Picture this: It was 1997 and I am a freshman at a small Liberal Arts school in rural MN. I just met this gorgeous guy who dresses well, appreciates feminist issues, and has a single room where the bed is made and there are framed prints of impressionist artists on the walls. On his side table is a mixed tape titled “Relaxing in the Parlor.”

Little did I know the tape was not lounge music, but hard core rap. I guess there are things in life that just are not what you expect.

I married that man and almost 11 years later and we are still enjoying the subtle ways we surprise each other and, most of the time, the way life surprises us.

And yes, I still have that mixed tape.

If you want to know more, e-mail me at relaxingintheparlor@gmail.com.

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