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Year 3: Leather

People watching at fancy hotels is the best. Such a strange group of people. You realize that money doesn’t make you pretty and that humans are just humans, bathing suits and bellies and bottoms and tan lines and burn lines and hairy backs. And we all just want to get some sunshine, order a beer, and go for a swim.

“Oh man! Look at that guy!” Kamel said, “He’s roasting! He looks like he’s smoked a thousand cigars. He looks like, he looks like…”

The first thing that came to mind was the word “Tanning” …. but I didn’t mean it in the “lay out in the sun and get a bronze” way, I meant it the other, original way. But instead I said…

“He’s turning into leather!”

Kamel busted a gut laughing. And I didn’t even think it was that clever. It really wasn’t that clever. But, like so many other times, Kamel’s laughing made me laugh, and then he laughed harder and I laughed harder, and then we were imitating the very tan man smoking his cigars and retiring from his hard life of money and excess, and we were falling over each other in the pool, laughing and laughing and laughing.

I guess the traditional 3-year anniversary gift is maybe a watch band? Or a nice leather jacket? Or? I’m not really sure. But I think what we give each other instead is the ability to laugh stupidly, to laugh from the belly, to be ridiculous and hilarious and a 2 person comedy routine with each other. Even when work sucks. Even when the baby is crying and refuses to sleep at 4am, even we hate each other, and especially when things just happen to be perfect for a hot second.

“Oh hey, look Lauren,” Kamel nudged me the next morning while we swam laps in the pool, pretending to get some kind of work out in, “It’s the leather man from yesterday.”

“Leather man,” I said.

We smiled at each other and kept swimming. Another stupid inside joke to add to the list. Another wink and a nod, another head tilt, another giggle behind the back of my hand.

Happy Anniversary to my buddy. Stay goofy.

And just because this was actually the goofiest thing to happen during our anniversary staycation, I give you Gabriel, leaning back into pillows he thought were firmer than they really were:



  1. I’ve been sitting here watching Gabe fall while chuckling to myself for about 5 minutes already… this is going to become my pick-me-up for the day :)

    Happy anniversary to two of my favoritist people – i knew you guys were meant to be when Kamel dragged our drunk asses around San Francisco, put up with us throwing toast at each other, and then bought ALL the Newman-Os because that is what you do with your drunk girlfriend and her best friends.

    Love you guys!

    • ME TOO MARIS. Me too.

      Happy Anniversary you two!

  2. Happy anniversary dudes! Gabe falling back is amazing – up, still okay, too farrrr, noooooooo. Haha!

  3. yay for inside jokes! They really do help keep it all together :) We have a few from a class we took before we started dating. Those seem extra special to me, reminding me of our innocent friendship :):) happy anniversary!

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Who the hell is she?


Seattle/Writer/Adventurer/Married to Kamel/Maker of many mistakes/Mom of 1 Gabriel and 1 TBD/Baker of things/Roaster of Vegetables/Maker of videos/Normal life photographer/Romantic/Irreverent/Honest

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