It’s always something

So last weekend was DH and my anniversary.  Three years and we’re both still alive.  Some days that’s nothing short of a miracle.

Anyway, three years and one week ago we got married on what happened to be Thanksgiving weekend.  We chose it for several reasons….we had to have a long weekend as we were inviting pretty much everyone his mother had ever spoken to in her whole life.  No really.  We sent out over 600 invitations.  Honestly I think his mom invited the people who bag her groceries.

But I digress.

Another reason we had to get married on Thanksgiving was because the Orthodox Church “blacks out” days.  I don’t know the reason why (and to be honest I don’t much care) but think of it kind of like trying to fly on points and a lot of the good dates are no-fly times.  The one summer weekend that was left unbooked was during my parents’ European cruise.  They offered to cancel their trip but we said no (good thing since the weather that weekend was horrific…cold and torrential rains), Thanksgiving was fine.  And fine it was.  We had a lovely, warm, sunny day.  In my opinion, it was the best day of the whole year to wear a big puffy white dress with two crinolines.

A side benefit of getting married on a holiday (that I’m pretty sure the DH never thought of) is that that holiday is forever “yours” and if you choose to go away for your anniversary during that time, no one can ever complain.  I mean really, how can you bitch out your kid for wanting to spend time with his wife on the anniversary of the best day of your life so far MIL instead of coming to your house and eating turkey.  Win-win indeed.

And so we spent the next two Thanksgiving weekends away.  On our first anniversary we decided to take in some local theatre and went to Drayton and saw The Man of La Mancha.  Which was really, really good.  What was not really, really good was the weather.  It was hot, humid and sticky beyond belief.  And given that it was October the B&B where we were staying had taken out their window AC units and sleep (and all other indoor sports) were uncomfortable in the extreme.  It’s hard to be all romantic when you’re dripping with sweat and sticking to the sheets.  Not the B&B host’s fault for sure and she was thoughtful enough to leave a bottle of champagne in our room for when we got back.  Good play, nice B&B, bad weather.

The next year we took an extra long weekend and went to New York City.  I had been only briefly prior to that trip but DH went all the time as the SIL used to live there.  We weighed the options…drive or fly and knowing my penchant for buying yarn and, well, pretty much everything else, we elected to drive.  Good call.

The hotel was ok (cheap and cheerful but an awesome location in the Upper West Side super close to Central Park) but DH just about killed me with his “death marches”.  By now I should be used to the fact that he goes from walking 0 kms in everyday life to 10+ a day on vacation.  My feet had swollen so badly  I could wear only one of the four pairs of the shoes I brought and forget about even trying on new ones.  The yarn shopping eased the pain though.  We continued on with the anniversary tradition of seeing a musical, this time Hairspray.  Which was also surprisingly good.

And we also continued the tradition of avoiding a big turkey dinner at the outlaws house.  My family rarely cooks turkey, instead preferring to eat the lesser known homemade Thanksgiving pizza or Thanksgiving BBQ’d steak.

This year however, our luck ran out.  We had planned to spend the weekend at Stratford Festival enjoying yet another anniversary musical, this time A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  The MIL blindsided us by telling us we’d be coming over to her house that weekend for dinner.  DH didn’t exactly say no, buuuuut he didn’t exactly say yes either.  We told her we’d be away that weekend and we’d try to make it to her house the next day by 4pm.  She was less than impressed and I’m sure you’ll not be at all surprised when I tell you I didn’t care.

But the play was sold out.  And DH spends much of the week on-site and wasn’t interested in sleeping anywhere but his own bed.  So we decided to go to The Shaw Festival as I’d heard good things about Born Yesterday.   Since we weren’t staying overnight we could splurge on a nice dinner at Strewn (which came highly recommended) and be home by midnight.  Or earlier.  We’re an old married couple now you know.

And so began the comedy of errors.  I always buy tickets on the internet and select the option of picking them up  at the box office.  I have never had issues.  Ever.  Except last Saturday.  We got up later than we wanted to, left much later than we thought we would, didn’t stop at any wineries on the way, drove around Niagara-on-the-Lake aimlessly looking for free parking (DH is cheap that way) and, when it came time to pick up the tickets, the lady at the box office  couldn’t find them.  Because I had mistakenly bought them for the show THE WEEK EARLIER.  Yep.  $220 worth of tickets for the previous Saturday.  Which we had spent lying around the house all day.

To my credit there was no swearing, no yelling and no tears.  I calmly purchased two more tickets, albeit at a lesser price despite the fact that they were better seats, and the very nice ticket lady who felt really badly for me after I told her it was our anniversary, released my tickets and converted that $220 into a donation which I suspect is borderline illegal and definitely unethical but really nice.  Especially as I get a tax break.

The show, which I spent $360 on was sadly not that great.  It was amusing but not nearly as funny as I was lead to believe and even now the lead actress’ grating voice still echos in my ears.  It’s my own fault but I totally overpaid for that show.

We made our way to Strewn, which came highly recommended and left much to be desired.  The service was very slow, the food was meh and the actual restaurant itself was nothing to write home about.  DH paid for dinner and it cost nearly as much as the second set of tickets.  And took longer to get through than the play!

But best of all we had to go to dinner at the outlaws the next day.  DH wanted to see his relatives, which was fine with me, but I held firm to leaving our house late.  And we agreed to continue to let his mother believe we had spent the night away.  I was fully expecting dinner to be well underway by 2:30 when we got there but sadly, they had yet to start.

I was feverish and coughing up a lung and had very little sense of taste so the food was actually reasonably pleasant.  What little I ate of it that is.  And to give her her due, the MIL nearly always does a good job with the turkey.  The gravy not so much but her turkey is decent.  The FIL and I, by unspoken agreement, ignored each other, and I spent much of the dinner coughing in the MIL’s direction and talking to DH’s cousins.  I’ve spent worse afternoons at the outlaw’s that’s for sure.

Next year, I told DH on the way home, will be different, no Thanksgiving dinner anywhere but our house and no guests but him and I.  Unless we once again go away for the weekend, in which case this will all be moot and I can start figuring out what musical we’ll see next October and get on that work up training for the inevitable death marches we’ll go on.


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