As always, Lynnette and I celebrated our anniversary by eating a lot of expensive food on the weekend after the true anniversary date. Of the many traditions we have, I feel like this is the one that is most representative of our relationship: food going into the belly, money coming out of the wallet.
I wrote about Robert Frost and “The Road Not Taken” on our actual anniversary because that’s what I was thinking about at the time. It took me four hours to write that entry because I couldn’t figure out how to get from the poem to Lynnette and me. It happens sometimes. By then, of course, we had set tonight as a date and I figured that I’d write more deeply about us tonight. But we had an argument yesterday and I wondered whether we’d even celebrate. It happens sometimes.
But by this afternoon, Lynnette and I were fine. We managed to make it through the hell of Madison’s back-to-school shopping this morning at Fisher. Over the years, this has been one of my favorite aspects of our relationship: we butt heads at times, but we’ve learned that each disagreement isn’t the end of the world, that it doesn’t mean everything is ruined. Our turnaround time is much, much quicker than back in the day.
Last week, I asked Lynnette if I could play cards with the guys on an undetermined Friday night. “Go head. I don’t care. Do whatever you want,” she said. She meant it, too. “Whoa!” I said. “Where was this ten years ago?” She spun on the spot. “You wanna look a gift horse in the- I want to punch you in the mouth!” she said. I couldn’t stop laughing. It was the an inspired, amazing response. Like a gorgeous sunset, bold and beautiful rainbow, or tall, majestic waterfall, sometimes you just shut up to appreciate perfection.
I didn’t order an entree tonight because of Lynnette’s desire to eat as many things as possible. We split two appetizers and the 5-Course Tasting Menu. “I like variety,” she said as she closed her menu. This is true.
For as long as I can remember, Lynnette has been about options. She buys tons of snacks that she has no interest in finishing. If, for example, Oreos were sold in a single half-row, that would be perfect. The top shelf of our pantry is overflowing with half-full bags of things I don’t really eat. Neither does Lynnette, really. She orders sauce with sandwiches even when she has no intention of using it. “I like having options,” she said. This is true.
Don’t get me wrong, she has her favorites. She has favorite foods, dishes, etc. But how do you think she arrives at those favorites? At one time or another, all of her standbys were little bites that she simply gave a try once upon a time.
All of this is to say that I’m pretty lucky she settled on me when it came time for her to close her menu… of guys. I am going to get it for writing this, but look, the metaphor is too strong. She has a type and I am not it. She has interests and I am not interested in them. When we started hanging out, I spoke to her almost exclusively in thinly-veiled sexual innuendo. I don’t want that to sound like it’s stopped – because it hasn’t – I just want you to know that was my grand overture.
I was ridiculous during our 20s. I scissor-locked her for an entire half-inning during a Mets game because I was convinced it helped them score runs (it did). Lynnette still has Diner’s in her contacts list four cell phones later. She’s seen me knock over baby palm trees and accidentally attempt to knock over public restroom stalls with the back of my head. She picked up really early that I can’t spell. Let me put a bow on this: a long time ago, she picked me off a menu. She liked it. She liked it so much that she took some of it home. She liked it so much she decided it would be the thing she ordered forever. I can’t believe it, either. Still.
As you can tell from the pictures, our dinner at MW was amazing. We ordered two appetizers and a single tasting menu and Lynnette and I barely finished. I asked one of our servers if individuals actually finish the tasting menu by themselves and his reply was “Oh, yeah. All the time, sir.” Well, then. In terms of making me feel inadequate as a man, it falls between not being able to drive a stick shift and resting on a hiking trail and watching a guy carrying his infant child on his back with one of those packs with the overhead shade while walking his dog walk past me as I bend over with my hands on my knees and mutter “F*ck this…” for the 80th time. But I’ve digressed.
My cousin is the pastry chef at MW, a fact that I completely forgot until we saw him hard at work in the kitchen tonight. He sent us out the last two desserts pictured here. “Holy shit,” I said as I took a bite of candy bar with gold leaf. “This is so good. He created this,” I said. It is something. As Lynnette and I sat there shattering serving suggestions and personal records for caloric intake, I thought about how incredible it was that my cousin was able to create these awesome desserts. I don’t have that kind of creative or technical skill at all, and because I don’t understand it, it’s like magic. Delicious, delicious magic. From time to time, I peeked into the kitchen and he was locked in a non-stop cycle of work. We never got to speak to him, so…
Thank you, Kelsey, for making our anniversary celebration even better. Excuse my facial expression in the last picture, I had reached my limit. What you do is pretty damn amazing. Lynnette and I enjoyed ourselves and we even brought some home so Madison can, too.