Just Like Pigeons

30 years ago today, these two jokesters got married.  

They later turned into my parents, but they didn’t know how incredibly lucky they’d be at the time.

This weekend, my siblings and I descended on the fine city of Las Vegas to celebrate this momentous occasion with them. Because what other locale in the world epitomizes the lofty concepts of faithfulness, fidelity, and marital harmony so clearly as Vegas? Nowhere.

I drank that. No seriously, I did.

Be not fooled be them! My brother is holding an open bottle of champagne (look closely).

I tried to get my parents to renew their vows here, but they didn't see the point (there is no point, really, except that it would have been hilarious).

On the last night of our trip, we attended the requisite magic show that should rightfully accompany any good trip to Vegas. But not just any magic show. We saw the man, the legend, known as David Copperfield. You know, that dude that made the Statue of Liberty disappear. This is one sorcerer who doesn’t fuck around. Even Oprah says so:

At the end of his show, Copperfield brings about a dozen people on stage, seats them on a raised platform, does some fancy stuff, and makes them disappear. It’s a pretty remarkable slight of hand, one that I’d always imagined was accomplished through the participation of low-paid performers planted throughout the audience.

Not so. I know this definitively now because my father was one such participant. That’s right, this weekend I saw David Copperfield make my daddy vanish in a dramatic puff of smoke.

Of course he reappeared moments later at the back of the theater, waving a flashlight around with the blind pride of a toddler who’s just successfully taken a shit on the toilet. Oh, was he smug.

The point of this, really, boils down to that moment in the middle, when he was gone. When, I assume, he was floating through space as a bunch of glittery disassembled particles, like Mike Teevee in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I think it’s a true testament to my parents’ marriage that, even after 30 years, I know my mother actually hoped he’d return. That she must have experienced a moment, however brief, of fear that all was lost, her imagination conjuring a bleak, dull future without him in it. I know my mama well enough to know that, despite the wide-eyed look of awe plastered across her face, one thought only was running through her mind: Copperfield, if you don’t bring my husband back by the time I count to three, there will be hell to pay. That’s love right there.

Happy anniversary, you two. We love you more than words.

Life
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33 Comments

  1. “I think it’s a true testament to my parents’ marriage that, even after 30 years, I know my mother actually hoped he’d return.”

    Okay, that made me cry.

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, Daniel’s mom and Daniel’s dad! I hope I get to meet you guys in person someday, because by all accounts, you two are a whole bunch of awesome.

    xoxox Anna

  2. That was really sweet. Your family must be all kinds of awesome. I especially loved the thought you figured was running through her mind. Loved it a whole lot.

  3. Hey, the options were champagne or Four Loko. At least we kept it classy.

  4. Thank you my darling for such a sweet and entertaining writing, dedicated to just us. Just in case you all are doubting how well Daniel knows his mother, here is what I tweeted to David Copperfield during the show. “@d_copperfield We are celebrating our 30th anniversary. Please don’t make my husband disappear.” Good thing he brought him back or yes, there would have been a law suit filed by this morning. Thanks to all my children who came out to this entertaining place to celebrate with us. We love you and hope that you each can find someone you’d like to spend your lifetime with. XOXO
    (Is your father holding a cigarette or what in his hand that is not around a much skinnier me?)

    • three things I just noticed about this photo when I posted it, that make me love it even more:
      1. Dad didn’t actually play lacrosse in high school.
      2. Mullet Bay hat!
      3. Yes, he’s totally holding a cigarette. But in his LEFT hand, which means he swapped hands just so he could put his arm around you. Romantic, in a nicotine-y way.

      • 1. Was wondering about that…
        2. Noticed that!
        3. But he bats lefty. Maybe he smoked lefty too?

  5. Love this post. It reminded me I had a crush on David Copperfield when I was 13 or so. He had so enchanting eyes…. And I was listening to “Yes, yes, we are magicians” with The Crookes while reading it – so appropriate it’s almost scary. :) That picture of your parents could have been taken yesterday – they look so cool! Happy anniversary Daniels parents!

