RECIPE FOR DISASTER

My husband and I are not nearly as cute as the Tripplehorns. If you don’t know who the Tripplehorns are, you aren’t getting out enough. While we are not as young or cute as the couple in the movie, we have had our share of date night calamities.

My first horrible restaurant recollection: the night of my 50th birthday, when my nerdy husband decided it would be funny to have our friends call me on my cell phone at intervals throughout the evening to wish me well. The first call was hilarious! After the tenth call, I was furious, the other patrons were seething at the constant beeping, and I developed acid reflux.

Restaurants these days rarely have dress codes. Americans are notorious for wearing golf shirts and sneakers everywhere. So when we were on vacation in New York, Charlie confidently made reservations at a fine eatery, reassuring me that our attire was entirely appropriate. Upon arrival, the maitre d’ offered us a pair of pantyhose and a necktie.

Dinner and a movie sound fun. But dinner IN THE MOVIE isn’t. At our local theatre, you can get pizza, hot dogs, Starbucks and funnel cakes right in the lobby. We were bored and hungry one Friday night, and so we decided to try it. While juggling his pizza, Charlie knocked my arm off the armrest, causing me to spill my Belgian Caramel half-caff Mocha Latte all over the lap of the woman next to me. We missed all the good sex scenes while mopping up.

Having friends over for dinner is a no brainer. Smart hostesses serve tried and true recipes with sure-fire desserts purchased from the bakery. I, on the other hand, in a social climbing frenzy, hired a chef and invited around a dozen guests for dinner. That evening began with lovely cascades of snow which quickly developed into a blizzard. The guests all arrived bedecked in their finery, but the chef got lost in the whiteout. At nine o’clock, with no chef in sight, we broke out the Cheerios. We have not seen those twelve people since.

This year, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. We are now very old, and very wise. We had the foolproof date night: Pizza carry-out, two bottles of wine, HBO, and Klondike Bars.

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