Monday, September 20, 2010
He Made Me Cry
Now, before you get all mad at him, please let me explain...
Yesterday, marked our eighteenth wedding anniversary. And, normally, my husband's more practical side is employed...whether it is a special occasion or a plain old ordinary Wednesday. He is an "Acts of Service" kind of guy (Have you read Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman yet? If your answer is no, then stop reading this and go to your favorite book selling website right now and order it...then come back.). He shows he cares by working hard for you, bringing home the bacon, taking out the garbage, organizing the fridge...and on and on. He doesn't care to go gift shopping and usually assigns any research/planning/arranging to his secretary...who would be me. Now, that doesn't mean that he isn't up for any celebrating...it just isn't usually a surprise. He did spring one on my twenty-first birthday...he arranged to have fresh cut red roses delivered to me...at a campground, to the back of the pickup truck I was sleeping in while on a canoe trip. So, I knew he had it in him...that was before the internet even existed. And, while there have been little surprises along the way, nothing that has required the type of planning and orchestrating that that act and his scheme he fulfilled yesterday did.
We were scheduled to be in Milwaukee for the weekend. A few months back, I had tossed up the suggestion that we stop in Chicago on the way home for the night, since our return fell on our anniversary. He wasn't really interested. So, I figured we would probably just grab dinner out some night after we had gotten home.
We hit the road mid-afternoon. I did try one last time to score some Chicago time by mentioning the Cheesecake Factory...but he wanted to get THROUGH Chicago and eat after we got into Michigan. So, that was the plan I was operating under...wondering what kind of paper my dinner would be wrapped in.
It was a beautiful afternoon for a drive...we slipped into southwestern Michigan in the early evening. We weren't too far into the mitten before he pulled off the highway without saying a word. I knew the fuel was fine, so I figured this was a bathroom break since he had not even mentioned eating yet. But he turned away from the gas stations and fast food restaurants and headed into farm country. He drove purposefully...taking turns as though he had already been on this journey. The drive was beautiful...green...rolling hills...trees changing color...the sun going down. But I had no idea where we were going...I even joked about texting my mom so that she would have my last known location when she called the police...after all, we were way out there. After driving for 10 minutes or so, he turned into the drive of the Tabor Hill Winery and Restaurant. I'm sure I looked dumbfounded. I asked him what was going on. He then explained that he had been working on a plan for weeks to find an exceptional restaurant, off the beaten path. He had studied the map online for days so that he knew the route perfectly. And, since we were at a winery and would probably participate in some tastings, he went ahead and made lodging arrangements nearby...scheming with my mom to keep the kids one more night. And then I cried...because he had gone to all that trouble for me...because he knew that I would love it...because he hid all related stress over a possible blown surprise from me...and because he took care of every last detail (As a melancholy, he is excellent with details...if you don't know what that means then go to your favorite book selling webiste and order Personality Plus by Florence Littauer...and then come back). He made sure every base was covered, even when some events threatened his plan. So, sitting at the perfect table, we enjoyed champagne and some wonderful food...a crabcake appetizer, filet mignon and grilled lobster.
Completely full and happy, we skipped dessert and went to pick out some artisan chocolates with names like caramel apple, vanilla cupcake and cinnamon roll. We saved most of those for the drive home, enjoying one each half hour, letting the flavors linger.
Such a wonderful memory he created for me...and I am so thankful that he stepped out of his comfort zone to design such an experience for us. Even now as I write this, my eyes tear up a little. So he is still making me cry.