Monday, July 11, 2011

Anniversary Date

So we had big plans to celebrate our anniversary on Saturday evening.  We're planners, you know, so we'd talked about this well in advance.  I got all dolled up in a little black dress, David gave me a sweet card, and we headed downtown to have wine and cheese and a delicious dinner at one of our favorite restaurants.  It's exactly the kind of place you would imagine going on an anniversary date--low lights, intimate table settings, delicious food.  David had downloaded our current favorite song, so he was setting the mood by singing a little Blake Shelton as we drove downtown (so cute): 

You'll be my Louisiana, I'll be your Mississippi, 
You'll be my little Loretta, I'll be your Conway Twitty...

Everything was perfect.  I was in a cute dress, I had a cute date, we were going out to my choice of restaurants, I was going to order my favorite wine.  We got about halfway there and David said to me, "You okay?"

And I burst into tears.

I wasn't hungry.  I didn't want to go out.  I just couldn't bring myself to be in the mood to celebrate anything.  Even being married to this sexy guy:

Love the hat.
So I cried, and apologized for crying, and cried some more, and David tried to figure out what might possibly make me happy.

I try hard not to dwell too much on what might have been, what was supposed to be, what I imagined our summer would be like.  But I just couldn't get past the idea that this should have been a big date night--we should have gotten a babysitter and made plans to stay out late and then spent the evening talking about our adorable baby.  Instead, it was like any other evening the two of us decide to go out instead of stay in.  I thought this would be the happiest time of my life and instead this is the saddest, most difficult time I've ever experienced.  We have everything we ever wanted... except Eliza.

Finally, we decided to forget about our original plans.  We didn't go downtown at all, and ended up in the Central West End.  We sat outside at a casual little Mexican restaurant.  Somehow chips and salsa and sangria was something I could enjoy sharing with David without feeling like we were faking it.  Originally, I think I was trying too hard to hold on to an idea of what our anniversary should be, when what I really wanted was actually something different, less traditional, easier.

It's not too hard to make the leap from that experience Saturday night to the rest of my life.  There is happiness here, in the middle of this murky sadness.  It's just hard to recognize sometimes because it doesn't look the way I thought it would.  And I was so in love with that idea of what my life would be like, that it's hard to accept I'll never have things just the way I thought they'd be. 

I'm trying to let go of the perfect vision I had, and hold on to the happiness that is still here.

I can rage and cry about the unfairness of it all--and some days, I still really need to do that.  But I can also find unexpected moments of happiness--like finding myself overdressed, eating chips and salsa on a crowded outdoor patio, sipping sangria and enjoying the breeze.

It wasn't the anniversary date we had envisioned, but it was nice in its own way. 

I hope that in a few more years we'll be able to look back and say the same thing about our life together.


  1. Love that song.. Scott sings this part aloud whenever we're in the car together:

    "If you'll be my soft and sweet
    I'll be your strong and steady
    You'll be my glass of wine
    I'll be your shot of whiskey"

    Glad you had a good time, even if it wasn't quite what you expected it to be. :)

  2. It will come as no surprise to you, but I also love that song. And also, LJ was up before 5 a.m. WTH.

  3. I know exactly why you started crying on your way to your date. I have been overcome with "I shouldn't be doing this'" emotions on numerous occasions. Things that should be fun and happy just aren't because there wasn't the hubub of "What are we going to do with the baby in order to get out for a night", or whatever.
    Lately, I catch myself thinking, "wow, life is getting so much easier because Avery is so much more self sufficient and independent". And then it hits me. Life should be REALLY HARD right now, with a 2 year old and an infant. And then I feel really bad for feeling happy/relaxed/fortunate or whatever feeling led me down this path.
    I am not sure when this is going to get any easier, or if it ever will.
    It really sucks that there are so many of us going through the same things. But, here we are. And at least we can find comfort in each other.

  4. Oh, Brooke. Happy belated anniversary to you and David. I'm glad you found a way to grab the happiness that's present and possible right now, but I wish you didn't have to figure all of this out.

    Thinking of you.

  5. Going through all those significant "firsts" afterward totally sucks. :p I am glad you wound up having a good time, though!

  6. It sounds like your night was exactly what you needed it to be.
    I completely understand the unfairness of missing the vision we had in our minds for our children's lives. This is not how it was supposed to be... some days we fight against the tide, while on others we roll with it.
    Sending you love and light...

  7. Craig and I have been married for just over five years now. But we've only had one anniversary where we were happy. Our son Kees was born on 1 February 2008, and our anniversary was on 11 March 2008. We went out, with the three of us, as a family, for a celebratory lunch. It was wonderful.

    Kees died 10 days later.

    I wonder if that will be the only happy anniversary celebration I will ever have.

  8. I think I may have eaten at that place you initially described, several months before you joined this club. I'm still crying and throwing fits about the unfairness of it all, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm glad you were able to go out and spend time with David on your anniversary even if it wasn't as you initially planned. Love to you and remembering Eliza~

  9. I can remember this very well. I was so sad that afterwards, it was just the two of us again.

    Rage, cry and scream as much as you need - it's not fair at all.

    Wishing you peace, mama.

  10. "I'm trying to let go of the perfect vision I had, and hold on to the happiness that is still here."

    This is exactly where I am. Thanks for this reminder. Sometimes I need to just stop and realize all the blessings I do still have in my life.

    The way you chose to celebrate sounds just wonderful, Brooke. xo

  11. I think chips and salsa in a fancy dress sounds perfect! Who needs fancy restaurants when you have mexican food and the person you love?

  12. "I'm trying to let go of the perfect vision I had, and hold on to the happiness that is still here."

    3 years out, I still grieve my lost future. I try for this everyday. x