What I wore.
Aaron and I celebrated our THIRD anniversary last night. That may not sound like much, but it's felt like a lifetime (in a good way!); as I told him, the past three years have, hands down, been the most eventful -- and wonderful -- of my life. I think I said the same thing last year. Both times, it's saying a lot. Aaron's succinct summary of our time together? "Three years, two states, one Kaspar." Any way you slice it, we have a great deal to celebrate. It's been a wild ride: we've been blindsided by challenges
we never saw coming (and overcome them together), we've seen the best and the worst of each other, and this past year has been a good one for us. As Kaspar becomes a bit more independent, as we both continue to develop our careers, and our lives, in Austin, and as we grow in the natural ways people grow in three years, we've both -- I think -- recognized the value of our relationship and actively invested in prioritizing and nourishing it. When we met (a little over four years ago?), we were both single New Yorkers. I was working in the corporate business world and Aaron was an art handler. I lived in Washington Heights, and he lived in Brooklyn (we found a place of our own in Brooklyn
shortly thereafter). I don't think there's any way either one of us could have imagined all of the pieces of our lives transforming into what they collectively create now. Growing and changing (and moving and procreating) together is an art form, really. People don't talk about that much. Yeah, yeah, we've all heard relationships take 'work', but that sounds so damning and heavy. They also just take listening and loving (loving a person, not a set of circumstances), flexibility, and the decision to smile and feel good and be the person you want to be, the person you'd want to be with
. We all have that person inside of us; it's very real. But we also have negative, potentially very shitty people within (maybe I should just speak for myself, haha?), and I think, you know, letting this little light of mine shine (or whatever) is a decidedly conscious process. My marriage is one of the major forces in my life that helps me to do that. Not necessarily because Aaron "brings out the best in me," but because I bring it out, for him (and now Kaspar, too.). And for myself, obviously, because who wants to be or feel shitty? No one. I'm also deeply appreciative of Aaron making the same kinds of choices, day in and day out. (Be the light, y'all!)
Okay, so: our date. As I mentioned, I'm slammed with work
at the moment, but we planned to go out, and that meant getting to kind of play hookie from my responsibilities for a night. Sweet deal. My friend Jenn
and I do babysitting trades (allowing for date nights in both of our relationships, both in terms of time and affordability. Highly recommend!), so she arrived promptly at six to hold the fort down while we were out. I'd just, in the spirit of dates and playing hookie, returned about half an hour before from getting a pedi (also highly recommend, and on the regular) with another good friend, and then had made Kaspar's dinner, showered, and applied mascara in a flourish so we'd be ready to bounce out the door. (Meanwhile, Aaron and Kaspar played. Watching my man in his role as a father is, I should mention, one of my life's great delights... I didn't know just how incredible he'd be at his daddy job when I married him either! Bring on the pleasant surprises.)
When Jenn arrived, Kaspar was eating happily and had no problem seeing us leave (he loves her). We went straight to Uchi
-- THE sushi joint of Austin (if also the least sustainable food genre to be found in the city... they fly the day's specials in fresh from Japan!) It was only about 6:30, but the parking lot was packed, and we were told there'd be a forty-five minute wait. No matter. Uchi, I must say, has earned its reputation, which is of mythical proportions; the place is a well-oiled, masterful fine dining machine. We were casually ushered onto some shaded outdoor chairs, where we got into the sushi mood with some awesome sake, toasted our three years, and breathed happy, we-have-arrived sighs.
Let the evening begin!
In what felt like a lot less than forty-five minutes, we were led to the sushi bar, which is WAY better than table seating in a great sushi place, fyi. Now, I love me some sushi and have partaken many, many times, but I still don't really know my way around a sushi menu. Neither does Aaron. They're a little complicated, you know? Cold, hot, raw, sashimi, and how many pieces per this one again? But Uchi didn't for a minute let us feel naive or inexpert. Nope, we were walked through the menu by our drinks server, given recommendations based on our preferences. We then placed our order -- asking more questions and getting excited -- with our "very own" sushi chef, who worked his magic before us throughout our meal. What ensued was a perfectly timed, seemingly-endless stream of amazing, distinct, mind-blowlngly delectable dishes, each with it's personal introduction and description, and each perfectly complimenting what had come before, and was to follow. Sushi is sexy food, people. We ate that raw fish (and drank that sake) like we meant it... and then we ordered dessert. We are officially drinkin' the Uchi Kool-Aid; I don't think I'll be able to settle for so-so sushi again. Honestly, their cold dishes made the regular sashimi (my usual jam) -- although perfect, in sashimi terms -- seem boring. Incredible sauces, I tell you-- citrus and spice and art on many plates. And the service was spot on. Louis, our chef, even made us something special, on the house, that he thought we'd enjoy. By the time we were through, we were pleasantly drunk (well, I was... I don't actually drink very often, and I indulged last night more than Aaron, who was totally fine to drive... don't worry, Mom), and in a dizzyingly, uh, romantic mood.
My chopstick 'stache. Btw, that gash on my forehead is not a wrinkle, it's a ceiling-fan-induced scar. Another story for another day! (But I told you it says a lot that my years with Aaron have been the most eventful yet!)
We'd tentatively planned to go, after dinner, to a comedy show that a friend of mine was hosting, but it was far later than we'd anticipated (we had also planned not to worry about the time at all while at dinner), and we'd missed it by miles. We went instead to a local grill where another friend's husband was playing with his band; we stayed for a little while, socializing and sobering up (again, all me) a bit before heading back home to relieve Jenn and get to 'reminiscing' about our wedding night. ;-)
I realized later that I'd had way too much to eat (and a little too much to drink), but I was able to simply sleep it off... I.e. not throw up. (Kaspar did join us in our bed around 3 a.m... Yes, we're still working on that
... but thankfully was pretty low-maintenance and passed out without much fanfare.) All in all, it was a super fun time, start to finish. If this is what growing old with someone is all about, I'm totally sold. Still. Three years, baby! Feels good.