Here's a story about romance. Not the Valentine's Day bullshit kind. The real kind. On the first birthday I ever spent with Isaac, he bought me a frying pan. A FRYING PAN. Now let me tell you, on initial encounter, it wasn't that I was disappointed, exactly. I had not fallen in love with a man with a Ferrari or a Ferrari budget (thank god and dammit). But really, dude, a frying pan? He presented it, beaming, unwrapped, entirely naked, stern in its plain, utilitarian usefulness, and I dutifully went through the motions of pretending to be absolutely delighted (you can take the girl out of England..). What a nice sturdy handle! I exclaimed, half-heartedly. A terribly useful non-stick surface! Just the right size for pancakes! Then he explained.
When his parents were newly married, both just out of the military and living in Alabama, for their first wedding anniversary Isaac's father had wanted to get his new wife, Isaac's Mum, something nice. But they were totally broke, living at home, saving up for a new life in Texas. So, Isaac's dad went along to a tiny store in Gadsden, one of the only places to buy things at the time, and he saw the frying pan. They needed one, he said. He also remembers it was "teflon, and about four or five dollars" (I called up my sweet father-in-law, Dave, to get him to tell me the story in his own words). He also remembered that Isaac's Mum was "very surprised, and very gracious".
They used the frying pan for years, he added. Though he insists that when it comes to his romantic gifting skills, "I got better!".
So here's to the loveliest of family traditions. And here's to my frying pan. Long may it sizzle, and hang in the walls of my heart and home- as hot, heavy and hopeful as my love.
This Christmas Isaac got me a Soda Stream. I LOVE IT.