About a month later, we received a thank you note that made me laugh so hard I cried. Just like the invitation to the event itself, the thank you note was addressed to "Husband and Guest." That was funny enough, but it really made me laugh when the card itself said, "Dear Husband and Guest ..." I joked with the Husband that this was his mother's doing. I imagined the following conversation between the Husband's cousin and mother:
INT. THE HUSBAND'S MOTHER'S KITCHEN
The telephone rings. Mother stops putting pins in the voodoo doll and answers the phone.
I had a quick question for you. What is the Husband's partner's name? There were so many people at the party I think I missed his name.
I have no idea what his name is.
Oh. Really? I thought they'd been together for five years.
I choose not to know his name. And you'll make the same choice if you know what's good for you.
That's perhaps an exaggeration, but she does seem to make a point of misspelling my name.
But that's ancient history!
Yesterday, a card arrived in the mail. It was addressed to the Husband and I, correctly using both of our names, from the other cousin's child. Inside, it started out with great promise:
Dear Husband and Mark,
Thank you for the gift. I have used most of it. I'm glad you were able to come to my Bar Mitzvah.
The gift was cash, so it shows incredible forethought that he's kept such careful track. Perhaps he has a future as an accountant. But then things went horribly, horribly wrong.
It's signed, "Love," but then "Love" is scribbled out and replaced with, "From."
It made me remember what it's like to be thirteen, when you'd think that people would care if you signed a note, "Love," to someone who, when you get down to it, you probably don't love.
I can see the young man writing the card. He's in a groove, signing all these cards to members of his family, and then he accidentally signs "Love" on the one to some cousin he's never really met. He envisions the following scene:
INT. MARK'S KITCHEN
There are lots and lots of wallpaper borders. Everywhere. Mark and the Husband are opening the card.
Oh. My. God. "Love?" He said he loves us?
Seriously? What is wrong with him?
He seemed very awkward at that Bar Mitzvah.
Yeah, but doesn't he know the difference between "Love" and "From?"
I'm going to send him pink stationery for Hannukah.
I'm going to drive to his high school and tell all of his friends that he loves us.
That's a good idea.
I really don't miss high school.