Dinner Party with other people
My wife and I got the rare opportunity to go out to dinner together without worrying about the babysitter. Last week was our 13th Anniversary, and on our anniversary day we went with the kids out to Deerfield to a place called 'George's Rocks' which had a nice litte Dinosaur exhibit and a man-made 'mine' for kids to get a bunch of polished rocks. It was fun for an hour or so. We also went to the Yankee Candle Factory store, which is always fun - they make it such a pleasure just to explore that the shopping part is secondary. Then we went to a nice little Italian place (Monty's Garden in Leominster) for dinner - one of those places that was good as a family, but not so much of a 'me & the wife' things.
Last week we also had Theresa (Lisa's good friend from college and Christopher's godmother) up from Wed - Sun. She offered to stay with the kids while we went out Saturday. Whew! Normally we have to deal with the babysitter (she is very good, but only 13 so we are careful about time) or my parents (...).
We went to a very highly regarded place called the Herb Lyceum, which was a herb garden that has evolved into a fine dining place. No liquor license, bring your own wine. They have a single fixed menu for the month. All that was fine, but seating was 'communal' - meaning that there were two tables for 10 and one for 15, making their 35 person capacity. We tend to like more intimate dinners, but thought we'd try. Our thoughts were 'not bad, never again' - see, we had no real together time. Intimate side-talk during a dinner party is rude. Also, you don't know anyone, and there were two very nice couples we sat with and had some nice discussion. Then there was a 'younger' couple, early 30's. They never relaxed and weren't much fun to talk to because of it. Finally there was a very pretentious couple, who would throw out names and places, but when anyone would want to discuss them, would seem bored and detached. Not much fun. But at least we got to dress up, have *awesome* food and wine, and a little time away.
So what did we learn? While we both enjoy the company of others, what we relish most is intimate time alone to celebrate our life together. In an age of 50% divorce rates - some of which have hit awfully close to home recently - I revel in the love and friendship I share with my wonderful wife. So even though we didn't have the greatest time at this 'dinner party' style night out, we did it together, and shared in that experience and learned something about ourselves as individuals and as a couple.