Why Marry? Oh, Right, That’s Why
David was washing dishes after supper, his back to me, when we decided to get married. Throughout our 17 years together I had resisted the idea, not wanting to surrender authority to the church or to the state, both of which had opposed our marriage for centuries. Once more, I asked David why he wanted to wed. “Because it would bring me joy,” he replied, and that settled that. — David Jenkins
The Unifying Power of Food
In the kitchen of our community’s Sikh Temple in California’s Central Valley, people of every creed, color and class are welcome to enjoy a free meal. Everyone eats while seated on the floor; no one is higher or lower than his or her neighbor. I watch in awe as my grandmother, Kulwant Kaur, kneads a mound of dough. When the naan is done, a teenage boy picks up a perfectly cooked piece, bows his head in gratitude and embraces my grandmother. In a socially divided world, food unifies. — Henna Hundal
Leg Amputation, Then Wine and Milanos
I was a surgical resident; she was a medical student. We shook hands, had lunch, flirted. I taught her how to amputate a leg and put in a chest tube. We had our first date two weeks later. Sauvignon blanc with dinner and Milanos for dessert in the misty rain. Big thunderstorm that night. Together ever since we awoke the next morning. — Robert Topper
Wearing Her Eye Shadow
My best friend’s husband said he had something for me, then handed over a bag of Ilyse’s makeup. Eye shadow had broken open, pinkish-purple dust coating the contents. He said, “Damn it, I should’ve been more careful with it. I hope there’s something you can use.” It took him three years after she died to part with this. He doesn’t know that makeup expires, or that people shouldn’t wear each other’s. Later, my husband said, “Throw that away.” I did, but the next day, while alone, I fished the bag from the garbage. Ilyse’s eyeliner is my shade. I’m wearing it now. — Suzanne Roberts
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