On New Year’s Eve my husband and I decided to go to dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant.
After we had each showered, T threw on day-old jeans and his new favorite fleece top, which has scarcely seen the inside of the hamper since he acquired it at Christmas. He went downstairs to feed the animals and came back up to find me leaning over the mirror applying mascara (a rarity) and dressed in a velvet drape tank with ruffles over the shoulder, black pencil skirt and knee-high boots.
“You’re all dressed up.”
I don’t call him Captain Obvious for nothing.
“And I look like a schlep. I can’t go out looking like a schlep when you’re all dressed up.” He started to change.
“We must show the New Year some respect,” I told him. “Only then will it be good to us.”
I had been reading Eat, Pray, Love and was feeling mystic.
“Oh, is that how it works?” T said with more cynicism than me when I have PMS. He began to tie his tie.
“Yes.” I pointed to his face to indicate that he should shave and turned back to my make up.
With my husband just home from almost 14 months of deployment, I didn’t see how 2011 could be anything but good, but I was taking no chances. I’ve learned that life doesn’t necessarily take deployment status into account when doling out gifts or misfortunes. More’s the pity.
We had a lovely dinner date, complete with Crispy Fried Tofu and Peanut Sauce, Pad Thai, Green Curry, a Mai Tai and lots of interesting conversation.
You have to understand that the dinner conversation doesn’t always flow so easily. T can sometimes slip back into chow hall etiquette. I have to remind him that he doesn’t have to be done with his meal in less than five minutes and that shovelling is not necessary. Sometimes I try to ask him questions that require full answers so that he has to stop eating for a bit to talk. Otherwise, he’s done way, WAY before me. And then he gets antsy. Which is really annoying.
And so not the Italian way.
But on New Year’s Eve it was easy and pleasant and we glided through the meal. The waiter brought us two fortune cookies with the bill and as we were waiting for him to run our card, we cracked into them.
T had two fortune slips in his and I had three. Jackpot! Very auspicious.
The only one, however, that has any bearing on this story, is this one:
I smiled broadly, convinced that my fashion offering had been accepted by the gods. T and I left the restaurant holding hands, smug in the knowledge that good things were coming to us.
We shivered into the car and as T drove off, my Mai Tai-induced haze cleared for a split second.
“HEY!” I yelled.
I dug out the fortune that I had saved as if it were a written contract that could not be reneged.
“It…it…this still IS the current year!”
I looked at the clock.
“I only have THREE HOURS and TWENTY SIX MINUTES left to be HAPPY??”
I flipped the little slip of paper over, searching for an amnesty clause.
No. No, it’s not convenient.
I want my money back.