Love

weddingrings.jpgAn age-old motto employed by wise women everywhere when their 60-something husbands return from the work wars to create projects from their home office.

My best friend's grandmother used that ironclad rule for the whole of her fifty-year marriage. Most especially after her adored husband retired from the illustrious law firm that bore his name, took to writing legal thrillers in the den and padding around her kitchen five times a day.

"My darling, let me miss you," she'd purr, as he asked yet again what they were having for lunch." I want to see you at the beginning and end of my day and all weekend long. To renew our otherness and share the excitement of two separate lives made one."

"But I'm hungry, " he said, yanking last night's tuna casserole out of the fridge, "And I don't want to eat alone."

"Then my darling," she implored lovingly, "go out to your club or a cafe or a friends home -- ANYWHERE but here, so that we can keep our love alive!"

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hôtel ritz parisI admit it – I have a soft spot for hotel bars partly because the first time my present husband declared himself to me was at a hotel bar – albeit it was coming on the heels of “I think you have another girlfriend (true) and if you want to keep seeing me, you’d better tell her good-bye....” In fairness, we’d only been dating for a week and we hadn’t kissed yet. And my version of the story is way more dramatic than his. In my version, I exit the table and he runs after me and says, “Wait, wait...I think I’m falling in love with you.” In his version, the dialogue is the same, but he claims he didn’t run after me in the patio of the bar at The Peninsula in Beverly Hills and dramatically stop my exit, he simply said it at the table. (I’m right, by the way....)

Neither of us dispute the second part – that the first time we kissed was in the driveway of the Peninsula (about three minutes after the declaration) as we were both waiting for our own cars and the possibility that we might never see each other again was hanging in the air. The valets all started laughing and smiling, and in my writer’s mind, there was also applause (this is potentially debatable) but the valets were pretty sweet since basically it was sort of old people making out and could have elicited a slightly different reaction, like yucch, and if this is “too much information” for my children, I apologize about that....

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mantilini.jpgThat night, we met over Kate Mantilini’s meatloaf, a generous slab of mixed roast beasts—beef, pork, and veal, seasoned with onions and garlic and the perfect soupcon of pepper and salt, and the conversation was delicious, too.  It was mid winter 1987, and in terms of warming, filling, non-carb comfort food that goes down easily, meatloaf is probably the best darn thing one can ingest.  Intellectual rapport is always an ideal accompaniment.

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emily_fox.jpgCongratulations, you’re pregnant – and for the first time since you were eight, you can eat whatever you want! Because you’re with child and therefore eating for two! And you are supposed to be a little insane from the hormones! So when you decide you must have half a jar of peanut butter for a snack, you only have to shrug helplessly and say, “I can’t help it – the baby loves peanut butter!” as though the kid were tapping out some kind of Morse Code on the inside of your belly.

juliet_scott_sm.jpg
 Juliet Maeve Scott,
December 28th, 2007
6 lbs 2

Everyone smiles indulgently at you and touches you kind of inappropriately on your belly area and tells you what a blessing the whole thing is and you agree because it is indeed nothing short of a blessing to be able to order rice pudding after lunch with no pangs of guilt whatsoever.

Sure, you can’t have sushi, but there are so many other perks: cookies and pizza and macaroni and cheese (for the calcium, of course) and real soda and cupcakes, glorious cupcakes, which you can even have for breakfast if you want and nobody bats an eyelash. I was thrilled for many reasons to learn I was pregnant, but I cannot deny that chief among them was the Get Out of Jail Free card that I’d been looking for my whole adult life.

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pancake-stack.jpg Once upon a time, when my future husband and I had just started dating, he called me one Saturday morning to see what I was up to. I was in the car with my friend Phoebe and a trunk full of laundry.

“We’re going to Michael Green’s for breakfast,” I said. I had him on my Reagan-era car phone, which had a curly cord and a speakerphone, which may as well have been a tin can attached to a length of string.

Peter thought about this for a moment. “Is that a restaurant or a person’s house?” he asked.

 

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