Long, long ago when I was a young person, if you’d asked me what my idea of a romantic date was, I’d have told you that it was one of the following
A moonlit walk on the beach
A candlelight dinner
A trip to Paris
At least those were my ideas of an uber romantic date. Needless to say, they were inspired by the movies and Mills & Boons that I sneaked home and read without my parents’ knowledge (In a household where my dad read Ponniyin Selvan and other assorted works by Kalki, reading Mills & Boon was considered blasphemy)
Well, I grew up and fortunately for me, I’ve had the opportunity to try out every one of the above things.
The DH has taken me out walking on the beach under the moon and the stars. It was great, I have to admit, pretty much everything I was expecting. Only, I didn’t foresee all the sand that would get on our footwear and our clothes and would require a whole lot of cleaning on getting back to the hotel room. Oh and I definitely did not expect the crabs. The little critters came out of the sand and went crawling over my feet giving me the fright of my life.
The candlelight dinner has been a favorite go to date idea for a long time. It’s an idea I love. The whole anticipation of an evening in a sophisticated setting, the getting dressed up part and the ability to spend some quality time with the DH have been my favorite things. This is something we have stopped doing, though, since the DD was a toddler because a squalling, wailing baby and an upscale restaurant don’t mix. Also, there cannot be much conversation when you are busy cutting up food on a little one’s plate or ensuring that they are not going to upend their glass of water on their own head or someone else’s. Now that the DD’s grown up, we did give this a try with a small change. The DD went with us. We thought she was old enough to experience “fine dining” plus she loves getting dolled up and was keen not to pass up on this opportunity. However the experience was a little less than satisfactory because this time around we realized that candle light does not provide quite enough light to read the menu. We had to use the flashlight app on the phone to do this and every time the DH and I would say something sweet to each other the DD would roll her eyes and one time she even asked “Are you guys drunk?” So the candlelight dinner is definitely an idea to be shelved until the DD can be left alone at home.:(
The Paris trip was truly phenomenal, except if you really want to see Paris you’re going to have to hoof it. We walked miles and miles in Paris and loved every minute of it. We even felt more in love in the “city of lights” but were too tired from all the walking to do anything about it.
Yesterday the DD was at some event in the downtown area and once the DH and I had dropped her off, we had a few hours to kill. Right next to the event venue there was a Farmer’s market and we thought we’d check it out. It was a beautiful, sunny day and we walked slowly through the various vendors’ stalls. If you know anything about the Pacific Northwest you’d know that we take our food very seriously. We are very conscious about where the food is coming from and how it’s been processed, we are leaders of the locally grown, locally sourced organic food movement and we are snobs about it, too. So this farmers market was crowded with people doing their weekly food shopping. There were people carrying baskets and cloth bags and they were piling in the veggies, the eggs, the meats. It was a vibrant scene and our first time seeing it all because although we have lived in the region for a decade and a half, I’m not an early riser and in order to shop at farmer’s markets you have to be out and about early in the morning. By noon, all the good produce is gone and by 2:00 PM the market closes down.
The DH and I walked through the shaded area where the market was set up. We tried samples of cheeses, of freshly made salsa, tried healthy juices and as we walked we earmarked the things we wanted to buy later. We got a Cafe Au Lait at a coffee stall that was doing brisk business. Once our first round was done we got some breakfast at a joint serving freshly made Mexican food. After a sumptuous breakfast we started walking through the stalls again. I got some broccoli, baby radishes, colorful potatoes (there was a stall dedicated to potatoes alone), we bought bagels, chips and a habanero hot sauce. We picked some really great pears and last but not least the DH bought me a bunch of deep red peonies. This was the first time the DH has held my hand for so long after our initial years of marriage with no kids. We found time to talk about a bunch of things we don’t normally discuss while oohing and aahing over a fresh discovery like truffles. It was a beautiful day to be outside and it occurred to me that for the first time in my life I was having a great time in the vegetable market (a farmer’s market IS a glorified “subzi mandi“). As far as dates go, this impromptu “date” for that’s what it was, was one of the most romantic ones ever, and no we weren’t feeling ebullient because we’d imbibed alcoholic spirits just in case you were wondering like the DD.
It got me thinking that as you grow older maybe the moods and shades of romance change too. Maybe it is only couples like us who have been married for what feels like an eternity who can see the beauty in something as mundane as buying vegetables with the loved one. Or maybe, I’m just getting old and prefer doing things in broad daylight that do not require me to pull out my glasses or the flashlight app🙂 One way or another, I’m glad to have discovered romance again on an ordinary Saturday morning at the local bhaji wala’s.*
*see subzi mandi