You don’t need to wait 25 years to celebrate your wedding anniversary. My husband and I had a very small, simple wedding ceremony – attended by close family and friends so when we were close to hitting the first year, I planned and fretted. I wanted to have something reminiscent of our first honeymoon days… without the cost.
I am typically busy with work and a baby less than a year old. Throwing an elaborate party, even a small one would be next to impossible and going out of town is impractical with a teething baby in tow, so what I did is plan something special for just the two of us. Yes, I did the planning and the legwork but not without the help of my good girlfriends. You should get one of those - girlfriends, I mean. They’re invaluable, you know.
A week ahead I asked my best friend Gwen if she would like to play with Una for five straight hours. Gwen is a mother of a four year old and is quite missing her son’s baby self and she eagerly agreed. She’s also Una’s godmother. That took care of the baby.
What I planned was a simple dinner followed by a long soak in the tub. Am I making it sound so banal? Think how a couple of unhurried hours are like to two busy, struggling-with-their-career couples. Like a manna to the Israelites.
The simple dinner consisted of Asian fare. They are quite easy to prepare and I don’t have a Chinese grandmother for nothing. Stir fried rice noodles with vegetables, shrimp and chicken; sweet and sour pork; tiger prawn soup and mango shake for dessert. It wasn’t that difficult to prepare as I was preparing for only two people. And no, I didn’t go for the candles, no dim lit room – visual presentation is part of Chinese cooking. Yeah, I was sweating and my fingernails smelled of onions. I was chopping away like a mad woman that I am, cursing myself for miscalculated timing but what the hell, the man is my husband; he’s seen me in a more unappealing state than this.
I planned the candles to go with the bath – and also our favorite collection of classical music – violin. All adagio this time. We used to spend hours in the bath when I was still pregnant taking turns giving each other a foot massage. It’s those idle days that I wanted to re-experience.
My husband got home while I was in the middle of adding the noodles to the vegetables. The table has been set and I was wearing something sexy – relatively more appealing than my day clothes that is… but my fingernails still smelled of onions. Jude, my unusually understanding husband, ended up helping me with the rest of the menu. I don’t think he minded as the kitchen is my turf and he was proud of the chance given to him to prove his culinary expertise. He loves bragging about his untested skill in the kitchen. He proved handy in boiling the rice. I can cook, bake, fry, roast but I cannot cook rice without a rice cooker and, unluckily for me, the ever-dependable rice cooker chose to go on strike at that day. I was quite nervous about doing it for fear that we would get bitter toasted rice.
It turned out that the scented candles made me sneeze so we blew them out. We did enjoy the foot massage. And a few minutes after we got out of the bath my friend delivered our darling baby girl back to us. It was just the right timing since we were starting to miss her.
The rest of the evening was spent with the three of us in bed. We let the baby share our bed. I ranted and raved about the new camera phone – his gift… until we both fell asleep.