A Very Special Anniversary #shoesday * - Four years ago, and I went out for some dinner and dancing. We'd been "going to" tea and dinner and whatnot for a few weeks with no particularly decisive signals to denote the anticipated trajectory of such excursions. I'd originally suspected he was a new dancer in town as likely looking for a partner as a ... well partner, so I hadn't read too far into my tea leaves. The last time we went out, I did let curiosity get the better of me and and kissed him. It seemed to produce a positive result, given that he subsequently texted me that he couldn't stop smiling all night.
As these things are, it made this particular "date" feel like a somewhat decisive one: we could retreat into obfuscated ambiguity once more, or trudge ever on to those tricky little entanglements and official titles.
I wouldn't call it one long dreamy waltz into blissful perfection. For one we were blues dancing, not waltzing. For another, there was way too much uncertainty and nerves for that sort of thing! We ate at a little Indian restaurant on Broadway. I remember having particularly gaudy earrings and slit harem pants. For whatever reason, I felt very much like a choreographer in that get-up. Still unfamiliar with my birdlike (small portions every hour) eating habits, Andrew obliquely inquired if I had some kind of eating disorder. Oh yes, romance was in the air!
We got to Blues Underground early, and Andrew did not want to take the class. He was very tense and would jump every time his body accidentally brushed into my airspace. In my head there was a little "well, that does it... let's finish through the motions, and excuse ourselves early." After a few awkward eternities of sitting, we went for a walk around the neighborhood. Andrew was still a bit physically distant, and we were both jumpy, but things mellowed out when the dancing started. He doesn't dance with the happiest of faces, so there were definitely moments of concern, but I managed to squeeze a few smiles from that cute little focus-face. When he noticed and complimented my pants, things started looking a bit up.
By the end of the evening, possibilities pullulated, as he had to return to my place to pick up his bike gear. Awkwardness crept back in at the corners, and I decided to excuse myself to the kitchen for a glass of water. But tit-for-tat, Andrew kissed me and I kissed back. And it was nice. I did not let him stay that evening, because I am a lady (who doesn't mind sending off new beaus to bicycle all the way across town at 1:30 a.m. on a weekend night). In fact, I stayed up for a bit and thought about what this all meant. Whether I was really ready to take that next plunge into the cycles - had I truly broken deleterious patterns and incorporated the best parts of my old relationships into my psyche without clasping the old? Was it this handsome gentleman that I wanted more particularly than a relationship? Were there red flags I was turning blind eyes too?
Yes, it's the anniversary of that night. But the point for me was that I did think about it. And we did leap forward. The next day, we spent the entire day together and things were different. It wasn't tense. Whatever bridge had needed crossing was conquered without any single point failures! And only about two weeks later did Andrew slyly bring me along to a free symphony concert and ask "how should I introduce you?" as a segue into official boyfriend/girlfriend titles. Andrew and I have sort of a tradition of not much celebrating our anniversary so thoroughly. Ever since our first "date" Andrew has added "monthaversary" to the third weekend of every month on his google calendar. We celebrate this by saying "hey, it's our monthaversary!" Our first anniversary, we stayed at a hotel over night. That was actually a lot of fun. Our second anniversary was, of course, spent at Molly and Marcus' wedding. Since they got married at Semiahmoo - a resorty type hotel up north - we rented a room for the night as well. Last year... well, I had a tango event to host on the adjacent weekend, Andrew went mountain biking the next day, and we didn't actually see each other on the anniversary proper. But we totally did drink a small glass of champagne and say things like "wow, three years? Wow" I went to a Family Law Conference in Ocean Shores the next weekend, and Andrew came along, so I guess we kind of ended up staying overnight in a hotel that year as well!
Tonight, the ol' anniversary just happens - actually by coincidence - to fall on our date night. Of course, we live together and just had a stint in a nice Resort Hotel after that wedding nonsense two and a half months ago (don't get me started on the new slate of anniversary regimes we'll now be instituting!) And of course we get up so early for work, there's not a lot of room for bacchanalias. But perhaps after our run to Boomer's or some other quick but not-home datecation, we'll swill a pittance of the bubbly and maybe break out some of the fancier soaps and pillow-mints (because I haven't slathered my sheets with enough melted chocolate yet!) to give the home a little bit of that hotel-feel.
