Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home Is the New Away

Wednesday will be our third wedding anniversary. Being married just three years seems odd somehow. Maybe it's that we've been together well over eight years. So this year I will again say we've been married X years + five and a half.
For our previous wedding anniversaries (I point out wedding because there is also the first time we acknowledged we liked one another even though it was so impossible, because he lived in Chicago and I lived in LA; the first time we said I Love You, something we'd been feeling for a couple of months, but were waiting to admit to because... *ahem*... we hadn't met in person just yet; and the first time we met in person. Okay, we don't really celebrate the others so much anymore, but we used to, and I still keep things separate in my mind.), we have spent the weekend in Big Bear or in Julian. This year there is a budget crisis in our home.
Not only is Mad the proverbial "like a weed" daughter (hello! I'm hoping the size 12 months clothes we bought for winter are going to fit long enough for the weather to stay below 90 for more than two days in a row), but this is the year of our biennial Christmas trip to Chicago. Oh, and the company Tom works for (which shall remain nameless because I sense a rant coming sooner or later) is doing what it can to stay afloat. That means that he generally works four or five eight-hour days instead of five 10-11 hour days each week.
We have a "free" trip to San Francisco (airfare and hotel included) that we had planned to use this coming week, but the $80 processing fee and the fact that he'd be using up days off that we'll need for Christmas means that we had to come up with an alternate celebration.
In all honesty, I spent most of Saturday morning mentally moping. I didn't even bother to call my parents to see if they'd watch Mad until just before noon. Lots of internal scolding, cajoling and name-calling helped me get my act back together well enough to get going. We didn't have much of a plan before the kids were dropped off at their preferred grandparents' houses. I wasn't sure how late we could leave Mad with Margaret and my dad. We went for an early start time so we could get back early, too. Based on recent history (recent being since I got pregnant with my perpetually tardy husband's child), I am stunned to announce that everybody, including me, was ready to go, kids were dropped off and we were free to do what we wanted at 4:03 PM.
Neither of us had eaten much and Tom was starving, so he suggested an early dinner. I laughed and pointed out that we should go to Lenny's for the early bird special. Seriously. And to underscore how early we were seeking dinner, the Indian restaurant we'd chosen wouldn't be open for another hour.

**On a side note, I would have chosen something more than two blocks from my mom's place, but we are pretty well surrounded by fires and freeways are not all open right now, so it made more sense to stick close.
We talked about a few more options and decided to go to our old standby, Casa Sanchez. Sure, it's a little unfancy place in a strip mall. Not everyone would think to go there to celebrate getting married, but it was the first bona fide happy choice of the night for me. Why? Aside from the fact that the owners and staff are friends, this is the restaurant that catered our wedding. Between us, we had all the wedding night food. It was delicious. I can't remember the flavor of anything at the wedding because I couldn't get more than a couple of bites down, I was so excited. So we relived it that afternoon.
Yes, afternoon. It was still well within the four o'clock hour when we arrived. No, most of the people there weren't blue-hairs, but the couple coming out when we went in were rather old. And she was on oxygen. That's how close we were to being old fuddy-duddies (maybe the fact that I'm using that term means it's too late).
Dinner was great. We hadn't set any "let's not talk about the kids" rules. In fact, we talked about the kids we have and the fact that Tom would like to have one more. I'm telling you, he could probably talk me into anything. Oh alright, he already has, but not for now. Mad was our summer vacation surprise last year. The timing worked out perfectly in terms of time off after she was born, so that's our plan for next year. I'm a little excited about it. Like, I've already picked out a name excited, haha. But I'm only telling you, dear readers, because I don't want to have to answer questions from everybody I know for the next eight months. Plus, if it doesn't work out for some reason, I won't have to explain it over and over again.
Anyway, we decided to go see a movie after that. The plan was to find a light romantic comedy (Tom's suggestion because he knows his girl and because he was probably trying to set the mood, bow-chicka-bow-bow). We drove to a theater to see our options: nothing! So we headed over to a small independent theater. It's outside of "the village," a charming little place that is growing a bit too much. Tom's friend has called it too Disney-fied. The village is not, but the theater and surrounding shops do look a bit like a set. Most of the movies were either not for us this night (Bond, Madagascar 2) or we'd never heard of them. The one I recognized and knew I'd been interested in seeing was Rachel Getting Married.
Did I stop to recall what it was about? Did I pause to think about the review I'd read recently in which the word "disturbing" was used? No, I did not. So we bought tickets for a showing that started in an hour and went for a walk. We had ice cream and Tom answered sports questions from roughly a dozen kids who were apparently on a scavenger hunt type activity. They came to us while we sat outside Coldstone after going inside and singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame with the server inside.

The movie was good, but it was not light, romantic nor comedic. It was intense. I was tense. So tense, in fact, that I wanted to yell at any number of the characters or get up and leave, maybe slamming a door on the way out. Whew! And the music was mostly great, but there were huge stretches where it seemed like the makers of this movie just wanted to showcase their varied tastes.
After it was over, we needed to get Mad and go home. When we'd dropped her off, Margaret had offered to keep her overnight, but it seemed inappropriate to take her up on that at the last minute, like I was hoping she'd offer because I didn't have the nerve to ask.
I nursed Mad as soon as we were home and then Tom put her to bed. In the penultimate alternative anniversary celebration finale, I fell asleep on the couch while he took care of her. I'm pretty sure he tried to get me to come to bed, but I did not. It wasn't meant to be a withholding sex type of thing, just an exhausted woman thing. Thankfully, Tom doesn't tend to hold grudges and we were eventually able to enjoy the best part of our weekend during Mad's afternoon nap today. Corey didn't come home from Grammy's until after 9:00 tonight and that, too, felt a little like time away.
So even though I taught two classes Friday night and one Saturday morning, for the first time in a couple of months, I felt like the weekend was all that it should have been. I almost don't mind getting up and going to work tomorrow. I love my job, but Tom will be off, so I'd like to be here, too.


Lady with a View said...

Congratultions on your anniversary..and your decision to add to your family! Sorry you couldn't use your trip, but it sounds like things turned out the way they were suppose to turn out.

Chicago for Christmas? Pull out the gloves!!!

Humphrey Hot Spot said...

glad to hear that your anniversary went well ,aaaahhh alone time grab it where you can ,right? have a good day

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