|My parents as frog and princess at a Halloween party in the late seventies/early eighties|
My mom attended Divine Savior Holy Angels High School and my dad attended Marquette University High School. They met through friends and one of my mom's friends dated my dad. There was a connection between them as they both describe it to me and they both traveled and saw each other when in town at the same time. My dad spent his service days in Turkey and my mom worked as an airline stewardess.
Eventually when my mom's friend was no longer dating my dad, he asked my mom out. My mom asked her friend if she minded.
"You want to go out with Joel Kriofske? Go ahead. I think he's gay."
Apparently he hadn't made a move on her.
My mom went out with him right after she was given the go-ahead. She called her friend the next day.
"Did you have a good time with Joel?" She'd asked.
"I did." My mom said, "And he's not gay."
My parents love each other. It's clear in the way they look at each other, laugh together, and know each other. I remember coming downstairs to ask a question after bedtime and finding them kissing on the couch. I'd run upstairs like I didn't like it but when I got back into bed, I would smile to myself and think that one day, I wanted a love like that.
Forty years is a long time. That's almost how old I am. My whole life, they've been partners. My mom still sticks mashed up food in my dad's ear as retribution when he teases her and they still kiss on the couch.
I appreciate being raised with their humor and openness and the way they showed us marriage can be.