Chad and I had two friends in college who were cousins to each other, but who had shared verbal oddities and strange, secret rituals like many twin siblings do. These cousins were from the New Orleans area and introduced us to the lovely tradition of king cake parties during the pre-Lenten season. They taught us the official king cake song which sounded very silly and involved holding up your index fingers from closed fists on both hands and bending those index fingers up and down in time to the song. We later found out that the cousins made up the song and hand movements.
They also taught us how to play Mystery Card which was a nonsensical card game that involved holding up your index finger from a closed fist and saying the words "mystery card" in a high-pitched, sing-song voice before drawing a card. Each player took turns drawing cards until the deck was depleted. There were no winners or losers in Mystery Card.
My favorite thing that the cousins made up and taught to us was "love lists". Make a list of 25 things you love and 10 things you hate. Share it with the people present at the time. Seal the list in an envelope, writing the date on the outside of the envelope, and put the envelope away in a safe place. Open the envelope at some future date and bask in the memories.
Chad and I made love lists pretty regularly over the nearly seventeen years we've known each other, but have neglected to do so lately. I'm making a love list and sharing it here rather than sealing it in an envelope.
Love: (in no particular order)
1. Our 1952 house
2. Chad - and that he spends more time in Austin now with me
3. Janie - just about the best dog we could ever hope to find
4. Sonic - fourteen pounds of feline Mama's boy
5. Kenji - cuddle now, dangit!
6. Marigold - sweet old lady baby
8. Casey's New Orleans Snowballs on a hot day
9. June tomato crops from our yard
10. Basil from our yard
11. Mint from our yard
12. Mojitos! made from the mint from our yard
13. Our lovely planted areas outside
14. The lush, green not-exactly-grass that surrounds our house right now
15. Affordable Lawn Maintenance that mows and edges our yard every 2 weeks so Chad & I don't have to!
16. That Chad is going to let me repaint the kitchen! Bye-bye radioactive green walls!
17. Time with old friends and new acquaintances -- so great to see people last Friday at Lustre Pearl!
19. Reading: magazines, classic literature, silly best-sellers, chick-lit, cereal boxes, blogs, etc...
20. Swimming at Deep Eddy Pool
22. Tacos del Jardin from Chango's
23. Cinnamon Rolls from Upper Crust Bakery
24. British mysteries on Masterpiece Mystery on PBS
I'm too happy right now to dwell on thinking up ten things to hate, so no list. Maybe on a hot day in late August, I'll readily come up with those things, which will likely all center on the weather.