Chapter 25 2003 - Crazy in Love

Chrissy and Billy had been dating for over a year, and one might say they were crazy in love. Although Billy had been awarded a couple of college scholarships out of state, because of Chrissy, he elected to stay local. He still played football, but the exposure of a prestige university might elude him if he chose to pursue it as a career.

Chrissy, now seventeen, worked part-time during her senior year of high school in a local office as an afternoon receptionist. While she didn’t need the money, as Angela and I provided here a hefty allowance and doted on her every need, she felt the need to at least be partially self-supporting, and avoid the label of being a spoiled brat, and some of her more distant acquaintances were wont to say. She paid for her own gasoline and car insurance, and Billy and she split on dates and dinners.

Because of college and especially during the football season, Billy did not have a steady income, and Chrissy’s end of the split held the greater percentage, which was a source of irritation to I.

“Is that freeloader mooching off you again?” I would say, when she went out to the movies.

“Dad Billy’s not a freeloader. You know how hard he works on his studies, and he’s doing very well on the college team as well. You remember the award he won last year?” I acknowledged with a nod. “He was a lazy freeloader, he never would have earned that,” she stated decisively.

“I’m well aware of Billy’s accomplishments, and I am as proud of them as you are. Just trying to protect my little girl.”

“Dad, I’ve told you before, I’m not a little girl. I’ll be eighteen in just a few months.”

“I know, I just can’t envision you all grown up.”

“Better start envisioning, because it’s happening fast.”

I recalled his own courtship of Angela, they were crazy in love as well. Angela had only been nineteen when they married, and had a pre-teen crush on I which I had totally failed to recognize until many years later. In fact, he had virtually ignored Angela as “Spike’s little brat sister” but couldn’t imagine her not being in his life now.

With Chrissy’s Sweet Sixteen extravaganza having gotten out of control, I and Angela had chosen to ignore a public celebration of the twenty-fifth wedding anniversary in the previous year. Still, I felt that he owed Angela the honor of celebration as their twenty-sixth approached. Angela was not too keen on the idea.

“Even without the throngs that came to Chrissy’s party, we still would have to do the same thing all over again and invite the whole Mall gang again. What was it, eighty-eight?”

“It’s up to ninety-five now. Abby had her baby, but married another guy. Samantha got married. Steven’s wife had another baby.”

“That’s six!”

“Yeah, six, and I don’t think they’re finished yet.” I started recalling new relationships in his head. “David re-married Cynthia.”

“I wonder how long that will last?”

“Charlie’s son Bert got married, and they had a baby last year.”

“Craig and Faith got another dog.”

“No dogs!”

“OK, then. Ninety-four.”

“Well, we’re never having another party where we invite over a hundred relatives again. It’s use too much.”

“But I still would like to celebrate. Twenty-five years is a significant achievement, and twenty-six is one more. It’s got to be bigger.”

“Bigger is not an option for me, right now. I want simple.”

“What about renewing our vows? We can invite just those who had been at our wedding.”

“We’re not even in touch with many of them. Besides, we already know how much we are in love.” Despite her admission, Angela was clearly not the romantic one.

Suggestion after suggestion was offered, each of them rejected for various reasons of impracticality or displeasure with a possible outcome, that I finally reached the limit of what he could propose. “I can’t think of a single thing that would appeal to you!” he stated in exasperation.

“How about use a quiet dinner at home? Just the two of us. Chrissy will probably want to go out with Billy anyway, and Tyler and Merry can be shipped off to the grandparents for an evening, right?”

“Can I at least bring in a celebrity chef?”

“Just the two of us. No celebrity chef. But you can pick the menu. We’ll work together to make it.”

“OK, how does Prime Rib sound?”

“Prime Rib sounds good.”

“At last, we agree on something!”

I started working out the menu. Prime rib was the main course, but it needed to be accompanied by some set of vegetable. He chose asparagus, with a hollandaise sauce.

“You know I’m not fond of asparagus. It makes my pee smell funny.”

“Ok, no asparagus,” I pouted. “Let’s think about an appetizer.”

“I like Brie.”

“OK, Brie with crackers. Maybe some fruit?”

“Raspberries? Yum.”

“We’ll just have that while we sit together and stare into each other’s eyes.”

“That might make eating difficult.”

“We can look away, occasionally. Then we’ll move on to the second course. We’ll serve that at the table.”

“And what will that be?”

