6 Year Anniversary

 photo by Katie Photographie

photo by Katie Photographie

5 years dating, 1 engaged and the anniversary rolls around every year just as we're catching our breath from the holidays. This year its a Monday, the Mrs. Trunchbull of the week. Which is great, I'm glad to have a Monday, problem is, we're working people. We have jobs. And as I'm sure most of you know working full-time, going to school, or both can mean even when you're not working, you're working. There's something you should be doing hovering, haunting, scolding you for your laziness.  So like most couples, we pulled purpose and fun and moved them to a more appropriate day.

Confession: I must admit, my fault as a human is that if not rigorously prepared I can be a bit last minute. Tis true. I would argue the world instigates this problem by always always always letting things work out most of the time. Giving me a fill rate of 90%. Any loving procrastinator will tell you, we'll die by those odds. This year, I had my isht together, and I wanna tell you about it.

Few weeks ago a friend mentioned The Godfather was coming to the SF Symphony. "They're screening it and are going to do the music live!". Honestly, it sounded like a gift for me, until she mentioned she wanted to go. Now it's the weekend before and I'm hunting for seats. Hunting. Hunting. I wanted something impressive, something stylish, something very Grey Poupon. To show I really pulled out all the stops, so I could look at her like Clark Gable when she was mesmerized by our seat selection. Hours on the hunt, and I was willing to compromise. Something cool that shared an armrest and a modest view.  After while, I was willing to sit on somebody's lap. It looked hopeless. Then Monday night, it happened. Seats opened up 5 rows from the stage at a phenomenal price (the world!).

Before the show I take her to Fino, a highly-touted Italian restaurant tucked in a boutique hotel. I have the shrimp fetuccini with Sauvingon Blanc, she has linguine with frutti di mare and the Pinot Noir. Bourgeois. I wanted us in full character. So there we are, soft-lit table for two. Bow-ties, Loubs. I'm sure to dress myself in dinner napkins and order everything white. White pasta. White wine. White water. Because I eat like the cookie monster. Thing to note, she likes surprises but only in the past tense. Any time before will be spent in subtle-not-so-subtle trickery for me to spill my wits. But like all good films, there's a story arc. 


We finish up and hop a Black Car to Davies Symphony Hall. Passing a poster for tonight's show she mentions how badly she wanted to see Coppola's hit (she never has). The driver smiles with his eyes in the rearview mirror, pulls a gentle U and parks at the entrance. I hold the urge to say the two words because the suspense isn't yet finished. We snatch tickets from Will Call, glide up the stairs and enter twin doors to our right. Walking the long span of carpet down the aisle, she's looking over her shoulder to say how close is close and...Negro how much did you pay for these tickets. Enter: Clark Gable. We fall at our seats in the center aisle right of the conductor. Happy Anniversary. There's some excited hushed talk before lights dim all goes quiet. The opening sequence set the tone. The violins. The music was rich. Full, never loud. Not strained or coarse, and, at the appropriate times you took the orchestra for granted. Blending and imposing at will with the flux of a wand. Plot points, teary sequences, death and sadness were all felt. At our sum, applause lasted 12 minutes. We were there 4 hours, speeding down a dark windy road. And though almost midnight, I believe if they had started playing Part II everyone would've used the restroom and sat back down. The performance, as the night, was something to remember. And I'm lucky to be a part of it.

Jesse ByrdComment