I hear that something might have happened in Paris 222 years ago yesterday. But think on this historical factoid: 35 years and one day ago, my mother married my father. 

Revolutionary? It was for me.

My grandmother, yesterday: "I remember the day your parents got married. We were living in Tuscany at the time.... You've heard this story?"

Me: "Oh, yes. My favorite part is how you arranged for one of their friends, unbeknownst to them, to read a special poem at the reception, a poem you had composed for the occasion."

[Blank looks.]

My grandmother: "Er, right. Well I don't remember that, but I remember that I made a special mother-of-the-bride dress, and at the hour they were married in the States we sat on our terrace in Tuscany, dressed for the occasion, toasting them with champagne." [Pause.] "It's amazing how much detail you, who hadn't been conceived yet - luckily-" [She gives me a caustic glance.] "added to this memory for me."

So I came home just in the nick of time to celebrate the anniversary with them over sushi.  We’ve decided that the 35th is the uni-versary. (And not the uni-versity, as I kept saying, with my academic worldview firmly in place.)

My friend, the Dorky Medievalist: “If your parents were David and Victoria Beckham your name would be Bastille.”

Hey, if I had been a boy my name would have been Orfeo or Rafael. So maybe they secretly are David and Victoria Beckham. Though you'd think I would have noticed.

Then my cousin chimes in: ‘If you'd been a boy, you wouldn't have survived more than a few months. I distinctly remember your father sitting at the marble breakfast table at [his mother’s house], your very preggers mum there as well -- and saying, "If it's a boy, we'll milk feed him for a few months and then make him into a delicious pâté." No joke... Needless to say, we were tremendously relieved when YOU were born!’

When I recounted this to my parents, my mother said, "I don't remember that. I remember appeasing him by saying that if we had a boy we could always expose him on a mountainside. I think your cousin made up that story."

"Uh, I don't think so," I replied, "That sounds EXACTLY like him. Who else would propose making his son into a PATÉ, for god's sake? How would she make that up?"

"Well," she said with a surly look of self-doubt, "They are related."

My father just chuckled throughout this conversation.  The next day he suddenly turns to me and says, “There’s one thing that doesn’t ring true about that story.” [Pensive pause.] “I would have suggested roasting it.  Like a suckling pig.”

“ME, not it,” I sniped. “You would have roasted ME.”

Welcome to family life chez Sycorax.

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