The first part of my life was an Oreo without frosting. It was an unmemorable and mostly unremembered task of working, paying bills, fixing things, and raising a family. It was not unpleasant, but neither was it very exciting.
Then, late in life, I met my lovely wife Annie. We had both had a lot of Oreo without frosting. She was 42 and I was 50 when we were married, and for the last 31 years, she has been the frosting on my Oreo.
We worked hard to build a life together and to build up each other. And when at last it came time to retire from our separate rat races, we retired together to Bucerias Mexico, where we live on the shore of one of the most beautiful bays in the world.
And we are not alone. We are surrounded by a support group of like-minded expatriates who have fled the tedium and death rattles of suburban life in the United States for the freedom and relaxation of a Mexican paradise. Some of them are Democrats, it's true, but we have long since ceased being amazed at the doublethink capacity of the liberal mind. We concentrate on and enjoy their personal joie de vivre and try to ignore their hatred of other people's joie de vivre.
We live a simple life, revolving around friends, our Chihuahua Niña, and each other. Two or three times a week, we play Euchre – a game we taught most of our friends down here – after which we usually all go out to dinner at one of the many inexpensive restaurants in Bucerias.
Life is a progressive series of choices – and a progressive series of consequences of our choices. And all we can do at the end is weigh the positive consequences against the negative.
We have forgone the convenience of things like dishwashers and garbage disposals and potable tap water, but we have found the joy that our parents knew of doing things for yourself. Being confined to Mexican television, we are no longer conversant with the latest sitcoms or other American "prolefeed," but we revel in the joy of walking on the beach on a clear Mexican morning or of simply walking our Chihuahua down the cobblestone streets of Bucerias. And, while we may have sacrificed close contact with family and friends whom we left behind in Texas, we have gained a togetherness and a closeness with each other that very few humans are privileged to enjoy.
There are those who eat their Oreos whole, and who think we have an ongoing obligation to our family and to our community and to people we've never even met.
But if life is an Oreo, I'll eat mine the way I always have. And I've already eaten the half without the frosting.