After graduation, the Chef met and married perhaps the most genuinely nice person the CA Scotch Couple have ever known. While on one hand, the term "Saint" doesn't really apply, in that she is not sanctimonious in the least, in another, it is perfect. The Saint is the most kind, calm, and gentle individual the CA Scotch Couple know. In addition, she is bright, interesting, and a whole lot of fun.
The Chef and the Saint and the CA Scotch Couple kept in touch for many years after school. In fact, CA Scotch Gent was the Chef's best man, and the Chef and the Saint joined the CA Scotch Couple in Paris and Vienna when the CA Scotch Couple were living in Belgium. Alas, life intervenes, however, and it had been eight years since the CA Scotch Couple had seen the Chef and the Saint. In the interim the Chef and the Saint's family had grown exponentially. They now had three young boys: the (not evil at all) Evil Boy Genius (age 9), the (very) Brave and Faithful Aviator (age 6), and the (clothes are optional) Commando (age 3).
Now the CA Scotch Couple like children. The CA Scotch Couple's misanthropic tendencies mean that they often find it more comfortable to spend time with children than with adults. However, as individuals whose lives are not populated by a whole lot of children, they are sometimes frustrated by how child-centric society is today. In the CA Scotch Couple's humble opinion, children should be a part of a social environment, not the total focus, and they should be independent enough to entertain themselves when parents have company. Long ago the CA Scotch Couple discovered, however, that most of the households they visit these days do not harbor these same beliefs. Lives revolve around the frenetic schedules and demands of the child, and there is little opportunity for adults to sit and talk.
What a refreshing experience it was, therefore, to visit with the Chef and the Saint and their three boys. Somehow, this little neighborhood in Washington is a world that time forgot. The children all flow in and out of each other's houses, riding bikes, cutting across back lawns, and in general playing independently the way children did in the past. It helped that the Chef and the Saint have a lovely old rambling house that they have carefully restored and that is big enough to stash large groups of young males. However, the general atmosphere was simply one of a lazy summer afternoon. There was no dashing off in a car to meet the demands of a busy Saturday schedule, no interruptions requesting that the parents referee disputes, and not a single video game or television turned on while we were there. The children (from the entire neighborhood) were all respectful, and even the Commando played independently with the big boys!
When the crash of kids joined the adults for the Chef's killer BLT sandwiches, it was a peaceful setting, with the children all at one table and the adults at another, all eating and talking happily. No bad behavior, no tears — just two groups of individuals having lunch. The CA Scotch Couple are well aware that it took many long hours of establishing expectations and encouraging independence to create such an idyllic scene, and in the CA Scotch Couple's opinion, whatever the Chef and the Saint and the other parents in this neighborhood are doing should be applauded. It made for a delightful afternoon, both for the children and the adults.
That night the Chef and the Saint arranged for their regular babysitter to stay with the boys, and the the two couples ventured into the Portland night life. Join us next time, Ladies and Gents for a review of a fantastic meal and a bourbon surprise.