Tuesday, April 23, 2013
It was late in the afternoon of my 25th anniversary and things had been rockin' pretty well all day, a little busy, but all seemed in sync. I had all but a few things packed for my trip to Texas to attend my Uncle's 70th birthday and I was ready to go out.
A few weeks prior, my husband had made reservations at one of my all time favorite restaurants, Morton's The Steakhouse.
I glanced at my watch, don't know why I did that since I didn't have my contacts in or my glasses on and couldn't see a damn thing. I blindly went about searching for a pair of glasses. After a few minutes I found a pair tucked behind the TV in the bedroom, why I didn't just look at my iPhone (the numbers are BIGGER), I have no idea. I guess that's what happens when you get old, you tend to forget things, or at least pretend to. Reaching 50 pretty much gave me a reason to deliver the words, "Oh, I forgot," on much needed occasions.
Our reservation was at 6. We needed to leave by 5:15 and it was then 4:20, wow, 4:20, I just realized that as I wrote it. I hadn't showered, I was wearing no make up, I had no dress ready, nothing, nada. I quickly threw off my jeans and shirt, put my glasses on the night stand, and jumped in the shower. It wasn't long before I realized that when I cleaned the shower earlier in the day I forgot to put the shampoo on the left and the conditioner on the right. That's the only way either of us can tell which is which. Neither of us can see shit without glasses, or in my case, contacts. Crap.
I got out of the shower, soaking wet, dripping all the way to fetch my glasses. I put the glasses on, went back in the shower and they promptly fogged up. What the hell ever. I took them off and placed them on the upper rim of the glass wall. I'd just grab a bottle and see what came out. It must have been my lucky day, I selected correctly!
After the shower, I hurriedly did my hair, put make up on, and wriggled into the infamous, "high low, crochet dress, with a crisscross back." This time, however, I remembered to take off the charm bracelet. I was ready to go out with Jeff for an incredible evening in celebration of his putting up with my crazy for 25 years.
The ride to Morton's was beautiful, I really love downtown Portland. It's like no city I've ever seen. I was looking forward to spending time with Jeff alone. It seemed we hadn't really seen each other, much less had a real conversation, in weeks.
When we arrived, the valet opened my door, Jeff cautioned me to watch my dress in the front, you know, the "high" part of the "high low" because, truthfully, I was in such a hurry to get ready, I sort of forgot to put on, uh, yeah, anything under the dress. I got out holding my breath to see if the valet would slam the door on my car or not. He didn't, I allowed him to live. And, yes, I did a fabulous job of getting out of the car, I guess I should show Paris and Britney how it should be done.
The staff at Morton's welcomed us, showed to our table and handed us our menus. We noticed, on the top it said, "Happy 25th Anniversary." That's one reason I love Morton's, they attend to every detail.
The signs were all pointing to a wonderful night. It was after we ordered cocktails that Jeff turned to me and said, "I want to talk about my funeral."
Wait. Stop. Rewind.
"You want to talk about what?"
"My funeral. You need to know what I want. I only have a handful of years left and you need to know how I want things to go."
"Uh, Ok, but I thought this was supposed to be a romantic time?"
"No, I want to talk about my funeral."
"Ok, should I take notes?"
"No, this will be easy."
"First of all there will be no crappy funeral songs, nothing weepy, nothing mournful. I want 80's music, you know, dance music."
"Alright, and then?"
"No suits, no dress pants, only shorts, t-shirts are fine, no ties, nothing like that. I want people to speak, but not of my death, not how they're going to miss me, none of that crap. I want funny stories, I want people to laugh."
"So what am I supposed to do with your body?"
"Oh, throw me out so the coyotes can have a good meal."
"You know THAT''s not happening!"
"Cardboard box, cremate me, whatever you want to do."
So, I was kind of feeling the romantic evening was taking a turn for the other side of life.
"So you got that?"
"You mean, do you understand or do you have that?"
"Stop correcting my grammar. I'm a Texan and we can speak however we want."
"Ok, I have it. Casual dress, upbeat songs, and coyote food, right?
After he got that off his chest his conversation turned to our relationship and he began to cry. He told me how much he loved me, and how he loved me more each day, that I'd changed his life (uh, no shit! We adopted 6 kids and he had to put up with my crazy).
He was sweet, he was awesome, and he was himself.
The rest of the evening flowed beautifully, as if scripted. It was inspiring, touching, and had the occasional pulling of heart strings.
Then a girl came over and took our picture. Within a couple of minutes she brought it back to us. It had been signed by everyone there, and a very touching gesture for them to make.
After dinner they brought us a lemon souffle in honor of our anniversary. The ending of the night was incredible, and we spoke about all we had endured during our 25 years together, and of how we anticipated the remaining years to be.
Then we paid our check, they pulled the table away from us so we could get up and we went to have the valet bring my car.
It was after Jeff started the car, and began to pull away, that I remembered he'd had a "few" Long Island Teas. I took a deep breath as we headed out of Portland and wondered if maybe I should begin to plan my funeral as well. In actuality, we had been there for hours and he was fine to drive, although I was a little nervous when he began to mess with the stereo system. He had NO idea what to do and had his eyes on the video display instead of the road, but after a few tips he got it and we cruised the rest of the way home listening to Collective Soul.
The evening couldn't have been more perfect. I'm an extremely lucky person to have this amazing man in my life, taking care of not only me, but our kids as well.
Although, he did kind of creep me out with the "cardboard box" suggestion. Just where does one find one that size? Hell, what am I talking about? I still have my two past dogs in boxes in the closet, I still can't part with them, and it's been years. But I think I'd really be creeped out with Jeff in an urn on the mantle.