I don’t remember who kept the kids. I don’t remember exactly what I wore, but it was black. I don’t even remember if we celebrated our fifth year wedding anniversary on the exact date or the weekend following. However, I remember feeling so in love with my husband, so safe riding along with him at the wheel, and feeling special and beautiful - All of this joy and warmth because he put forth the effort.
I am sure I am not alone when I admit that my husband is not the great planner in our relationship. He has said many times, and now it is fully accepted, that I am the Idea Person. I come up with the ideas and make the plans and research events, and he is The Money Man - two parts of an equation that equal our participation in the world. Before we came to this understanding of the Idea-Money cooperative, there were many failed plans and many disappointments (e.g., dinner out for Mother’s Day preceded by a painfully long wait at the end of a long line at a seafood restaurant, a romantic getaway spent driving 30 minutes to a hotel restaurant that we had enjoyed before…only to find it gone out of business, and many more occasions left un-celebrated).
This clear, autumn night was different. I didn’t know what to expect entirely. I was being swept off my feet, as if we were dating again. My honey had planned the entire evening. He was the Idea person and the Money man, all-in-one. I restrained from inquiring about details. He assured me that he had everything under control.
The first stop, 30 minutes outside our city, seemed to be in an undesirable downtown area. It was dark and looked deserted. As we approached the entrance, I was apprehensive, but as we stepped inside, I was pleasantly surprised, trying to visually taste all of the colors and elegance. When I spied the crisp, white, linen dressed tables, I knew I needn’t be apprehensive the rest of the night.
The restaurant was very elegant yet cozy, and we received very personal service from the staff. Jazz filled the room and began coating us thickly like honey. I convinced him to a short sway on the make-shift dance floor. To this day, I can still taste the fresh lobster, crab and scallops paired with the creamiest risotto on the planet. It was superb. My honey introduced me to seafood while we were dating, and now it is standard fare when we dine out. He knew what I liked before I did, but this experience and food was the best by far.
The next stop was a play. At this point, I was so full after a four course meal, I wanted to skip it. I was ready to go home, go to sleep and make it up to him the next morning. However, Honey was on a roll and had pre-purchased the tickets, and well, I do love a good play. This is the first time that we had gone to a play together. I felt my love deepening for him just by his thoughtfulness. I mean, after all, we could have ended up with great seats at the football arena or the local sports bar restaurant. I leaned on him, clinging to his arm while relishing this evening with every whiff of his cologne.
For many couples, this type of evening is commonplace, but for us, with the way that our family unit is structured, this kind of evening is rare for now. Thus it must be savored, and it is. We still refer to that anniversary fondly and use it as a standard by which we measure all our other couple-experiences. In fact, it is sure to be a guidepost for every other anniversary we share. I do feel that the intimacy contributed in large part to the success and satisfaction of this special day because this type of getaway for us is so rare. However, the impression of that night will last forever primarily because my husband took the lead as we danced through the night with all the details well appointed. As we drove home, I held his hand between his shifting gears. As we crossed the bridge and looked out onto the endless black ocean sparkling with lights, I relaxed in my seat while his hands were on the wheel.