Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Lucky Number 13
If you are sensitive to superstition, then you should know that this is a sad story, albeit one with a happy ending. Yesterday, September 6, 2010, marked Robrt's and my thirteenth anniversary. Traditionally, we have spent our anniversary away from home. For the first ten years, we drove to places such as Sedona, Bisbee, Jerome, and Greer to spend the night in a little bed-and-breakfast. On our eleventh anniversary, we hopped on a plane and went to Ohio and did a driving tour of the small towns surrounding the Niles/Warren/Youngstown area. Last year, we managed a getaway to France, and drove to Italy, stopping in Sirmione and Venice for our twelfth anniversary (I strongly recommend Venice as an anniversary destination, in case you are asking). This year, however, we decided to stay in Phoenix for our anniversary. The timing didn't seem quite right to get out of town. So we got ourselves psyched up for a "staycation" at home. Robrt was going to make breakfast, I was going to handle lunch, and then we were taking ourselves out to dinner at the Royal Palms. Here begins our tale:
UNLUCKY: On Sunday, September 5, we drive up to A.J.'s to get the supplies we need for the next day's meals, and return home to find that the air conditioner is slowly, but surely, giving up. The temperature in the house is at 85 (if you know Robrt, then you know he has a melting point of 75 degrees) and it clearly is not getting any cooler. LUCKY: Our home warranty kicks in and they manage to schedule a repairman for Labor Day afternoon, but until then we adjust our anniversary plans a bit: We'll have breakfast in the house (how hot could it be at 7:30 in the morning?) and then I'll make lunch at Robrt's parents' house. LUCKY: In a serendipitous moment, I have been marinating steaks to put on the grill for dinner on the evening of the 5th. I had recently unearthed the grill from the garage after a long summer of not grilling ("not grilling" being an activity); therefore, we didn't have to needlessly add to the temperature in the house. UNLUCKY: We set up some fans at the dining room table and proceed to eat a lovely meal of grilled ribeye and grilled brussels sprouts (remind me to elaborate on those - tasty!). Everything is going swimmingly until Robrt tips his wine glass over (a 1994 French vintage). Messy. Winey. Robrt, being the lesser-known Queen of Clean and his mother's son, is compelled to immediately wash and dry the tablecloth, so despite our best efforts to maintain the internal temperature of the house, we now have the dryer running, contributing to the sweltering interior climate. LUCKY: After dinner, we grab the mattress from our bed and schlep it up the stairs to the library, where we have a small window a/c unit that effectively cools that room. We don't knock a single picture off of the stairwell wall, despite our best efforts, and nobody pulls a muscle in the process. We sleep well and comfortably in the cooler upstairs room.
September 6, 2010: LUCKY: We wake up. We are alive. That's pretty lucky. Everyone should be happy to wake up alive. UNLUCKY: Robrt has his heart set on making breakfast, which he must do over an open flame in a kitchen with an average temperature of 90 degrees. LUCKY: Robrt makes homemade blintzes (sort of - I mean, they are homemade, but in an effort to avoid lighting the oven, he forgoes the baking part by eliminating the egg in the filling). They are really lovely - kind of like having cheesecake for breakfast (which, if you are following my other blog, Fat or Fiction, you know what a treat this is for me. Check it out:
LUCKY: As mentioned, a repairman is coming to fix our a/c unit. UNLUCKY: His window for arrival is between 9:00 a.m. and noon, and he doesn't actually show up until 1:00, so my plan for making lunch at Robert's folks is put on the proverbial back burner. LUCKY: The a/c unit requires a one and a half hour repair, and we are free to go out to lunch. UNLUCKY: Every restaurant is closed on Labor Day, at least for lunch. LUCKY: We finally locate a restaurant and have a cozy lunch at America's Taco Shop on 7th Avenue and Highland (which, incidentally, was packed, so pay attention restaurant owners - people do like to eat on Labor Day). This restaurant is a converted bungalow, and our table is a little two-top stuck into what used to be a closet. You may insert your own punchlines here. I'll wait... UNLUCKY: There is a woman who can best be described as a "smokin' gal" with a booming, nicotine-ravaged voice sitting nearby. Her conversation topics run the gamut from disdain for showering outdoors to mononucleosis, and she sounds as if she travels with her own stadium-ready sound crew. LUCKY: We leave the restaurant, and as far as we know, we are free of mononucleosis, making us luckier than some of the others in the restaurant. LUCKY: We have time to nap prior to our dinner reservation at T.Cook's at the Royal Palms Resort. UNLUCKY: We are just old enough and together long enough to consider napping a suitable anniversary activity. LUCKY: We arrive in a safe and timely manner at the Royal Palms, wait for a romantic table to be set up, complete with candles and champagne (during the wait we notice a handmade knitted shawl on a customer who is also waiting for the maitre d'hotel and impress her with our skill at correctly identifying the brand and style of yarn she used - this is a rare skill, which can be considered both lucky and unlucky, depending on how you choose to look at it). LUCKY: We toast to our good fortune and order some really lovely food. UNLUCKY: I spill my glass of wine all over the table and Robrt's dinner jacket, and give his escargot a nice Syrah shower as well for good measure. LUCKY: We make it through the rest of the meal without injury or damages. We joke with our server about our bad luck and she promises to deliver dessert by stepping on every crack on the way to the table, serving it under a ladder, and running a black cat across our table (she actually has the dessert chef draw a chocolate black cat on the plate). LUCKY: We make it home, our bodies and vehicle intact. The time is 11:15 p.m. and the house is cooling down nicely. UNLUCKY: There is still time left in our thirteenth year. I use some of this time to kneel on the boxspring (exposed due to the fact that our mattress is still upstairs) and crack it in two places. If you must know, I was attempting to get a cat toy in order to play with Ernie. LUCKY: Robrt has made me a really lovely gift for our anniversary (a piece of art! I'll blog about this soon) and after exchanging gifts, we retire to the sofa for the remaining three minutes of our anniversary. UNLUCKY: Robrt bangs his foot on the coffee table. LUCKY: Midnight strikes. Bad luck seems to end.
It is now the first day of our fourteenth year together, and, knock on wood, everything is going well.