Monday, May 25, 2009

Dear Happy,

Oh, I could not agree more. In fact, I hate any occasion of forced joviality OR solemnity. Circuses, parades, fetes, lawn parties, funerals, minutes of silence, whatever - hate 'em all. Plus, I have clear, visceral childhood memories of standing on parade routes in the town where I grew up and, as the marching bands went by, feeling the booming percussion of the drums in the pit of my stomach. A most unpleasant sensation. No thanks.

I don't have much military service in my family, with the exception of my brother-in-law, who was a West Point grad and an officer in Vietnam during the years I was protesting it. That made for some interesting family get-togethers, and by "interesting" I mean fraught with barely-repressed hostility. Later, he and my sister joined this Catholic cult called Cursillo Go ahead, read the definition of it and see if you can suppress your gag reflex. It was as loony and awful as it sounds. Anyway, at the same time that they were going goo-goo for gah-god, he was teaching a course on advanced weaponry at West Point. No disconnect there, cause, y'know, who would Jebus target with precision missiles? Alarmingly, they saw no incongruity.

Later, their son, my nephew, attended West Point briefly, I think because he felt pressured into following in his dad's footsteps. To say he was ill-suited to that environment is an understatement.....he threw himself out a second-story dormitory window there in his freshman year (not seriously hurt) and that was that.

And my mother's brother served in WWII. I have this silver bracelet- actually, I think it's aluminum - that he gave my mother when he came home, with the words "Loving Sister" engraved on it, and on the inside is stamped "GERMANY 1945." My mom told me it was made from melted down German aircraft, but who knows? I still wear it sometimes.

My Beloved has decided that since it's Memorial Day, what better way to celebrate than by listening to John Phillip Sousa marches? As I type, brain-jarring bursts of staccato, horn-heavy melodies are reverberating through the house. It's a drum majorette's wet dream. Please make it stop. Still, it's easier to listen to than Louie Prima, another of MB's inexplicable faves. I think they use his "music" at Gitmo, a clear violation of both national and international law.

Enjoy the sun, Happy.

Peace Out,

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