I may be responsible for the possible engagement and subsequent marriage of the Adorable Young Couple I met last night. It is quite satisfying, the knowledge that you may have manipulated someone to make a life altering choice, and I had not felt that devious sense of accomplishment in a very long time. I suppose you need a little back story.
Years ago, when our children were toddlers and we were trapped – devoted – to providing for their every whim while finding no time to express our own individuality, my husband and I would conduct tiny experiments in human nature. We would pack up the kids, take a picnic lunch and stake out a picturesque spot at a local park. There we would eat and play and lie in wait. As soon as we spotted an unsuspecting young couple, with too much disposable income and free time, jogging towards us we would spring to action. One of our kids would run past the joggers, make a wide loop and head back toward the picnic where my husband would grab the tot, swing him or her into the air causing the kid to shriek with laughter and a giggle filled 'I wuv you Daddy!'. The other would nuzzle into my lap and wave shyly at the joggers, who would now be stopped in their tracks and smiling at such unabashed cuteness. I swear, you could hear the biological alarm clock.
It felt great knowing that we had managed to take two more down with us.
Fast forward to last night and the doomed couple.
As a way to shake up our dinner club – six comfortably over twenty-year-old friends who get together every couple of months for a meal, some wine and the occasional heated conversation – we went to the City Museum. If you have never been just try imagining Dr. Seuss on acid with some help from Louis Carroll and a dash of Tim Burton. There are no words to describe the wonderful craziness except to say that IT IS NOT A MUSEUM. It is home to (for starters) the World's Largest Underpants and No 2 Pencil, an interior cave system and my nemesis, the Ten Story Slide.
It was at the top of the Ten Story Slide – which was accesses by a climb of ten stories through near claustrophobic tunnels – that we met The Adorable Couple. They were twenty-somethings at the Museum to celebrate his birthday. We began talking after I broke up some smoochers who were holding up the line. Adorable Girl informed us that there was NO WAY she was going to kiss Adorable Guy as he was all sweaty. We reminded her that Adorable Guy had brought her to this awesome place on a date so he might be a contender for Cool Guy of the Year. Adorable Guy informed us that it was in fact Adorable Girl who had brought him to this very spot, ten stories above the circular ramps of the old shoe factory, surrounded by a wall of old specimen pans and carbonation canisters overlooking a pipe organ which appears to be hanging in mid air. We discussed the pros and cons of such a date as well as the anxiety ramping up in all of us as we waited to shoot down the abyss.
Adorable Girl went first.
The museum has a camera positioned at the bottom of the slide. It is suppose to allow the Slide Monitor a way to be sure the last body – guest – has cleared the slide before the next victim – guest takes a turn. And we all joined Adorable Guy as he waited for her to emerge from the gaping maw at the bottom. When she arrived intact he took off. And much to our delight, upon landing he jumped up and into the arms of Adorable Girl who proceeded to plant a Hollywood Kiss* right on his lips. We cheered appropriately and with enough vigor to cover my screams as I took my turn.
We ran into the Couple later that evening. They congratulated us on making it down alive and then they said the words every over ^&*% year old wants to hear – 'Wow, you guys all did it? You are way cooler than our parents. All they do is sit at home and watch TV.'
They then gazed into the other's eyes and without speaking said the words – 'When we are their age we too will be the most awesome married people ever!'
My husband and I smiled. Its good to know we still got it.
*Hollywood Kiss: the act of kissing someone just like in the movies; usually accompanied by lifting one foot, dipping the kissee or in extreme instances jumping up and wrapping both legs around the kisser. Not recommended for casual use.
The Ten Story Slide does indeed take you down ten stories on a twisting ramp once used to deposit shoes into bins in the basement of the factory. The line to take your turn averages about fifteen minutes. It takes approximately forty seconds and three breaths to scream all the way to the bottom. I could not get a picture of the slide as it is in part of the cave portion of the museum and pretty dimly lit so instead I give you THE WORLD'S LARGEST UNDERPANTS:
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