Looking Back - Anniversary - dinner and a show. Or two.

Today is close to but not exactly our anniversary. We were married on a cold miserable rainy sleety foggy windy night in November. The rain and wind started as I left the hairdresser’s. My hair melted. My makeup melted. I had organized a car and driver - no show. I got home to learn that my dress had been delivered. But not the sleeves. When I start reciting the litany of Things That Went Wrong At The Wedding, people first cluck in sympathy, then start to laugh, and then as the list goes ON-AND-ON-AND-ON they try to look at phones or watches without me noticing.

I understand that recently pictures of soaking wet brides in full wedding regalia have become a Thing, and there are photographers who specialize in immortalizing the magic moment. This had not become a trend, or even a whispered nightmare when we got married. So I'll just say that once I learned that Himself had in fact shown up, I tried to go with the flow and get it over with.

There were pictures taken, but I'm not in most of them. The so-called society photographer who had insisted that he be allowed to do my father a favor ultimately didn't show up in person. He sent a terrified non-English-speaking assistant, and it's possible that the exact details of the event (Wedding. Bride. White dress. Cake.) had not been made clear to the kid with the camera and the shaky hands (Remove lens cap. Focus.) Mom put the proofs into a folder and for our fifth anniversary transferred them to a loose leaf binder which she gave to us. We never did purchase the album. Most of the pictures include all or parts of a cousin that my sister and I couldn't stand. The "photographer" was entranced by her upper body. There is also a picture of me adjusting a bra strap, which I think was meant to be the clichéd picture of Bride Adjusting Veil. Also it seems that the substitute photographer had grown up under communism in a country where domestic comforts were scarce and so the Done Thing was for the wedding pictures to include boastful shots of the family’s larger material possessions. Like the furnace. And the toilets. I showed the binder to my sister, and put it away.

We've been married a VERY VERY long time, and given the sheer awfulness of the wedding (example: his mother started crying when she arrived and was still in tears when we left), we usually acknowledge the day by getting out of town with no set agenda. This is appropriate because other than his relatives’ odd behaviors, the main topic of conversation was Traffic.

What's been happening lately to commemorate the event is something along the lines of "Oh.You're still here. Good."

However a few years ago we decided to try doing dinner and theater. We'd both read Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, and had both noticed that the National Theatre (London) production of both works had gotten great reviews, and both plays were about to close their West End runs.

Good seats were available, we had mileage, a few phone calls took care of the dinner part, and we were good to go.

Um, perhaps not quite. With the same expansive outlook that has inflated plans for a weekend out of town into a 3-weeks road trip, or dinner at his cousin’s in South Jersey to two weeks in Key West (since we'd be heading south anyway), we found another show, a few more meals...

So: London. We arrived the day before our theater date, and had dinner at Gordon Ramsay's little gem of a flagship. We always make room for at least one meal here when in London - because notwithstanding their financial issues and personnel matters, dammit the food is good! and after all this time they almost always find a table for us. I don't have food pics, but for some reason, possibly  related to the champagne, I only took a picture of my belt bag reclining in splendor on its very own petite chaise. In keeping with the wedding theme, the zipper had burst, putting on display some used tissues and a bottle of nose drops. Toujours exquise.

The shows were terrific, one in the afternoon, the second in the evening, with a non-memorable supper at Balthasar in-between. We plan to remain married forever, or at least until the final parent of the trilogy is published, Kindle’d, turned into a play by the RSC, and re-adapted for public television if such a thing still exists at that point in the world’s dubious future.

We also found time for tea at Brown's again, where I tried to overdose on scones with clotted cream. If you haven't had clotted cream,  you can make a very close approximation if you can get your hands on NON-ultra-pasteurized, NON-homogenized heavy cream, give the little bottle a good shake, and refrigerate it for a few days. Clotted cream is a delicious detour on the way to butter. When it thickens, get out the thick-cut toast (I'm assuming noone wants to cook scones), spread, add some tart red jelly or preserves, and enjoy. Crème fraîche is sold in many supermarkets, it’s close...

We also saw a play called Great Britain, a rapid-fire depiction of the staff of a gamy tabloid caught in a tacky and dangerous phone-hacking scandal. Hysterically funny, politically incorrect, sharp-edged and sad: people do want to hear about this stuff. Just turn on your television.

Fittingly, the weather was chilly, damp and misty.

By the way, there is a Facebook page called Trash the Dress. I just checked.

1 comment:

  1. You always have such a fresh perspective. Shows and tea are perfect celebrations. Happy anniversary!


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