I got to spend last weekend sans my wonderful son, and just with my wonderful husband. We spent the whole weekend celebrating our first year of marriage! I know to some people this is not an accomplishment but for us, it sure felt like one. I’m not saying it was challenging being married to T for a year, he makes life enjoyable! But we did have many challenges to face during the course of our first year as husband and wife.
We’ve been battling Canadian Immigration since March of 2010 and it hasn’t been easy. Its been stressful, tedious, unpredictable and expensive. To sum it up, the year hadn’t been a walk in the park of blissful newlywed love. But, it’s our passionate love for each other that gave us each the strength to continue fighting for our marriage and to keep our little family together under the same roof. The roof just happens to be foreign to B and I making challenges for us that most people do not have to deal with.
Good news is we are very close to submitting our Permanent Residency application after this coming week’s medical examination! So YAY!
Back to last weekend.
T fought for this celebratory weekend (literally it got ugly…lol). I suggested we stay home and not spend money, because that would be the more financially responsible route. But T was right, we deserved to celebrate our year together. As my mom put it, “You only get to celebrate your first wedding anniversary once!”. Of course, she was wrong and knew it once it came out of her mouth. “Umm Mom, this is my second first anniversary…” We shared an eye-roll and a giggle over that comment. But really, we owed this romantic weekend to ourselves.
My one requirement was that we go to a fine dining restaurant that would require us to “dress up”. I’ve lost 30 pounds this summer and have been eying a little black dress in my closet that hasn’t zipped in 2 years. After securing B’s care for two nights with his grandparents, some last-minute planning and reservations we had our weekend laid out…little black dress awaits!
I spent Friday’s late-afternoon primping which I don’t often get a reason or time to do. Oh it felt nice! I had forgotten how good it feels to do my make-up and hair and wear a pretty dress with high heels! I love heels and tonight I went with the 4 1/2 inchers…tall and sexy, that’s how I was feeling (yes, a tall 5’5). T of course made his dapper transformation in a matter of 15 minutes…so unfair.
We were about to leave for dinner when I realized I needed documentation of this evening. With some slight persuasion I managed to get T to knock on our neighbors’ door to ask her to take our picture. She was a bit shocked by our appearance. I don’t know if it was because she wasn’t expecting company or because I looked like a totally different human being. Nearly unrecognizable to myself, she very well could have been confused. She agreed and offered her front garden as backdrop scenery.
Off we went to our 8 o’clock reservations at The Charles Restaurant in Niagara On The Lake, Ontario. Now, I picked this restaurant because the food looked amazing and it gave off an air of elegance in its period charm. It was obvious that there was a dress code, hence T and his tie. I was quite confident that we would be dressed appropriately and wouldn’t stick out.
We were a bit early so the well-dressed Maitre d’ led us to the lounge. The lounge had a subtle 1940’s feel with a long bar, reddish leather armchairs and antique round tables (picture provided by the restaurant’s website). We began talking about the building and how beautiful it was. Deciding which era we would want to live in if we could choose one. This choice was very hard for me as I appreciate many time periods. First I chose the 1920’s with the stipulation that I married rich to make it through the depression in class, T wouldn’t although that stipulation. So ultimately I chose to be born in the late 40’s so I would be of the appropriate age to enjoy the 60’s. The British Regency Era of the early 1800’s came in second. I have a slight love affair with the romanticized era due to my obsession with Jane Austen novels. T easily decided on the 1940’s as well. His reasons pertained to missing fighting in the war, listening to baseball games on the radio and enjoying life before gender roles changed and women were still “in the kitchen”. *Eye Roll*
We were brought into the dining room and seated at a cozy corner-table for two then promptly brought menus and drinks. The staff was so nice and attentive, as they should be with how much this dinner was about to cost us. Something you should know about me if you don’t already, I’m a bit of a food snob. Its true, I’ll admit it. I know the real value of foods and I hold chefs to a very high standard, especially in a place with a reputation for exquisite preparation. I expect perfection. And that goes for my cooking as well, I’m my biggest critic.
