Joyeux Anniversaire

Flashback 2003 – We were counting down  the last few days of our senior year at UNC-Chapel Hill. Studying for finals was in full swing when to his horror, Devang discovered that I had never watched or even heard of The Princess Bride and The Goonies. This, according to him, had to be rectified as soon as possible and more importantly before anyone else found out.

Within hours, he came over my apartment with the said movies and a bag of groceries to make dinner.  This was pre Netflix days and I believe he got the VHS tapes from the now defunct Blockbuster rental store.  He quickly took over my tiny kitchen; popped open a bottle of wine and started the works for a Mexican lasagna.  I drank from my hefty pour at the kitchen table while enjoying this new-found hospitality in my own home.
The lasagna went in the oven, the movies in the VCR and more wine in my glass. The perfect combination of things to forget that I should be studying for an exam lurking just around the corner. Dinner and the movies were followed by an even more impressive dessert of Bananas Foster.  This was by far the best date of my life with a guy I wasn’t yet dating.
Fast forward 2013 – It’s after 9pm and we are counting down the last few hours of our third wedding anniversary.  Asha is finally sleeping after a long day of no naps and we don’t have the heart to wake her up. Dinner out will have to wait.  Instead we improvise. Devang cooked while I fished out a bottle of wine we had bought in Napa years ago to be opened on a special occasion. This was before we were married and since then many worthy occasions have come and gone but our forgetfulness stayed. The bottle literally collected dust over the many years and many moves from city to city. Will the wine have survived our unintentional aging?
In the words of The Miracle Man, you can’t rush a miracle. This wine was destined to be forgotten for so long because tonight it tasted like a tiny miracle in a glass.  There I was, at the kitchen table again enjoying the best wine I’ve ever had, watching Devang cook dinner. It took me right back to my tiny apartment 10 years ago. There couldn’t have been a better way to celebrate. I told him I will have to warn Asha against guys who cook to court.  Of course he smiles and while slurping his wine says why, what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing actually.  I hope she is as lucky as me.

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Chika Gujarathi is a freelance writer and a mother of three from Raleigh, NC. She writes for national and local publications about lifestyle, travel, books, and of course, motherhood! Her most current project involves illustrating and publishing a children’s Hindi book. When not adventuring with her family in the minivan, you can find her riding the streets of Raleigh on her beloved bike Linus.

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