It’s Friday, May 23, 2014; I’m a music teacher and it’s the morning after all my spring concerts are over. My husband Patrick, a South African citizen whom I and our son have not seen for two years and seven months because of U.S. immigration, calls and wakes me. I make coffee and go outside so we can talk without waking Solomon. He is saying something about his lips being upside down or inside out (a typical cross-cultural, multi-lingual communication conundrum for us) . . . or maybe I’m just experiencing PTCD (Post Traumatic Concert Disorder) usually alleviated with an early and intense caffeine slam, but it doesn’t seem to be working this morning.
Finally he says he’s grinning from ear to ear because he passed his medical exam, nearly the final step towards our family being reunited. I start crying – that honking, hyper-ventilating cry that resembles a flock of asthmatic Canadian geese migrating overhead. Patrick asks me if this is the same kind of cry as when he asked me to marry him. He seems highly amused by my pre-caffeinated, asthmatic, honking, PTCD’d state – complete with last night’s mascara smudged on my face and bathrobe.
Quoting Gene Kelly in the opening scene of Singing In The Rain:
Dignity, always dignity!