Last week, Puff and I celebrated one year of marriage. It was a fabulous year full of vacations and festivals and nights curled up on the couch. The lows weren't too low and the highs were just right. We learned more about each other and when he told me that he loves me more now than the day we got married, I melted into a giant puddle of lovey goo.
We played our anniversary weekend just like any other weekend in our crazy world. Friday night, we drove 45 minutes to a car show and listened to oldies music and scoped out an Edsel and a LaSalle. Saturday, we browsed booths at an art festival and started to pack for our upcoming whirlwind anniversary trip. Sunday, we brunched at Dunkin Donuts (a total splurge for our diets) and spray painted patio furniture. It doesn't sound that over the top, but for us, it was just perfect. The upcoming two weeks in Europe will be over the top enough!
However, we did throw in one romantic gesture... a nice dinner out, just the two of us. We chose a local steakhouse, since Puff has been gushing over the ribeye he had there last November when we went for his birthday. We also wisely chose to go earlier in the evening to avoid the typical Saturday rush that was also overflowing with awkward pre-prom dates. A short wait for a table, and they stuck us in a small, dark, damp back room. I was disappointed that passerbys wouldn't get to see my cute dress and sexy shoes. I was also less than excited to be seated staring at a wall with a giant painting of an elk staring right back at me.
When our waiter came to the table, he casually asked if we were there to celebrate our anniversary. We piped up with a resounding, "Yes!" The only other table occupied in the room, was another couple who leaned over and congratulated us and told us they were celebrating their 34th anniversary. When we told them it was our first, they beamed and wished us the best of luck. We were pleasantly surprised by an on-the-house order of onion rings that came out as an appetizer. We dove into giant, overflowing salads and I ate every roll they brought. My filet was perfectly grilled and seasoned. Puff practically licked the plate after downing 12 ounces of meat. The waiter eventually came back and asked if we like chocolate. A beautiful little cupcake, hot and moist, and doused in caramel and chocolate sauce was soon in front of me. It didn't sit on the table for long.
The waiter did win more points (on top of the free food points) when he asked me if I was OK and I said, "I'm perfect." His response? "Well, of course you're perfect. We all know that! He wouldn't be with you if you weren't!" A quick pat on Puff's back and a wink sealed the deal fo him to get a good tip at the end of the meal.
Some casual conversation later, we motioned for the waiter to come over to bring us our check. As he rushed past our table, he mentioned that the other anniversary couple, who had left about 20 minutes earlier, had taken care of it for us. Our mouths dropped and we were sure we had misheard, so we sat there until the waiter came back. Puff asked if he had been kidding. The waiter seemed as surprised as we were. He had asked them if they even knew us, and they pointedly told him no. It was true... I wouldn't even recognize them again if I saw them. The waiter double checked to make sure they really wanted to pay for our upwards of $70 meal. They said yes. And that everyone deserves a free ride once and awhile.
After leaving a generous tip, Puff and I left the restaurant with not only our stomachs full, but our hearts as well. The gesture from that kind couple was over the top and more wonderful than they even know. I just hope I can pay that kindness forward sometime soon. It was a perfect end to our anniversary dinner and a perfect reminder of the good that still exists in people.