For the past two years, we've gone to the Tabard on the 13th to celebrate our first date.
It's a ritual I love. It's an anniversary I love somehow more than our wedding anniversary. It feels bigger or something to me, although I don't know why.
The first year, we met there, and Nick was sitting on the same couch where I'd first seen him. We saw a woman who thought Nick might be her date get stood up. Last year we went as a family, sat in the lobby because of the crowds, and chatted with a woman who was waiting for a very late, very cavalier first date.
And this year, this year we found ourselves at our kitchen table on Saturday night, swilling red wine and eating hastily-thrown-into-the-oven-after-a-long-day very mediocre cheese enchiladas from Trader Joe's.
The glamor, it abounds.
Last week I'd remembered that our anniversary was coming up. I'd meant to suggest we head to the Tabard in the afternoon.
And then I had a work trip, and we all got colds, and by Friday night even Nick, who is strong like bull, was snuffling and coughing. And I just plain forgot.
Somewhere mid-meal, I remembered, and raised my glass, and said, "Hey, happy anniversary. Three years ago tonight."
And Nick said, "I don't mean this the way it sounds, but doesn't it seem like a hell of a lot longer than three years?"
Yes. Yes, it does.
I never expected to feel so, well, comfortable. I know comfortable sounds bad, like we're sitting around in sweat pants in front of the TV eating potato chips and farting.
Which is not to say we never do any of those things, although so far not all together.
But what I mean is comfortable like the exhalation of a deep breath, or like the sunshine on your face when you step out the door in the morning. Comfortable like coming in from the rain and putting on warm, dry clothes.
Comfortable like home.
But not growing up home.
It would be an unfair exaggeration to say I grew up with the earth constantly shifting under my feet. Regularly, but not constantly. But it is true that with my dad, there was always a certain amount of, well, uncertainty in my world.
And now, now there is so much certainty.
I imagine one of these days it could get boring. But here and now, boy, do I love being certain.