I considered carefully, then suggested “Shrimp cocktail?”

“Is shrimp in season?”

“Anything can be in season.”

“Third course?”

I was deep in thought again. “Caesar Salad?”

“Caesar Salad sounds good. Adds a nice Roman touch. A little bit of Italy.”

“Caesar Salad was created in Mexico.”

“Ok, so it adds some Mexican flavor, then.”

“Not really.”

“Fourth course?”

“Something to cleanse the palate, I would think. A !” he said with authority.

“You just thought that up yourself?”

“No, I looked it up online,” I admitted.

“Sounds good, though.”

“It does, doesn’t it?”

“Are we ever going to get to the prime rib? I’m getting full already.”

“It’s the very next course. With a side of Yorkshire Pudding.”

“A dessert in the middle of the meal?”

“It’s not a dessert, just a pastry.”

“You looked that up too, didn’t you?”

“I did.”

“Next course?”

“We’re not finished with the fifth course, yet!”

“But I’m already full. What else?”

“Asiago and sage scalloped potatoes.”

“Sounds... interesting.”

“Interesting? Sounds fantastic!”

“Are we done?”

“Done? We’re just getting started!”

“How long can this meal go on?”

“OK, two more… make that three more courses.”

“Are you going to be buying me a new wardrobe as well? Because I surely won’t be able to fit into my current one after this meal!”

“Sixth course: dessert!”

“There’s always room for Jello, I guess.”

“Nope, cherries jubliee flambé!”

“You’ll set the house on fire…”

“Maybe just a little. We’ll have the fire department on standby.”

“Two more?”

“Seventh course: cheese platter.”

“We had cheese already.”

“Well this rounds it out.”

“And finally?”

“And finally…” I held the anticipation to a maximum.




“Yes, something to relax by.”

“So we finally get something to drink, after all of that.”

“It’s not just a drink. It’s something to savor.”

“Still, I’m going to be thirsty.”

“Well, there is the vast selection of wine and aperitifs as well.”

“And you’ve thought this all out as well. Do you even know what an aperitif is?”

“Not as much, but maybe a little glass of the bubbly to go with the brie?”

“Does that go?”

“Sounds like it might. A red for the main course, I would think.”

“Sounds like you really know your wines.”

“Er, not as much. Red meat, red wine. White meat, white wine. Makes sense, right?”

“Maybe just a glass of water to be safe, OK?”

“I’ll work it out, trust me.”

I was true to his word, and studied up on wines and other drinks that would be appropriate at various parts of the meal, and when the time for the anniversary dinner arrived, the two of them began working out the logistics of the preparation of the meal, without involving anyone else.

“So can we put this together without a lot of trouble?”

“We can try. And if it doesn’t work out, we’ll practice and try it again next year.”

“Maybe we should go out to eat like we always do.”

“Nope. This will work.”

First order of business was shopping. I prepared the list of all the ingredients they would need to make this sumptuous feast. Angela reviewed it.

“You know you’re only cooking for two, here? There’s enough quantity to practically feed an army. A very hungry army at that.”

“Maybe we can adjust the quantities to a more appropriate level. Is a five pound roast OK?”

“Two pounds would be better.”

“But five pounds would give us leftovers. And it would cook better.”

“If you say so. Do we have room for all these leftovers? And will we ever eat them?”

“I can imagine myself having prime rib hash for breakfast. Or a sandwich. Or we could give some to the dog.”

“No dogs!”

“No dog?”

“OK, five pounds.”

“Here’s a big bag of shrimp. That’s five pounds, too.”

“One pound.”

“One pound.”

“Cocktail sauce, and here are the cheeses. One pound each?”

“One pound total.”

“We need a half pound of asiago.”

“Ok, one and a half pounds total.”

“OK. Lettuce, raspberries, potatoes, grapefruit, star anise. No cherries.”

“Not in season. But you need a can, not fresh.”

“Can of cherries.” I looked over the list. “I think we have everything we need. Some of this we have at home.”

They worked together as a team, and with careful planning and preparation, put together a feast that would please a king and queen.

“You are my queen, my dear,” as I served up the first course, carefully slicing the Brie, placing it on a cracker and gently placing it in Angela’s mouth. He poured two glasses of Champagne, and served the two of them. “To 26 years! May we have 26 more!”

“And 26 more beyond that,” Angela added. They were just two kids, crazy in love.