Remember that episode of Mad Men, when Roger Sterling's daughter got married on Nov. 23, 1963, the day after JFK was assassinated? That storyline has always stuck with me, because it almost happened in real life to my parents (seen here performing their nightly pre-meal snake-charming ritual):
After my folks got engaged, the two families perused their calendars for the right Saturday for the wedding, and the initial pass saw nothing but conflicts. Negotiations lingered on until, my mother says, she said Enough Already and decided randomly that HitchDay would be Nov. 16.
She could just as easily have chosen the 23rd. But as events played out, my parents were somehow spared the joyless experience of marrying the day after your president is killed. Instead, they were told by a worker at their hotel in the Caribbean, and got to spend the rest of their honeymoon wondering what kind of America was waiting for them when they returned.
One of my enduring fantasies is to go back in time and meet my parents when they were young adults, Back to the Future-Style. To see what they were like when they first got together, and how freaked out they must have been when some stranger on a beach told them their home was in turmoil.
It's also ironic to think that, on the show, the assassination is the life-jarring event that triggers the Drapers' divorce. So if my folks' wedding had been a week later, it stands to reason that one of them could have had a Massive Whoa Moment and called the whole thing off.
I often think too much about things.
Happy 49th, Mom and Dad. I can't fathom how you did it, but I also can't fathom how people charm snakes. Maybe they're related somehow.