After we ordered we had time to take in our surroundings. The restaurant that used to be home to a wealthy family had kept a lot of its old-world charm. The owners had decorated exactly as I felt it should be with only slight touches of modern-day influence. It truly was the perfect setting I had hoped for, candles lit atop the fire-place mantle added to the ambiance once the sun fully set.
I looked around at the people who were dining along with us and noticed something. No one was dressed appropriately. One table in particular caught my eye. There were 3 men and 3 women, all in their early 50’s I’d guess. 2 of the women were dressed in khakis and cardigans with ugly brooches, gramma shoes. 2 of the men (husbands to the cardigans) were dressed business casual in dockers and polo shirts, comfy old man loafers. But the other couple, well, they looked like they just came from casual Friday on the farm. She wore a plain blue t-shirt and Levis, clogs. While her trendy hubby sported wranglers and a untucked button-down denim short-sleeved shirt, tennis shoes. Did I miss something? What were these people thinking? This is a very nice, fine dining restaurant and they are dressed like they are going to The Olive Garden. I didn’t get it. No one seemed to be dressed as I thought a place like this would require.
When I asked T if he found this odd he simply glanced around and said with a bit of a chuckle, “Why would they dress up? They are just here for Friday night dinner.” I didn’t get it. He noticed my confusion and said, “Hun, look closely at the people eating here. I can guarantee you they are all white-collar, we might be the only blues in here.” I took a good look at all of them again and ya know what? T was right. (It was all made even more apparent when we realized the only other men wearing ties were the fellow blue-collars; the Maitre d’ and waiters.) These were businessmen coming from the office to grab a quick bite with their friends or significant other. The fact that the plates ran around 25-60 dollars didn’t make this restaurant special, it just meant the food would be acceptable and the service to their liking. This was as T stated, just Friday night dinner to them. It was now very obvious to me that we stuck out. I now know that dressing like you’d imagine white-collared people to dress, only puts a huge neon sign above your head that reads “I’m Blue”. Not that I care though, I’m proud of everything T and I have and the life we are making for ourselves. I also felt super-fly and nothing would prevent me from getting my sexy on, even the neon sign. I was making those lights look good….!
I pointed out Mr. Denim and his matching wife as I just couldn’t get over it. T leaned in and said, “I’d put money on him being the most wealthy white-collar man in this restaurant.” We shared a laugh. It really was funny. Here we were breaking the bank while they ordered bottles of vintage wine that easily cost more than 10 times our entire bill. Regardless of their social status, I still found their attire a bit insulting to the establishment. I let T know that if he ever crossed over into white-collar status that he wouldn’t be allowed to wear jeans to classy places and that I would still spend hours getting ready, just wear more expensive clothing and jewelry…maybe higher heels too. T disagreed with me and said, “Sure honey, wear what you’d like. Whatever makes you happy. But by the time I would cross over into white-collar status I’ll have paid enough dues in this blue-collar get-up that you can damn well guarantee I’ll wear whatever the heck I want…even jeans with tennis shoes.” He paused, “But I’ll leave a bigger tip.” He had a point, I didn’t argue.
We enjoyed our evening thoroughly. We ate delicious food that did not disappoint my palate in the least. T ordered scallops (which I happen to be allergic to, no fair) and he started eying my lamb shortly after I began eating. Third bite in, “Are you going to finish that?”. Oh T, my eater. His wish was fulfilled as I rarely am able to finish a meal and he happily cleaned off my plate. We had great conversation, free from the interruptions of our wonderful but rambunctious 3-year-old. It was the perfect night by my standards and I was so happy T persuaded me to “forget about the money, and just relax”.
Thank you T for being the sexy husband of my dreams, the hard-working provider that our family needs, the best friend that I desire, and the awesome dad that you are to B. I am grateful for your constant support and companionship. You bring me laughter every day and I can’t ask for more than that, but you willing give me even more. You help me grow as an individual and challenge me. I am ever-appreciative of your different views and your ability to help me see situations from a new perspective. You are my perfect match in all things, even arguments and debates. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I love you, and look forward to every day I am blessed to be your wife.