Seventeen years ago today I woke up like any other Saturday....oh, except for the teensy little fact that--for the first time in a decade--I had slept at my parents' house. The day got even more unusual from there, as I proceeded to do a series things that were, on the whole, extraordinarily uncharacteristic of me. I started by eating a delectable breakfast consisting of leftover cake from a special dinner I'd attended the night before. (Okay, okay, this particular behavior might not be so much of a stretch for me...) Then I hurried off with some of my closest sisters (both literal and honorary) to keep an appointment at a nearby salon, where I had my hair curled and styled...with interwoven flowers. (Yeah, yeah, those who know me best can quit snickering now, thank you very much!) Next I sat still (ish) for a manicure. Finally, I donned a silky, lace-adorned, cream-colored gown, (and shades--hey, trust me: it was super-sunny on 5/16/98) stepped into the waiting limousine...and was whisked away to a church to join Boyfriend (soon to be promoted to Husband) and all of our collective friends and family, to participate in the sacred ritual of holy wedded matrimony...and whatnot.
So, here we are at an anniversary...and how are we marking the blessed occasion this year? Separately, that's how! Hold on, don't be concerned--it's not by choice. You see, Derek's soccer team is involved in a tournament in Wilmington, 3-hours away on North Carolina's coast. We knew this a long time ago, booked a hotel room in tandem with the rest of the players and their chaperones, and planned for the entire WestEnders crew to spend a lovely weekend together at the beach. (Whoo hoo!) But then...it rained...a LOT...this Spring. Matches got canceled left and right due to soggy fields and downpours. So the league, in all their infinite wisdom (Is the sarcasm coming through? 'Cuz I could try to lay it on thicker...) arbitrarily decided, at the last minute, to just "solve the problem" by extending the season one more week. In a nutshell, this meant that they re-scheduled two of Riley's missed games...to directly conflict with our already-arranged out-of-town agenda.
Therefore, it was voted that Husband would accompany the teenager to the Seaside Classic, while I remained in Chapel Hill to cheer on the younger son in his final skirmishes of the Spring campaign. Part of me was definitely bummed that I wouldn't be able to see Derek play--but then again, we found out that one of his contests was at 8:00 this morning, approximately a half-hour from the hotel....and we all can agree that I'm just...not at my "happiest", shall we say...when forced to crawl out of bed at the ridiculous hour of 6 a.m. (Shudder...) Also, when Husband texted to inform me they'd arrived safely, he described the establishment in which they'd be sleeping as "kind of scuzzy"...so now I'm a little bit glad I drew the Home assignment!
However, even though we're not technically "together" to celebrate, we at least managed to exchange cards...in a way. I, myself opted for the Stealth Approach, sneaking mine into his duffel bag, under a sweatshirt, after he finished packing for the trip. On the other hand, he chose to employ the Accomplice Method, leaving his in Riley's care with instructions to "put it next to the coffee maker in the morning". (How could he possibly have selected such a perfect location? Oh yeah--we've been sharing java for about 20 years now...) And Derek--who occasionally surprises me by being aware of...stuff I would have thought would go right by his adolescent boy brain--asked what we were going to do for our anniversary. Husband responded something along the lines of "Uh...I don't know..." Derek advised that we should go out to dinner...by ourselves. Husband snorted, "Yeah, right. Like you'd let us go somewhere to EAT...without you?" Derek clarified that, sure, we could totally do that....especially if we picked a restaurant that he and his brother wouldn't like anyway!
So, apparently the children--whose fault it is (indirectly) that we're operating as a Split-Squad this weekend--have bestowed upon us their blessing to go have an adults-only Date Night sometime in the near future. (We're in that Parental Sweet Spot, too: they're old enough not to need a babysitter any more...but too young for us to have to worry about even the remote possibility of them throwing crazy parties while we're gone...we'd better hurry up and enjoy the heck out of this period before it's too late...) I don't know where we're going, just yet....all I ask for is someplace with excellent vegetarian options...and awesome dessert that we can bring home for breakfast the next morning!
**I just found a website where it says--and I am not making this up AT ALL--the traditional gift for a 17th anniversary is...shells. Now, I can only assuming they don't mean, you know, the pasta type...and Husband does happen to be within reach of the shore this weekend...perhaps I should advise him to take a peaceful stroll by the ocean, find me a nice specimen, and we'll call it a day...