  6. hehehheeh. Sounds like you guys had a blast.

  7. This was very sweet.

  8. You guys are funny! LOVE those pics and love your writing! Glad you all had fun!

    Miss you

    ~sky

  9. Outstanding. I only hope my two can write something half as great in 10 years when we hit 30. And I would totally hit that chapel for some vow renewing.

  10. Congrats to them and your entire fam!

    Your brother is cute and has an amazing smile.

  11. I am So. Jealous. Of your dad.

    Also, you are one attractive family.

  12. Congrats – such fun! Geez, your family sure has nice teeth. I can’t tell who your twin is? Your bro and you aren’t identical…are you?

  13. So first and foremost, major thanks and props to Daniel for such an amazing and sweet post. It lit up our day the same way you light up our lives (along with your equally amazing and photogenic sibs). Now to the questions, which had they been directed at me, I would have happily answered:

    1. I am old enough to have invented Lacrosse. Didn’t think of that possibility did you?
    2. The “substance” in the left hand – Let’s just say this. The picture was taken after a fraternity softball game, and let me make sure you are clear that we were not known as the drinking fraternity. The Sigma Alphas pretty much had that title wrapped up 24/7/365. So, conjure up what you will.
    3. That hat speaks for itself. Mullet Bay was magical then and is magical now. The big difference is you didn’t have to sleep on the beach then. That is not to say you couldn’t, just that there were choices.

    To all our kids, you are “the story of us”, and we couldn’t love you more or be prouder of what you have all become. Thanks for being here with us, and Daniel, for an amazing present!

  14. That’s a great photo of your parents. I demand a now pic!

  15. Sounds like you all had a blast! Cool parents, the kind I’d always dreamed of having…
    The wedding chapel WOULD have been hilarious. They are so lucky to have such a talented and loving son. Happy anniversary folks of Daniel :-)

  16. Oh and I went to see David Copperfield in show… mindblowing!

  17. I’ m with Victoria……would love to see a now pic.

  18. What a lovely post about your parents. Thanks for sharing.

  19. We were just at a friends’ daughter’s wedding last weekend where we took a lovely new Pic. I will scan it and send it to you on Friday, Daniel.

  20. Very beautiful story! I’m a high school English teacher in Toronto, Ontario and we’re currently working on digital memoirs wherein my students tell one story that illustrates a much larger theme of their life. Would you mind if I shared this story (via your webpage) in class?

    Thanks,
    Lisa

  21. Not to spoil the atmosphere, but there is an utterly terrifying Neil Gaiman story wherein an old married couple takes their grandson to a magic show and the wife is made to disappear and it goes very poorly. You should read it. I think it’s called Queen of Knives. It might ruin any future Copperfield adventures you may have though.

    Yeah, I really bring the happy. I read a touching and beautifully-illustrated account of a couple’s long-running romance and all I get out of it is “HEY THAT REMINDS ME OF THAT HORRIBLE SCARY GAIMAN STORY!”

    Glad you had fun :D

  22. Love it! You do have the best luck.

    Thought you might like my new blog. I’m kinda no-nonsense too.

  23. Your take on Copperfield made me laugh out loud and cry inside.

  24. Your parents are so adorable!

  25. Oh my gawd, Laura looks so much like your dad it’s scary.

  26. I drop in on your blog frequently and really enjoy your posts. I love your humor. I had to smile when I saw the picture of your parents because it looks like your Dad and I went to the same high school though several years apart. He might have been there when my older siblings were there.

  27. was your dad from the burbs of Chicago? a bunch of my friends went to New Trier!

  28. Duuude, David Copperfield made me disappear in that very same act too, only it was about 5 years ago and in KY. There is no better feeling than blacking out for 20 seconds and waking up on a balcony in the back of an auditorium–pure magic, I tell ya! That’s the story I tell when all my friends ask me how he did it. :) Congrats to your parents, 30 years is really something to celebrate!

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