Daily Archives: Friday, October 26, 2012

My very own personal Mathematical Constant – 1

A Mathematical Constant, according to Wikipedia is “a special number, usually a real number, that is “significantly interesting in some way”. Constants arise in many different areas”.

I suppose that if there is something that reminds me on a daily basis just how lucky I am, it would be what I am referring to as my mathematical constant… My mother.

If there is something that has be a constant in my life it is my mother, an d if there is o be a true definition of her role in my life it is certainly that she is special, real and significantly interesting… and if you consider how I was raised she certainly arose in many different areas.  I can recall from a very young age just how beautiful I thought she was, what with her wavy dark hair, her tall frame and her brown eyes and then how I continued in that awe of her beauty as she moved from youthful beauty to one that included learned wisdom.

But how does one write appropriately about the gift of their own mother?

She has been a constant in my life. I have never really ever thought that she was not at my side… and that double negative comes from Spanish, it is good… deal with it, it is a part of one of her gifts and I lay that at her feet in a disgraceful misuse of English… in this case, I will let it stand as an homage to her facilitating my learning of languages.

I have such vivid memories of her through-out my life.. how I was convinced she was a model as I saw her go out one evening wearing a black velvet dress that was embroidered with gold… she was so stunning.

I remember once her taking me to go buy my uniform for the German school I attended. I was taller than your average child so perhaps there was something special about this. I remember going to this store that must have been a fabric store, which leads me to believe she was buying the correct fabric that my school required.. a houndstooth skirt or pant, a white button down shirt and a green sweater. So, I remember her going through this fabric and finding a bunch of hounds tooth and her buying u a bunch. Now, I don’t know if this following event is related but I do recall coming from school one day and being handed new uniform items. Now the skirts usually looked like this:

  But I was handed something like this:

And this:

I recall being taken aback by how much these items did not look like the ones the other students wore and being terribly worried and so she sat me down with the student manual where it described the dress code and seeing that indeed, there was no specification. as to how long or short a skirt was to be, or even that girls could or could not wear pants.

And so, in that act my mother taught me all about rebellious conformity. I would have been in fourth grade, so about I would have been about ten years old.  I wish that I had been able to keep that spirit of fashion sense though.  She was such a wonderful dresser and taught me about fabrics and what excellent sewing looked like… I can spot a non-couture pleat a mile a way based on her teachings.

Shatzy

Treasure (+ y)

That is what the word means, and in my prime Latin self I made it a diminutive and roll it off my tongue for a very special person. MY Schatzy!

In February 1999 I was back in the USA on a medical school sabbatical trying my best to avoid a volcanic eruption and failing economy. I managed to succeed. More than I even thought possible as I cried my way on to a “full” flight back to Arizona… except for that one space in First Class (that had sadly run out of champagne by the time I got on, yeah right…).

Within two weeks I would find a friend on-line. His handle was Tintin and he seemed delighted that I could recognize the name and that I was familiar with Asterix and Obelix. 

The family I had lived with in South America was Swiss. The father spoke German and he and his German speaking friends made fun of my feeble attempts to join them in their Germanic jocularity.

So, I proposed to my new friend, Tintin, that we exchange language lessons. He had mentioned being interested in learning Spanish. It sounded like a swell deal to me… I would return to South America with a lovely German language repertoire and he would reap the benefits of my native Spanish skills.

So, we arranged to meet. On Valentine’s day.  I recall thinking, as I was sitting across from him and heard him talk so lovingly about his family, that I would end up marrying this man. It was an interesting thought to cross my mind. This stranger, from a land far away. A land that I had not particularly cared when I had had a previous chance to visit… what with them being practically closed on a Sunday, to such an extent that I felt lucky that the train I had taken from Budapest had even graced us with a willingness to stop… even though I wanted so desperately to return to Hungary.

So here I was, in a Mexican restaurant, listening to this young man tell me about his life in Austria and Germany. Tell me the tale of how he found himself in Arizona and just completely accepting that I would, indeed, marry this man… even if he did not know it.

So, we began a courtship… two very different people enjoying each others company, being charmed by the others non-american peculiarities.

Three and a half months go by and I am standing in a friends back yard saying I do. To him. A Tintin that would become my Schatzy. That was over 14 years ago.