Celebrate or not, I'm happy to go around saying "huh, four years" and kissing my fella. We've actually reached a duration of engagement in which it sounds just about right to my brain - not longer than it feels, and not shorter, just Goldilocks-certified right. Or should I say (W)right?
DINKADY-doo-dah-date Night: The Not-Too-Fast 4 - Well, it's now official (as much as these more arbitrary demarcations generally are) that not only are we all "married" and stuff, but that in our ongoing dating-lives, have been hot-tomatoes together for 1/25 of a century (or 1/8 of Andrew's life).
When I was much younger, I read some Helen Fisher book about love and how our chemically induced love-reactions max out and die at the 4 year mark. I think her theory was that this was about how much love juice our paleolithic ancestors required to successfully spawn a child and raise it up to a point where the mom could care for it alone, AND both partners could increase their survival options by trowling for genetic diversity. Well, I guess we were too busy being "Paleo" with our food processors and raw-meat-waffle machines to go the paleo-love route: I'm happy to say that no magic switch offed itself overnight. I still appear to love my husband. Phew. Four-year itch conquered! Next up: seven year itch. I intend to stand over a subway grate in a sexy blowy dress around the seven year mark... for the whole year... just to take thorough preventative caution. I care about this relationship.
Then again, we obviously had a lot of champagne last night (hey, that's a whole 180 milliliter bottle, baby and we each had a full half of it... or roughly the volume of a Tyrannosaurus Rex's brain, according to my very elegant champagne flute/novelty measuring cup), so maybe my brain chemistry is all off. All I know is that I wore a pretty red dress, we ate out and then we stayed in with some complementarily rubicund Red Dwarf.Last night, we went to Boomer's Drive In. It's a Drive-In Burger Joint that also has indoor seating (sadly very little hopping or rollerskating for the drive-in portion anymore). I'd first thought we'd drive-in since there's something intrinsically fun about that idea, but since the day decided to thwart all gloomy forecasts and be quite warm, we went inside instead. A concerted burger joint, Boomer's doesn't necessarily scream ADELLA!, but there is something ebullient about its minimal fifties atmosphere that has always appealed. Being there evokes Road Tripping in the Mid-West: open air, adventure, and Americana that is neither terrifying nor smarmily infused with that NPR quaintness that gives me hives.
And they have sweet potato waffle fries. I can have roughly one of these before growing over-saturated in salt and grease, but I rather enjoy that one. I will also note that they substituted celery for cheese on my salad. My only regret is that I did not get the nifty car-shaped serving trays that come with the kids meals. If I go back, I'll be requesting those. As we pass on into our fifth year of intimacy and third month of marriage, Andrew and I appear to be in good shape for the next round of body cells (a fair quantity of which die and are regenerated each day according to my obese champagne "flute). I anticipate that my new nuclei will fancy propinquity with new nuclei just fine once we get to that next seven year mark... but I'll keep the flowy dress on standby just in case.
Single Morns no More - And Normal?? Is That Some Kind of Pricey Decaf Diet Energy Drink? I slunk out of bed, ascertained my husband had once again returned in one piece from track-night, and quietly left the bedroom. At which time I discovered that he had sent me the following chat message after I'd gone to bed: "I think I want to do a normal morning tomorrow, if that works ok for you." NORMAL?" Cue the orchestral surge of DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN.
My first thought, "how kinky! Role playing!" No, not really. More like "huh?" Normal certainly presents a puzzle. To a certain degree, we often embrace American morning traditions. There is coffee. We eat eggs and toast. It occurs in that time period prior to noon but after midnight...
