Today is January 30th, 2018, and I have been a married man for almost 4 months. Re-reading that sentence, it seems unbelievable to me and also completely normal. It is so crazy to think that A) I am a married man, same as my father, same as my late Grandfather, same as millions of other men, and B) I found someone who consciously chose me, she chose me, – I am her prize, which makes me wonder what horrendous contest she must have won.
When my wife and I go out with close friends, especially other couples, I always catch myself thinking about the fact that we are doing exactly what our parents were doing before we were born, and when we were young. We’re forming bonds with friends who are more like family, and establishing a history. These are the friends that we will one day talk about with the same fondness that our parents talk about old friends of theirs. I remember as a kid, always hearing about my parents’ close friends, Buddy and Karen with whom they used to do everything. I remember always being excited when they would come to visit. I always thought they were so much fun and laid back. And it would rub off on my parents, who would transform, only for the time that Buddy and Karen were there, into great friends with tons of shared stories and memories. For a few hours, I would look at my parents, just hanging out with two of their closest friends, laughing, poking fun at each other, enjoying a few drinks, just being themselves. And for me to now be a married man (albeit without children), making plans to meet up with close friends to do exactly the same thing? There’s something really special about that. It’s cyclical. I realize that life in general is cyclical, but it’s one thing to think about that in abstract terms, and it’s quite different when you yourself experience it. In a way, we are upholding the tradition, the bond of friendship that exists between our parents and their friends, and their parents and their friends and so on. It’s pretty amazing.
When we got married last October, most of my cousins came in from Germany with their significant others, and their kids. It was wonderful to have everyone here. They all rented and stayed in one giant house near the beach, close to where we were getting married. For a couple nights, we all hung out together, drinking, singing, dancing, eating and enjoying each other’s company. I could not help but keep thinking to myself of the countless hours we’ve spent in Germany doing the exact same thing, but with the roles reversed. Our parents would be laughing, drinking, playing cards, listening to music and telling stories while us kids ran around just being kids. There are so many pictures of our family hanging out around my Oma and Opa’s house, wearing silly hats, or making stupid faces. The same pictures are being taken now, just with a grown up cast of characters, with the addition of a new generation of kids making new silly faces and wearing new ridiculous hats. It’s even a little bit eerie, since those same silly faces bear such strong resemblances to their parents, and other members of our family. It’s almost as if these wonderful memories just keep playing themselves out over and over again. And I hope that, years down the road, those kids will still be meeting up with their cousins and their kids, to tell stories, laugh, sing, dance and enjoy the long standing tradition.