our local rape crisis center (all the guy volunteers were nice), and we'd had a couple of hilarious and heartfelt phone conversations, ostensibly about future speaking engagements, and I couldn't quite tell whether we were flirting, and I also thought that such a good catch had to be married or gay, and also I had a boyfriend at the time, but anyway:
I mustered my wits and asked him out. Though I did it in a very low-key way, in case I'd completely missed the boat regarding his level of interest.
Yeah, guess what? Totally the right boat.
And I had a plane ticket in my pocket at the time, ready to return to the nest, live at home with the 'rents, and go to grad school — the American Dream! But instead I fell in love on my first date with Husband, stayed in Boston, and got married. And had kids and put down roots and built a home and a life.
When Bride Boy was here last month, he asked if I still planned to move back to California some day . . . and I literally did a double-take; it's been so long since that was even on my radar. Right now, no; the kids are in their first years of middle and high school; we're not going anywhere till Martini graduates from Arlington High. And after that — who knows? But I don't see me leaving New England. I love my life here.
Anyway. Because our first date was so eventful (finding The One is pretty memorable!), we celebrate its anniversary each year along with our wedding anniversary. Our practice is to go to a bookstore, buy each other a book, and then have dinner somewhere nice (and read our new books! We are nerds). Sometimes the kids join us, sometimes they don't. My proposed plan for #22 was a visit to New England Mobile Book Fair, then dinner at a Russian restaurant we adore, then come home and watch some of our backlog of that TV show about the Russian spies in America that we really like but never remember to watch. (So, see? Themed!)
But this plan got slightly derailed by the series finale of Smash, which Mimosa and I have to watch together in real time; we love this nutty show; we are totally grieving. Let's celebrate tomorrow! I said. Except . . . Russian restaurant not open on Mondays. Черт!
(That's "damn!" in Russian. Now you know.)
But we celebrated nonetheless, with a family trip to Target (new soap dispenser! The one in our pink bathroom is cracked and leaking. Plus tampons, Tic-Tacs, and birthday presents for my mom and Mrs. Cynicletary!) and a fabulous three-dessert dinner at Macaroni Grill, where we had a 10% off coupon. Nothing says 22 years of romance like Target and money-saving coupons, amirite?
(We also had our usual trouble finding our destination; I'm a MapQuest girl and have navigated around the U.S. successfully with it, though it never seems to work quite right when I'm with Husband; he's a map man who eschews written directions; we get lost a lot. But we laugh about it. And it felt right to celebrate our multiple decades together driving along unfamiliar back roads going, "OK, see anything that looks like anything?" May we have many decades more of this!)
And we'll do our cool Russki date on Thursday, no sweat.
Today I am also celebrating the birth of one of my oldest and dearest friends, Mrs. Fog Dog, currently residing in Battle Ground, Washington. Her birthday rituals include clean sheets, breakfast in bed while she opens my presents, and rhubarb pie, and I am thrilled to be part of it, even 3,000 miles away. I miss her tons and tons.
Signing off now, to drink coffee and watch TV with my cherub. Happy three-day weekend! (Yes, I worked today, also yesterday, but I plan to do none, zero, NO editing tomorrow! Though I may do some more birthday shopping. May and June, man, they are my killer birthday-shopping months. And I have one last thing I want to get for Mrs. Cynicletary, and I can't believe how hard it is to find!!)
—Lady C, who has been on a date for 22 years now