The wedding was perfect.
My extraordinary mother was the creative genius behind it all.
The cake – five tiers of hand-crafted, spun sugar orchids – was made and given as a gift.
Family and friends gathered for the reception, catered by my favorite church ladies. And there is nothing better than church lady food.
And none of the boys fell into the pool.
It was perfect, all perfect.
Several months later I felt the need for a chat with the Reverend.
“Pastor, this marriage stuff…it’s ridiculous…I think I made a mistake… why didn’t you warn me?”
He appeared neither surprised nor sympathetic.
He reminded me we’d talked about the “need for compromise” in the weeks before the wedding. It felt like I was the only one doing that.
“But this is FAR worse than anything you could possibly imagine” I insisted. He listened as I went down the list….
…… I work hard all day, come home, fix dinner, he has no clue… I do laundry, clean all weekend while he watches TV, he is clueless… he stays out late to play hockey, he apparently can’t tell time, clueless. There was a lot of cluelessness going on.
He let me rant.
I was disturbed that pastor didn’t seem the least bit disturbed at my tale of woe.
“Brooke, you need to focus on the positive things. Tell me one thing that drew you together in the first place”.
I was blank. His office – – uncomfortably quiet. I was stumped for some shred of positive and he wasn’t saying a word.
“Well… we both like food… we like to eat” was my lame offering.
“Fantastic”. He pushed the phone across the desk towards me.
I was confused. This made no sense. I expected him to call Doug and give him ‘what for’.
Instead I heard him say to call Doug…invite him to meet me at the restaurant on the corner.
The more I thought about it…… the best conversations Doug and I ever had seemed to be in a restaurant over a meal. We liked to go out. We loved to eat. I mean, we really love to eat!
… we started out eating……
And we kept on eating……………
“Brooke”, pastor handed me the phone, “Call him”.
” I want you to tell Doug everything you told me… you may have to tell him more than once…he probably doesn’t have a clue“.
He slapped a $10 bill in my hand, “go have pie and coffee…talk”.
And we’ve been meeting for pie and coffee ever since.
42 years to be exact.
… a little less on the pie these days.
……from the Pump House in Fairbanks, Alaska to Mr. Jim’s in Fayetteville, North Carolina…we’ve eaten our way across America. From Bombay Peggy’s in Dawson City, Yukon Territory to The Blue Shrimp in Puerto Vallarta, we’ve shared our days and our meals. I’m counting on more………
……………HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DOUG…………….