But very few things in my life blissfully veer towards outright orthodox normalcy. What do normal people talk about? Do they sit at tables? Do they dress differently? Do they eat the same breakfast instead of parallel breakfasts? Do I need to wear an apron? Should we call each other "dear" and "hon"?? Should I rent some boisterous children? Do normal pancakes come with smiley faces in whipped cream? Or should I give Andrew a morning paper so that he can mutter "that's nice dear" while I check my work email and mutter about the upcoming trial brief I'm doing? Normal for Dummies is sadly not in my kindle library.
After a few very philosophical moments grappling with the socioeconomic contextualized implications of such words, I finally decided that "normal" was an elided form of "our normal weekday routine" and that really what was asking for was that I stick around a little bit longer, wake him up with coffee at 5:45 and meet him at 6ish with breakfast and whatever extended conversation would inevitably really heat up (right before I had to leave) about the human desire for moral ambiguity in art versus unambiguous heroes/villains in the sporting world... or the vicissitudes of Andrew's heart rate during the Magic Banana EliminoReducto Bell Lap Race in his track event last night. Or possibly, my office manager's belated discovery of the candy dish in our waiting area and subsequent wall-climbing sugar binge after months of being on a carb-restricted diet.
Thus with that little normal we mark the apparent end of singles morning. As it turns out, I have corrupted Andrew's files and infected him with circadian rhythms. Regardless of when he gets to bed, he seems to wake up around 6 on weekdays (although he still manages to sleep until 7 on weekends, so I think his internal clock has more settings than mine). Given this, he seems to figure I'm worth the fifteen minute loss of sleep to have breakfast with me. Consider me flattered.
For a brief nanosecond, that little worker-bee was disappointed not to be able to fly into the office at 5:30 as I do on single lady mornings, but then I realized (1) I may be worth 15 minutes of sleep, but 15 minutes of groggy Andrew is worth a whole hour of work! (2) I've actually built up a bit of a morning routine that I otherwise would have skipped. Some of that involves, of course, the more time consuming task of making food for two people (since Andrew's meal involves more bread than a toaster can fit and uses a skillet instead of the microwave, this always adds time), and my happy-to-do it fabrication work on Andrew's midday PB&J. I may also bother to make coffee, something I would usually have just done at work in the olden Thompson-days.
But this morning I also had time to grind up some more flax seed, a crucial element of several gustatory delectations in my life. I also have been improving my diligence about daily rolling and stretching.
People always mention aches and pains as a sign of getting old, but I don't know if there was a period of my life where I wasn't incurring some kind of stiffness or soreness. Ballet through my teens, working on my feet in factories, running, ballroom, tango, more running, working at a treadmill desk all day... these all seem to readily advertise themselves across my body. I get "you a dancer?" from almost every massage therapist. This is not in reference to my classical physique, I assure you.
I find that any attempt of massage and rollering may be fighting a losing battle, because I am just so good at accumulating knots faster than I can ever roll them out. But if I roll every morning and after a workout, there's a minimal snippet of progress. Not to mention it's a pleasant way to start the morning. Focused but also a little playful (because the roller is kind of a silly little torture device ultimately). It's a magical time of discovery - I never know which little twinge will arrive in which part of which leg, but I know it will happen somewhere on the journey! I was also doing some core exercises, but with my intercostal impairment, this has been on hold.
As you can imagine, adding all that to a morning takes a leisurely chunk out of that potential waiting period. Really not as much as it sounds in raw time (probably 15 minutes at most), but some time feels longer than other time.
Speaking of, this whole "Just one 4 minute workout at 90% max intensity is as good as __" that I've seen going around? So, don't get me wrong, efficiency is great and all, but when you're at balls-to-the-wall intensity "4 minutes" is not so short (hell, 90 seconds during a good interval feels pretty damned long to me). In fact, if you add the recovery time and the mental psyching up time for that, I'm thinking you eventually stray into the timeframe of a much longer work out before you even add that subjective element back in. Just saying, doesn't seem like an ideal antidote to our idle-society's distaste for exercise. But I digress (me? never!!)
At any rate, I went to bed a single-lady last night and awoke with a husband and a morning routine! Apparently I've stumbled on a new normal?? Some are born normal, some achieve normal, and others have normal thrust upon them (by a sleepy loris via text message).