Inside the box were two homemade biscuits coated in a soft layer of green fuzz. Green, fuzzy mold to be precise. My Handsome Man, my fiance, the love of my life, sent me a box of moldy biscuits as a sign of his undying (cause that mold was most definitely living) love.
I could see immediately what had happened. Chuck had baked these biscuits and in a moment of passion and unbridled love, placed the warm biscuits in a plastic bag and sealed it. Five days in the mail had given the mold ample time to grow. Just like our love. What was I going to do? He had been so happy and proud to send me homemade biscuits. I could see his motive and care… It seemed wrong to just dump them in the garbage.
Slowly (like, really slowly) I broke one moldy biscuit in half, separating the top from the bottom. I found a mold-free spot in the middle, broke of a tiny piece and ate it.
Then I threw the biscuits in the garbage.
Before Chuck had left to head back to British Columbia, we had visited a travel agent (hey, this was 1995) and booked tickets for me to go and meet his family over spring break. I was excited and nervous at the same time. By this time in my life I was quite literally a world traveler. I had stamps in my passport for: Thailand, Korea, Kenya, Tanzania, Russia and Brazil. But I had never flown alone.
My schedule, like most university students, was busy and hectic. Every morning, Monday through Friday from 6:30 to 11:30 am I babysat for two little boys ages 1 and 3. I drove directly from there to the University of Alaska. My last class was over at 5:15. I would head home to Grandma’s, fix a pot of coffee, grab some dinner (usually salad and yogurt) and sip the coffee while I did my homework. Saturdays I did laundry, shopping and more homework. Sundays were for church.
Chuck and I were still sending a flurry of sappy love letters back and forth between two countries. In six months we had: met and traveled to the jungles of Brazil together, shared our first kiss, become engaged and separated yet again. Finally, finally the day I arrived. Spring break was here and I was flying to British Columbia. Alone.
The flight was only three and a half hours. I found a certain pleasure in traveling alone. I settled in with a good book and some chocolate. The stewardess kindly brought me fresh hot coffee…and when that ran out, she brought me more. I was, of course, a nervous wreck. When Chuck came to visit me, he was just “a guy from my team”…I was meeting his family as Chuck’s fiancé. Dresses have never been my thing, but I went out and bought two before my visit (just in case). I knew his mom and dad were throwing a huge engagement party for us. His parents…that was another thing. His parents were named Jean and Sandy. Or was it Sandy and Gene? Both of his parents had gender neutral names and I was terrified I would mix them up. At just the wrong moment.
Let’s see…he had two sisters, one brother and two nieces. I went over their names in my head, determined to remember who was who. Man that was a lot of people. I really needed flashcards. I turned back to my book, Interview with a Vampire, and tried to lose myself in the story. And drown my anxiety in coffee.
The plane began it’s decent and the stewardess collected my coffee…I feel the plane shudder as the landing gear came down. I could see the lights illuminating the city below.
It was game time.