Sunday, May 29, 2005

On Bridget's Wedding and the Sentimentalities of the California Avocado

Bridget is married.

Bridget who is one of the most brilliant people that I have ever met, who loves Star Trek and X-files and debating the effect of Supreme Court decisions on the vitality of the 4th Amendment, who claps her hands with exuberant animation, who falls down flights of stairs to the purple applause of perpetual bruises, who is fundamentally good, wholesome and a social raucous of a time, and who has been one of my very close friends for the past 8 years, is married.

And I have never in those 8 years seen her more content than on the day of her wedding.

Bridget glowed. The sun beamed. Los Angeles was clear and low-80's. Friends reunioned and youthful irreverance took a mature lead. And her old circles feasted with her new circles and we all shared a joy of watching a wonderful person and her loved person carving their niche in each overlapping pageantry of our private circles of history.

****

For an Alaskan perspective on my first trip to the Outside since January, I am still stunned, amazed, and exhillerated by the experience of, nostaligic for, the incredibly fresh guacomole I ate the morning of her wedding (with crab cakes) and the morning after (with quesadillas). Oh! I think the taste of fresh California avocadoes really is one of the most luxurious and delightful perks of a lifetime. It's maybe not the appropriate memory for a wedding celebration, except that it does underscore the circles of history that weddings always epitomize for me....but this guacomole, on this fresh-produce starved tongue, reminded me of how my family prepped for the wit and irreverance of my Great Uncle Gene's wake by stopping at his house after the funeral to pick the avocadoes from his tree one last time. We cried. We laughed. We tossed back and forth the avocado-picker-basket. We lifted the babies high and helped them wield the avocado-picker-basket. We drank a "First of the Day" with the neighbor who came to regale us with stories of Great Uncle Gene winking at the ladies when he picked up his newspaper in the morning. We encouraged my grandma to share the stories of their childhood mischief. We filled my grandma's town car with the bounty, and I flew back east with my avocado. I ate it, I believe, with some Maryland Blue Crab, a few days later in a private bout of thankful nostalgia - thinking that Uncle Gene would have urged me to buy a bottle of Jack Daniels and invite a crowd. The more, the mischief.

For an Oregon girl, I do have a lot of memories connected to the stun, amazement, exhilleration and nostalgia for a good, ripe California avocado.

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