Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I'm just not myself when I'm away

So where have I been since last we spoke?

The Boy took me for a surprise overnight getaway to New York, to a restaurant with a six-month waiting list (he "knew a guy"), a hotel with four stars, and a Broadway show with five Tonys. We went to his favorite bar, McSorley's, in SoHo, where sawdust covers the floors and actual dust covers everything else; where the only beers they serve are "light" and "dark" and they laugh at you if you try to order a bottle.

I walked around midtown wearing $20 Isaac Mizrahi shoes that dug into my heels and The Boy's suit coat because spring hadn't completely sprung in the big apple, and I had to at least appear to be wearing nice shoes. It was New York, after all.

A couple weeks later, I drove to Richmond to meet Amber and got up at 3:30 on a Saturday morning to fly to our other girls in Savannah.

In perfect weather, we browsed all the shops on River Street, ate at Paula Deen's famous restaurant, The Lady and Sons, went to bed earlier than we care to admit and ate and talked and laughed. Not the same as it used to be, but maybe even better. Because now we appreciate how hard easy friendships are to come by, and how they might never come again.

With The Boy's birthday rapidly approaching, we planned a big evening out. A brother and friends crashed on our couch despite the open beds upstairs; the boys played Guitar Hero in the middle of the night and we took a salsa lesson, I in my ill-chosen 4" red patent leather stilettos, they in their socks. The Boy surprised me by mastering a right turn and demonstrating in front of everyone. We ate empanadas at a big table surprisingly placed on the dance floor, but we yelled over the Spanish and it was fun. We rode around in the back of a white limo on somebody's prom night and pretended it made us matter. And for our last stop, at 2 AM, we picked up a large cheese pizza at Nacho Mama's.

And last weekend we stayed at the condo of our gracious friends in Ocean City. We arrived to white roses and a bottle of sparkling cider with a Happy Anniversary sign. That's right, I've been married for more than a year now. When I isolate the marriage part, I can't believe it. It was supposed to be hard, everyone said, and I guess sometimes it was. But in talking to Beth, another almost no longer a newlywed, we decided the hard stuff was mostly circumstantial, not so much marital. Yeah, in the beginning there were adjustment issues. There still are. But we're learning. The Boy stood in front of me nervous and giggling Saturday night before we left for our anniversary dinner. "This has been the best year ever," he smiled. I did a quick review: a layoff, the wedding and ridiculous honeymoon, but then my ailing father, a new job with little security, very tight finances, another new job, a pregnancy and a miscarriage. "If this was a tough year," he wrote in his card, "can you imagine what a good one would be like?" He produced a gold box with beautiful diamond stud earrings (that I have always wanted). It was too cold for the beach, but it was a beautiful anniversary.

And now, here we are, smack in the middle of spring, in the middle of the city for one more summer.
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