Monday, July 21, 2003

Ben and Jen

Last Thursday night, Susan stopped by to drop off my sleeping bag for our camping trip. We had a couple of beers, talked about our week, and surfed cable. She had to run back a few minutes before 10:00 because she had to watch the "Ben and Jen" special on dateline, an indepth interview with the superstars Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. As a big shot editor, she was considering doing a book on their wedding, but was worried that the book would come out a week after their divorce. She had to watch this special to pick up clues about how long the marriage would last. Hopefully long enough after the publish date.

I couldn’t help myself. I watched it, too.

Like Ignatius Riley from "A Confederacy of Dunces," I sputtered profanities at the television, but watched it through their staged domestic bliss any way. "Here, honey, have some more of my home cooked rice and beans." "Delicious, sweetie."

Sunday Driving
Went to church with Jonah. Steve stayed home with Ian during his nap, and then he picked us up in our old Toyota to pick up a cake in Little Italy in the Bronx.

I’m proud of our faded red 1990 Toyota, my brother’s cast off. After we move to the suburbs, I want to stand out amongst all the shiny fancy cars and keep it. Even after Steve becomes Mr. Big at the Top Secret Wall Street Firm. Our family always had crappy dirty cars when we were growing up. By high school, my brother was so embarrassed by our 1972 Reliant that he would make my dad drop him off a block away from his destination. Old Betsy, as Dad called the car, would never know the inside of a car wash or the comfort of a garage. Dad would always say "The point of a car is to get you from point A to point B," which always failed to impress us at the time. Now I’m proud to carry on the tradition.

After a tasty and over priced brick oven pizza at Giovanni’s on Arthur Avenue, we picked up our cake at DeLillo’s. $10 for a chocolate mousse cake and $6 for a pound of biscotti. Arthur Avenue is still the real thing. Little Italy for Italians. Italians who grew up in the neighborhood still come in from Rockland County for a meal at Dominic’s. Only the tourists go downtown to Mulberry Street. Directions: Go east on Fordham road and make a right onto Arthur Avenue just past the Fordham College.

After picking up the treats, we headed to my folk’s place in New Jersey for a chaotic dinner. Children ran in circles in the backyard, and the parents attempted to mediate. The childless adults ignored it all and drank scotch on the porch. Had a few minutes to hear about cousin Jeff’s trip to Italy.

It was my first family gathering without Grandma. I wished she would hold Ian while he ate his cookie.

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