The Two Luchadores
My husband and I both received a luchador bottle opener as a gift this year. We’ve no affinity for wrestling, little interest in Mexican pop culture, yet somehow, two different friends (unbeknownst to one another) chose for us the exact same present. Stranger still is the fact that these two friends, at one time, were married to one another.
Our male friend, whom I’ll call “Louis,” gave Todd the red luchador last May. The guys had met up in Atlanta for a music festival, and though the two friends had not historically exchanged birthday gifts, Louis had purchased the luchador on a lark. He had seen it in a store somewhere, and the timing of the festival, the fact that it fell on the weekend that Todd turned 40, had inspired him to throw the bottle opener in with his other purchases.
Seven months later, a Christmas package appeared on my counter. It was from a dear friend I’ll call “Lois.” She’d had her daughter drop off the gift, and I opened it alone in my kitchen. Braced for a laugh, for Lois always gives the most amusing presents (e.g., a female urination device, shampoo containing “real placenta,”), I reached into the bag. It was a second luchador. He was blue and molded into the exact same position as the red wrestler Louis had given Todd that summer.
There is something to this, I thought. Something poetic. What?, I wondered. What I am suppose to do here? Do I put these two on the top of a wedding cake? Store one of them at the lake cabin so that they both have the space they need? Is there something I am to learn here?
Somewhat anxiously, I left the two opponents on my kitchen counter for a week or more and pondered, each time I passed, what meaning could be ascertained from the circumstances leading up to their arriving in our kitchen. Surely, from the mouth holes of their spandex costumes, they had some message to deliver about marriage and divorce. About conflict. About wrestling. Wearing masks. Trying to win.
The truth is that I don’t know much about Louis and Lois with regard to their divorce. I know about them what I know about everyone and everything in the most general sense. I know that people are good and do the best they can. I know that life can be hard, rife with unpredictability. I know that “forever” is an impossibly long time. And then it hit me, what I was to learn from these two. It came to me, the meaning of it all, and I was overcome with such peace that I put the wrestlers away in the junk drawer and worried no longer.
Friendship endures, laughter is a panacea, and in these two friends, we have both. Todd and I are so lucky to have Louis and Lois in our lives. They entertain us, as friends do. With the briefest call or text, they distract us from our cares, as the luchadores do their spectators. You couldn’t ask for a better gift.
Also, you can open bottles with them.