May 11, 2005

True Romance

Yesterday, Melissa and I celebrated our 7th anniversary. While trying to plan the evening last week, She suggested going to dinner and seeing a movie (in the theater!). Which movie did she want to see? Kung Fu Hustle. "It looks really funny," she said. God, I love this woman.

We dropped little man off with her mother, and opened our cards to each other there. Mine was sappy, hers was funny. She wanted a couple of Anime DVD's from Best Buy, I wanted $50 set aside for the new digital camera I plan to buy this summer. My parents mailed us an AmEx gift card for a night out, and Mel's parents gave us some money as well, so we went ALL-OUT and splurged on a dinner at Romano's Macaroni Grill. Any place where they leave you crayons to draw on the butcher-paper tablecloths is about as fancy as we usually get.

Since it wasn't 8PM yet, traffic into and out of Alpharetta was moving at a blistering 10 MPH. While we creeped along, Mel relished the fact that, since she wasn't in the company of toddlers for a change, she could curse openly like the daughter of a Marine she was. Over the course of our hour-long drive, she let it all out. Every person that ticked her off during the week, every stressful moment, delivered with a heaping helping of four-letter expletives and her trademark wit. By the time we arrived at the restaurant, she was visibly relieved and ready to have a nice, quiet dinner.

The food was unremarkable, but the Chianti was good. We're not high-class people, we go out to enjoy company and conversation rather than the fare and atmosphere, and so we did. We talked about grown-up things. People without young children just have no idea what a big deal it is to talk to another adult about adult things. You can speak in complete sentences without being interrupted every ten seconds. You don't have to refer to your significant other or yourself in the third person ("No, Go see Mommy, Daddy is working now"). Plus, you don't have to spell out words, so they go over the kid's head.

The movie was incredible. It's every chop-socky "Your crane style is no match for my praying mantis style kung fu" storyline you've ever heard, put in a blender and set on "Frappe`". Stephen Chow must have grown up watching nothing but Jackie Chan and WWII-era Looney Tunes. The sheer variety of fighting styles and characters is amazing. Catch it in the theaters while you can.

Not many people would consider going out to a kung fu flick a romantic way to celebrate an anniversary, but we found it quite fitting. Our first date was catching "Pulp Fiction" at the Beechwood Cinemas in Athens.

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