It was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and my ten-year wedding anniversary and I was super hungover. That’s what happens when you go out the night before to celebrate your birthday (and National Watermelon Day) and you think you can drink like a 21-year-old. I was feeling every bit of 49 years old this morning. I woke up at the crack of dawn but felt like the crack of Tony Orlando. I had a pounding headache. I was hot and sweaty. My belly was rumbling. I felt like I had swallowed a demon and the only way to exorcise this Beelzebub in my belly was to set it free. As the sun started to climb in the sky, I was bending the knee and vowing allegiance to the great porcelain god in the bathroom. I’m an idiot.
Whoever heard of a 49-year-old getting sick the morning after his birthday? Just when I think I take strides at maturity, things like this happen. In any case, this feeling of being hungover had taken siege of me. I couldn’t even kiss Lola when she woke up (you know, the puke breath and all). I was slow at getting to work. I was slow at work. I was slow leaving work. It was just not one of my finer moments. Remember how I said it was my ten-year anniversary? Well my loving gift to the one I love was being a lethargic pile of poo on our special day. Remember when I said I was an idiot?
We didn’t have any plans. We weren’t sure where our life would be on this day thanks to all the chaos of earlier in the week. Because of that uncertainty, we made a pack with each other to celebrate at another time. We weren’t going to go big today. But it was still a special day so at the very least, we wanted to be together. Lola was patient with my condition which was nice of her. I just couldn’t get out of my own way. On my way home, I picked up some stuff for dinner and I even bought Lola a bouquet of flowers (the least I could do). But when I got home, I was tired and just couldn’t concentrate on anything. Lola was opening her heart to me. She wanted to take a walk in the yard and sit out there to have a cocktail. That was the same spot where we were married just ten years ago. But I said it was too buggy. She wanted to relax on our couch and watch some home movies. On our honeymoon, we took a cross-country adventure and as part of that, we had taken some videos with a video camera. (Remember video cameras?) However, the camera had broken at some point over the years which meant we lost the ability to play back what we had filmed and the footage was never seen. Lola had taken these tapes and turned them into DVDs for our anniversary. It was such an awesome gift. So thoughtful. For years we said we would do this and then all of a sudden, Lola made it happen. However, I just couldn’t get comfortable enough to sit down and pay attention. My hungover-self just wanted to lie down which was a horrible way to celebrate your anniversary.
While I sat in my funk and messed around the kitchen doing my best to make something for dinner (chowder was on the menu and I couldn’t even get that straight), Lola disappeared upstairs. I wasn’t sure what she was doing but I thought it best if I stayed out of the way. As patient as Lola is, I’m sure my behavior was starting to annoy her, especially when she was showing such love. All of a sudden, she had popped into the kitchen and my gorgeous wife of ten years was standing there in her wedding dress – the very one she wore ten years ago today. She is as gorgeous now as she was that day. And yes, it fit too! She was so sweet. It was a spur of the moment gesture and it just made me smile. She even had the same necklace and shoes on that she had worn that hot summer day. I hugged her and I had a sense memory return of holding her on our wedding day – the ruffled feel of the dress, the warmth of Lola, the true love in my heart. After a bit, we wondered if I would fit in my wedding suit so I retreated upstairs and found it in the back of our closet. It fit, although some internal organs had some intense pressure applied on them from the clasp of the pants. I came downstairs and there we were – the same happy couple of ten years ago although a little bit aged, a little more seasoned, a little more wiser.
This picture was taken by Becky on her back porch because naturally, when you try your wedding outfits on after ten years, you have to go out and visit your family to show it off. It was kind of a spur of the moment idea. We packed up some treats that we had in the fridge (didn’t want to show up empty-handed) and headed to Becky and Jeff’s house. We parked our car in their driveway, cranked our wedding song from the car, and then slow danced in their driveway until they took notice (or until we got attacked by the dogs). When they saw us, Becky and Jeff cracked up and we all shared a laugh. We talked about our wedding day – they were both in the wedding party and a huge part of the day – and we just shared in some sunset joy. Lola had a glass of wine. I was refraining. Then we drove to Katie’s house to do the same thing. That’s where we were met by Katie’s daughters who were really quite puzzled at our outfits although delighted as well. When Katie saw us, she got a little verklempt. It was another moment of fun and sharing our joy. The girls had to get to bed, so we were in and out like a flash and on our way home, we stopped at Cherie’s house. Cherie was working but Pete was there and we got to say hi to the kiddies who were also winding down for bedtime. Wavy was super excited to see Lola in a fancy dress and even went into her room and got a veil for Lola to wear. The night was just one of those moments of being close enough to your family that allows you to have some fun and share your joy. Tara was working and we did have the thought of going into Newport to say hi to her and pulling up a spot at the bar. She’d crack up. We thought people might even start buying us drinks if we were wearing our wedding outfits as we made our way around Newport. That sounded fun, but if you recall, I am an idiot and I was too hungover.
When we got home, we were hungry so after we packed up our wedding attire, I went to work at finishing up dinner. I had the chowder heated (it was from Clement’s so no, I didn’t make my own). I made two small little grilled cheese sandwiches to accompany it and it was all pretty good. Then we nestled in and started watching our videos and that’s when I became Idiot Supreme. First, in the midst of the videos, I got up and went to the kitchen to make cookies. I was driven to make them because it was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, but I wasn’t really reading the room on this one. We were having a moment together and I got up to go do something else, as idiots will do. I wasn’t even making the cookies; I was using ready-made Tollhouse Cookie Dough. All I had to do was pre-set the oven then fire them in. They were ready in about 12 minutes, but that was even worse because I kept getting up and then sitting down to put them in and out of the oven. When they were finally ready, I had them cooling in the kitchen so I sat down to relax with my beautiful wife. About five minutes later, I started scrolling through Facebook on my phone. That was all Lola could stand and she was in the right. We had a bit of a quarrel. She went to bed and I stayed downstairs for a bit. I ate a cookie or two. They were good. I went up to bed later and tension was still high. We fell asleep with our backs to each other. Happy anniversary. I’m an idiot.
For what it’s worth, the cookies are good. Pre-made cookie dough is a good thing even if you just want toe at raw cookie dough. But as far as ease, there’s not much easier. They even score them nowadays so you just break off pieces and place them onto sheet pans. No more spooning out little dollops. It doesn’t taste the same as a fresh made cookie. There’s a processed food taste to it. Still, it’s a warm, tasty cookie in minutes and you can’t go wrong with that.
That was my National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day and it wasn’t one of my finer moments. Ten years ago on this National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, on our wedding, I was having the time of my life. I was surrounded by friends and family who came to cheer us on. I had a beautiful woman on my arm who was dancing up a storm with me and all her friends as well. There was wonderful food, tasty cupcakes, great music and lots of happy drink. The last ten years have seen some tough times and has gone in a direction we could never have guessed. Through it all, Lola has been the one who soothes my heart and makes me feel I could be the best I can be. She’s my favorite person to make laugh. She’s my favorite person to cook for. She’s my favorite person to live life with. And I should have celebrated all that today. I should have had milk and cookies with her as a toast to our life. Instead, I was an idiot. So I am sorry Lola. And I love you.
Next up: National Oyster Day