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  • My father often jokes that he is still paying for his first wife. My mother, his only wife.

    They have been married thirty-five years. Mutual friends introduced them in college; Dad noticed Mom's hiking boots, Mom thought Dad was awfully cute in his blue sweater. Six months later they were married.

    Growing up, their affection embarrassed me. They were always touching; Dad's hand on the small of Mom's back, a quick kiss as they passed in the kitchen. A much longer kiss when they thought we weren't looking. In front of my friends, one would call for the other to join them in the shower. Their displays made my face burn with childish shame; other parents didn't touch, didn't call each other lover, definitely never bathed together. I wanted them to stop being so forward with their love, to keep it quiet and allow me to blend in.

    I'm so glad they never did. Happy anniversary.

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