Chris and I celebrated our Valentine’s Day last week at Buddakan in Philadelphia, one of Steven Starr’s many dining establishments here (and elsewhere). It was a quiet evening in the middle of the week, when we knew we wouldn’t be shoe-horned in with everyone else on that special date on that special day. We eat out once in a while, usually someplace local or one of New Jersey’s many great diners. And Wing Hing across the street has terrific Chinese takeout. (Exceptional won-ton soup.) But it felt nice, after a long time, to get “dressed up” and dine in the shadow of a giant gold Buddha, in an establishment that didn’t have placemats advertising the local plumber/printer/nail salon.
It’s easy to lose sight of the romance in a relationship, at least it is for me. I get so caught up in the day-to-day, especially lately, what with a new job and my health issues and all. But a splurge like ours last week can do a lot to renew things.
I feel safe in saying that I’m with someone who seems to understand me and puts up with my moods and flakiness and forgetfulness and the fact that I’m at that point in life where I need the sound on the TV to be just a wee bit louder...
It all fits together: in 1987 Chris and I were in a men’s support group in Philadelphia and I immediately had a crush on him. But it wouldn’t be for another nine years or so, after I had moved to California and back, and he had moved to Minnesota and Maine and back, that we would reconnect and begin this journey together. Now we’re in our tenth year and I don’t know where the time’s gone.
But I do know I’m fortunate and blessed and, like a lot of people I suspect, I lose sight of that from time to time. So I’m taking the opportunity on this very special, made-up holiday, to say “thanks” to a wonderful man. I love you.
(And I wish I could sing like Michael Buble.)