When Chris told me that he asked my mom to watch Zoe tonight so we could go out to dinner I was like, sure, whatever. We should be able to get through a meal together. But when he said it was going to be at 10:00 at night I scrunched up my nose and said that was way too late and I wanted to be in bed at 10:00 on a weeknight. He usually isn’t very persistant, he usually accepts what I say, but he just looked at me in the eye and said, “You are not missing this, you just aren’t.”
That was kind of annoying but if he really wanted to do this, after everything I have put him through I figured I could at least go out to dinner with him before he went off on tour, even if it was bizarrely late. Then at about 9:30 he came out of our room dressed in his T-shirt that says, “I heart hot moms”. I thought I had sufficiently hidden that shirt so it would never be worn by him again but apparently he found it. He said, “Do you remember this shirt?” I nodded. He said, “I wore this on our first date, remember?”
I didn’t, and I couldn’t imagine how I could have gone on a second date with him if he wore that. But what I did remember was how smitten and freakishly excited I was that this rock star guy wanted to hang out with me and not the other seemingly thousands of other girls that were insane over him. That was kind of fun.
“Are you going to wear that to the restaurant?” I said.
“That was the plan,” he said….looking a little hurt.
“I’m just way over-dressed if you do. I guess I could go change.” I said.
“No, no” he said. “You look amazing. I’ll put on something nicer.” When he came back he was wearing a light-blue, button-down over a crisp white T-shirt and some khakis. He had shaved and I noticed he must have even gone for a haircut that afternoon. He looked really nice. In fact, he looked totally hot. I went back and checked my lipstick in the mirror. I looked OK too and when we went out to the car he wouldn’t let me even open my own door, he ran around and unlocked it and opened it, then closed it after I got in. I gave an embarrassed laugh. All he had to do was click the remote to unlock the whole car in one press…but whatever…he was obviously trying and it was cute, but a little alarming since I had just told him we should separate, like, 3 days ago.
He pulled out of our driveway, pressed play, and our wedding song, “God Only Knows” came on the stereo. As the Beach Boys filled the car with their harmonies and promises, I found myself fighting back tears. What was I doing to him? I looked over at him driving and his eyes matched his shirt. He flickered them over at me for a second then smiled triumphantly. Was I really giving this up when he completely and obviously loved me the way I had always dreamed of being loved?
He pulled up to the Mexican restaurant we go to sometimes. It used to be an Italian place but I think they shut it down for health reasons or something. But now, they made really good burritos so I figured, well, OK, I’m a little over dressed for a burrito but, that’s OK. We pulled into a parking spot on the side of the road in front of the restaurant, and when we stopped he almost got hit by a car jumping out as quickly as he could to get round to my side before I opened my door. I put my heels on the sidewalk, and he closed the door behind me then held my hand as we walked up to the restaurant. I saw the sign on the door and said, “Oh no, it closes at 9:30!”
“Not for us” he grinned and the manager came up and opened the door for us. I was a little confused but went in and the manager kissed the back of my hand which was very odd. Then he lead us to a booth in the back of the restaurant and Chris looked at me, beaming, like I was supposed to notice something. It kind of reminded me of when a little kid hands you a messy picture and you are supposed say, “Oh I love it!”
So I looked around the booth and it looked more decorated than the others. This one had a white linen table cloth and there were a few candles in the middle. There were even some pillows thrown on the wooden bench-type seat that I needed to push out of the way to sit down. “This looks so nice!” I said, knowing I was supposed to say something. I looked up at the manager and Chris who were just staring at me. I knew I was supposed to say something else.
“Did you put this together just for me?” I said.
Chris sat down across from me and took both of my hands. “I wanted it to look just like our first date.” He said. “Did you get that?”
“Of course!” I said, it finally dawning on me. “It looks exactly like the….Italian restaurant it used to be, right?” I said, looking over at the manager to read his expression. His face had relaxed and he was smiling.
He said, “I have a special menu for you!!”
He handed me a menu with two items to choose from, 1. pasta with chicken and 2. pasta with shrimp. I pointed at the pasta with chicken and he nodded, “good choice”.
He was over again a minute later with a bottle of wine and a white napkin folded over his arm as he filled our wine glasses. I finally got that he was playing the part of the italian waiter, and it was really cute. I smiled and nodded at him. “Thank you so much!” I said.
I looked back at Chris and he was obviously relieved to see me smiling. “Do you like it?” he asked. I thought about it realistically. I wondered to myself if I did like it.”Yes,” I said, “I really do. This is so creative and sweet. I don’t know how you always get people to do these things for you.”
He took a sip of his wine and then held up his glass. “A toast” he said, “To my wife, my love and my life…no matter what happens, as long as there are stars above you, you will always be my everything.”
I was stunned at his toast. I picked up my wine and held it up, almost sheepishly, and we clinked glasses. Then I smirked at Chris and shook my head. Where was all this coming from? He was grinning back at me. Gosh he was cute and his hair looked really good that short, like when we first met. The candle light flickered gold on his face and I thought then, as I sipped at the very dry red wine…exactly how I like it…that maybe, just maybe this was going to be really fun date.