Once upon a time, I dated this guy. We are going to call him “E”. E lived in Minneapolis. The first most notable thing about my relationship with E was that we broke up in a Denny’s. As I called my mother on the way back to Iowa after that un-eaten breakfast, she told me I couldn’t come home as there was a blizzard on the way. My only other friend in Minneapolis at the time was out of town, so I had to drive back to E’s house and grovel for somewhere to stay. Two days we sat, in the snow, often without power, just not talking. Awkward doesn’t even cover it.
The second most notable thing about E was his family. They lived up north and spoke in that very stereotypical Minnesotan accent, donchahknow. His family was awesome. They were these incredibly open, kind people, who lived in a cabin in the woods. I was in awe. They were just. so. nice. They didn’t seem to know what sarcasm was, they put on elaborate puppet shows for each other…
And they sang…amazing 4 part harmonies of songs I had never heard before – Kenny Loggins, Arlo Guthrie, the McGarrigles, . They sang for hours. After awhile, I was roped in and taught the Soprano part of their version of “Goin’ to the Zoo”. Since then, I have never met a happier-clappier bunch of people.
Fourteen years later, I can’t go to the zoo without singing my part of “Goin’ to the Zoo” and thinking about blizzards and 4 puppet shows. It amazes me how people you will never see again stay with you.
And I still can’t eat at Denny’s.