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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day Date, part two

So after taking care of rescheduling, we start talking about what to do with our newly found free day. I have always wanted to visit a local vineyard with Mark, but it wasn't just any local vineyard. This vineyard had significant meaning to us. On our first date, December 17th, 1988, Mark came to my apartment for dinner, bringing a bottle of wine. It was supposed to be a double date, a dinner party, but the other couple was running late. So it was just Mark and I and the bottle of wine he brought, the other couple never saw a glass of it. It was a very nice Riesling from a local vineyard, Dr Konstantin Frank is located in the Finger Lakes. The vineyard is less than two hours from our home and has been on our "bucket list" for many years now. Lately it has come up in conversation as a place we keep meaning to go to, but have not. So with that idea, we started researching the drive and discussing the other stops we could make along the way. I joked that after all, this is the place "I blame for our marriage." Our first date sealed our fate, our conversation fluid, (whose wouldn't be after a bottle of wine?) we hit it off well and were engaged less than two months later on Valentine's Day. But Markie quickly corrects me, saying he doesn't "blame" Dr Frank, he "Gives credit to him for our marriage!" Comments like this are common from Mark, he is sweet and corny all rolled up into one. Often the kids and I laugh at his icky sweet comments, but truth be told, we love his corny sweetness. It makes us roll our eyes, exclaiming "I can't believe he just said that!" Our older nieces and nephews take much pleasure in teasing Mark also. Mark is the source of many jokes among them, I can hear my nieces say things like "You know how Mark is? You won't believe what he said now ..." They are quick to laugh at him, but every one of them at some point has said to me, "I hope I find a Markie." Mark is truly an endearing man, his corny jokes and all. So as I roll my eyes at his sweet comment, I too thank God he still enjoys being married to me. Our life can be so stressful, a tiny part of me worries that someday Mark may just walk away. My father basically did that, he walked away. Of course there is much more to that story, but as a young child, that is what it felt like, he was sick of us and walked. My insecurity around that is still very evident at times. Every time a marriage of someone close to us breaks up, I become very clingy. Mark has taken this all in stride really well. He knows it will pass, but for days, weeks or even longer, depending on the situation, I need a little more TLC and reassurance we are ok. I may ask him repeatedly if he loves me and he is good at just helping me ride those feelings the way I need to. So as we decide our day date, thoughts of that first date, our fate in meeting and all we have lived through, floats through my head. There are so many memories at this point, we have begun to lose some of them. Recently we were debating whether we had gone to a restaurant together in Letchworth State Park. I was pretty sure we had, but the memory for both of us was vague and Mark didn't think we had. We discussed it much, finally deciding that maybe we had gone there on an anniversary? It makes life interesting, our discussions about whether we have done something or not, as apposed to talking about strong memories. Yes, we are getting older! So as we plan our day, we also debate if it could possibly be true, that we have never gone on a wine tasting together? We have been together for 23 years this December and we live close to an area that is known for wineries. Many people go on wine tours, using limos to get from winery to winery. It is somewhat of a common "big Birthday" event or bachelor/bacheloret party event. But we both agree, we have never done this! To both of us, that seems crazy, but then again, our life took a much more family focused direction after having Teale. It has been tough for us to pull off "adult" things, getting away, even if for a day, has been nearly impossible. We have gotten fairly used to this, but sometimes it is still tough to swallow. We see other couples pull off vacations alone, weekends away, we can only dream of such things. A day date is our big splurge! We feel a sense of normalcy with several hours to "just be a couple." The magic ends at three o'clock, when Teale's bus returns home from school, but for those precious hours, it is just me and my boyfriend of almost 23 years. (to be continued)

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