moments you feel lucky to witness, an honest moment when there is no pretense, no artifice, just joy.
She cried. He held her. I watched.
Crazy people, happy people, and me. It was a good afternoon.