Best Days

This is a repost from 2013 when I was posting favorites every Friday.   I’m feeling nostalgic this morning so I thought I’d post it again.  It’s one of my favorite favorites.

frat pinThere are certain movies I can watch over and over again … it drives Muri crazy. Most of the films aren’t great films, although I do hold the North American record for viewings of The Godfather. My favorites are usually romantic and each has a scene I love: Sally Albright faking an orgasm in a busy restaurant in When Harry Met Sally; Ronnie Camereri and Loretta Castorini at the opera in Moonstruck; Bill Johnson, the soda jerk, discovering color and art in Pleasantville; Phil Connors gradually learning to be human by living Groundhog Day again and again. In Billy Crystal’s City Slickers, as Mitch, Phil and Ed are driving the herd from New Mexico to Colorado, Mitch talks about his Best Day, a trip to Yankee Stadium with his father.

When the subject of Best Days came up over dinner with friends, I surprised Muri by saying that my Best Day was the day she and I got pinned.  Pinned?  I wondered whether anyone got pinned any more, so I Googled images for pinned. I found wrestlers, notes pinned to bulletin boards, entomology specimens and something on the internet called Pinterest. But way down at the bottom of the page on The Free Dictionary, there it was: To give (a woman) a fraternity pin in token of attachment. Back in the sixties, when I was in college, that would have been an understatement. Giving a woman your pin signified a commitment, more than going steady but not quite engaged.

I met my wife my junior year of college. She had recently broken up with my best friend because he wasn’t Jewish and only went out with me because she thought my last name was Green, which could have been Jewish (I was Catholic). I very quickly fell in love and she very quickly fell in like. I signed my notes Love and she signed hers As Always. Parents were less than fond of of the religious mismatch. We broke up. We got together again. My roommate told me I was digging my own grave. I was impetuous and rebellious enough to ignore my mother’s objections … she was cautious and responsible enough to try to conform to her parents wishes. It’s a combination that’s served us well through 52 years of marriage.

On a Spring day in 1966, we were stretched out on blankets at a fraternity picnic. There were hot dogs pinnedand burgers and kegs of beer and that staple of romantic occasions, watermelons spiked with vodka. The Four Tops sang Reach Out I’ll Be There on a stereo. We were 1960s fashionable, white jeans and sweaters, her sweater blue and mine rust. Sometime during the afternoon, I asked her if she’d take my pin, not really expecting she would. But she did. I can still feel the joy I felt at that moment and the way I floated through the evening. There have been many wonderful days since … our wedding, the adoption of our son and daughter, my daughter’s wedding, the birth of our grandchildren. But that day, when I knew in my heart we’d be together, was My Best Day.

What’s yours?

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