Greatest Meal Ever

February 26, 2008

We married people need to get away from the kids every once in a while. The day before yesterday was our time to have the nannie watch the kids so we could make a run for it. I don’t know how we did it but we managed to cram a whole lot of weekend into just one 24 hour period.

The drive down to San Diego made me slobber with anticipation. I kept looking in my rear-view wondering why our kids were being so quiet on the trip…only they weren’t there! Hooray! Even as I celebrated their absence I naturally missed them. But that’s another story.

My Beloved and I held hands for most of the drive and it gave us time to talk about the big stuff, the kinds of things that make a person operate. Why are we here? What do you want to do next? Are we succeeding at life? We got on this topic because a number of our friends are going through a divorce. That’s the big bad word that comes up all too often among those of us married for seventeen years.

The big D-word scares me because it symbolizes hurt, failure and perhaps the last thing I’d ever want to experience. One of my friends went through a divorce that wasn’t his fault so I don’t automatically ascribe blame to both parties in every divorce. Because one person can just plain quit a marriage, I don’t see how most divorces can be avoided…the day my wife or I choose to end the marriage is the day it will end. I can’t control another person, even if that person matches my values on the day we get married. My Beloved could have left me any time in the last 17 years and I’d be here alone. I could have decided to end the marriage for whatever reason I wanted and it would be over.

I kept thinking about the fragility of marriage as I ran my impressive four and a half miles on Saturday morning. That’s a record…four and a half miles. Another day of marriage is another record because this is the longest I’ve ever been with a woman.

When we got married I was young and stupid. For some reason I thought I could trap her into a life with me by using our mutually held values as glue. I can’t think of a marriage that would have been more miserable than a marriage that just stayed together because of our shared values. It would be like doing anything for 17 years that you only did because you knew you had to. Those values came in handy during some tough times in our relationship, but our goal was always to keep marriage from being a tough time.

I’d like to go back to Friday night for a moment because we went out to this restaurant called Pacifica and it was perhaps the best food I’ve ever put in my mouth. We can’t cook fish very well so we tend to order fish when eating out. This chef knew what he was doing with food because both my plate and my wife’s plate had crazy-wonderful food on it. Not just good, but a bold treat in every bite.

I admire chefs because they have committed their life to the art of food in the same way that I have spent most of my life’s waking hours drawing. These chefs study food, make thousands of dishes all to put something good in your mouth. As with the visual arts, most culinary artists are hacks who have no business charging for the crap they make. But this guy at the Pacifica made me glad I was alive and made me glad I gave him 35 bucks for my plate of food.

That night we just sat in a Del Mar beach condo, taking in the ocean air and each other. My stomach was full and my heart was filled with love for my Beloved. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to dessert! Angie found FOUR different flavors of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream in the condo freezer and we ate a sampling of the best ice cream in the world.

Anyways, we had 24 hours of power-fun in San Diego cramming days of experiences, feelings of gratitude, deep meaning and love in such a short period of time that I can’t imagine why we don’t do it more often. Just before leaving town, we stopped at a favorite local bead shop and made each other bead bracelets to remember the occasion.

Best meal ever. Best trip ever. Best loving ever. Best relationship ever. Best jog ever…and I thought we were in for just another 24 hours on Earth.

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6 Responses to “Greatest Meal Ever”

  1. Noel Durdan Says:

    This is truly heart warming.
    I guess there is hope for two people to be together.

  2. Bob McGowan Says:

    Doug,

    Way to go on the four and a half miles! You and I will have to go for a jog at the Con. Start carbo loading.

  3. Ryan Says:

    Thanks for sharing that, Doug. It’s one of the simplest yet most deeply encouraging things to hear about a couple who loves each other after so many years.

  4. Neil Says:

    If mutually shared values are a “good start”, in your view what other things are paramount to a lasting relationship? Obviously love for one another. How is it possible to “just know” at the outset? Ah, the perils of determining lasting relationships.

  5. Lemm Says:

    Groovy. Life is good. :)

  6. jake Says:

    I’m pretty sure Ben and Jerry’s is the key to a long lasting marriage.


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