MARSHMALLOW: a sweet white confection usually in the form of a spread or small spongy cylindrical pieces now usually made from corn syrup, sugar, albumen, and gelatin but formerly from the marshmallow’s root

It’s the seasons of Peeps.  I’ve never been excited about that particular Easter treat.  I’m more of a marshmallow purist.  But, looking at the yellow bird Peeps from Son and Daughter’s baskets got me thinking about marshmallows…which got me thinking about campfires…which got me thinking about roasting sticks…which made me think of my parent’s divorce.  That probably seems like a strange mental leap to you.  Bear with me and it will all become clear.

If you met my parents separately, you would not set them up with each other.  The fact that they were married for nearly a decade would puzzle you greatly.  Their marriage seemed to cycle every six to twelve months.  Toleration, separation, reconciliation.  Rinse and repeat.  I think if one performed the advanced mathematical calculations required the total time they resided in the same house would be more like four years.  Even that seems a remarkable accomplishment for two people so unsuitably matched.  “Irreconcilable differences” is a succinct and accurate justification for their eventual divorce.  Well, that and the devastating effects of alcoholism. 

To their credit, my parents had a remarkably civil divorce.  Apparently, they channeled all the grace and patience they conserved in the ceramic-mug-throwing arguments of their marriage into their divorce negotiations.  Or, it’s possible that my dad recognized the weak bargaining position brought on by his infidelity and drinking.  According to my mom, the entire divorce cost about $100 dollars – a combination of the filing fee and a quick legal review of the self-drafted divorce agreement.    Surely, that is a record low for a divorce involving three children and real estate – both of which ended up in my mom’s column.  My mom loves us and having a roof over our heads was a huge relief.  However, nearly three decades later I think the thing she is most pleased about is that she got to keep the marshmallow forks.  S’mores are sacred.   

They are a fine set of marshmallow forks.  Like a high-quality knife, they are perfectly balanced and feel terrific in your hand.  They extend the perfect distance to allow you to be close enough to monitor the browning of your marshmallow without being so close that you lose knuckle hair.  They have enough flexibility to slope comfortably from the hands of a person seated in a camp chair to the lower coals of the fire that are ideal for roasting but are not so weak that they flop into unintended areas and catch fire.  That is to say, they were worth fighting for.  I hope she leaves them to me in her will.

Husband and I included marshmallow roasting forks on our wedding registry.  Yep, we registered at REI – we’re cool like that.  Getting marshmallow sticks together (rather than one of us having a prenuptial claim to the roasting sticks) seemed like the right thing to do.  To me, it was meaningful evidence of our commitment to the marriage and our confidence that our love would last a lifetime.

Older “M” post you may have missed: Messy

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