It never gets easier. Each time a child leaves home, it breaks your heart.
Of course, they do their best to minimize the pain of their departure, by maximizing the contrived unpleasantness of their continuing presence.
I could hold it against them, if I hadn’t done the same in my time.
Now it’s Max’s turn.
Like all of her siblings, Max has a creative streak. It’s more than a streak, really. More like an all-encompassing blotch or stain. She’s positively saturated, sopping with creativity.
One of her favorite things is to make art out of found objects, a trait I particularly appreciate because I also have a knack for recycling and repurposing, though my reinventions could hardly be called art. In ancient times, my Spartan bachelor pad contained a coat hanger passing as a paper towel dispenser, a lawn chair frame reconfigured into a 360° shower curtain rod, old cowboy boots converted into kitschy flower pots, a counter top composed of commemorative plaques discarded by a client, etc.
Making art out of found objects is a passion Max shares with Colin. Colin? Who’s Colin?
Colin is the guy who shows up one day when he knows Max is not “at home.” He says he now wants to take possession of the lawn mower I’d previously offered him, the lawn mower he’d previously declined and still doesn’t need.
Who knows what Colin’s thinking? Does Colin know himself? Maybe he’s planning to deconstruct the environmentally-friendly rotary lawn mower and turn it into some kind of agricultural art installation. Maybe he wants to use it to chop lettuce and make a mammoth salad. There’s no telling.
Then, as we’re rolling the mower to his car and I’m silently mulling its undoubtedly bizarre fate, Colin announces that there’s something he’d like to talk to me about.
Oh, no, not again. I’ve heard that line before. Twice. No one ever wants to talk to me, about anything, and no one ever has – except on those two previous occasions when someone did want to talk to me about “something.”
“Maybe you’d like to sit on the front porch swing,” I suggest. “That’s where the last two ambushes occurred.”
Sure enough, he wants to marry my daughter. Well, all right. I’ve married off two already and I still have a couple left. Plus, Max likes him and he seems okay. That counts for something. What the hell? If he’ll agree to give me a lifetime pass at Huhot, it’s a done deal.
Huhot is where he and Max met – she as a hostess, he as a manager. I ate there a couple of times and it wasn’t half-bad, except for not being able to get a real drink from the bar because nobody knew how to make one and I couldn’t show them how because they didn’t have any of the necessary ingredients. I’m not talking about anything exotic. Just basic things like White Russians and Rusty Nails.
One hitch. Colin doesn’t work at Huhot, anymore. Now he works at a place that makes facades to dress up boring old buildings (just what I need). Sure, it’s superficial work, but it pays the bills, and the future’s bound to have better things in store for Colin and Max both.
No matter what they may do for a living, however, I hope they’ll continue to make works of art together from things they’ve found – and that their marriage, a work of art created by two people who’ve found each other, will be their masterpiece.