Sunday, January 27, 2013

It was just lunch: how one meal rekindled old feelings

We made plans to meet in a place miles from home. It's just lunch, I told myself.

I'd never done anything like this, so I suppose it was normal to be nervous. I was excited and hungry. It felt wrong, and yet right. With first date-type jitters I put on fresh lipstick in the parking lot, checked my hair one last time in the rearview mirror, and headed in.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted some ladies from the office and instantly got nervous. Would they see us? What would they think? Would they tell someone? Should I just turn around and leave? It's just lunch, I reminded myself. 

Then I saw him, took a deep breath, and decided to go for it. 

And just like that, for the first time in our ten year marriage my husband and I met for lunch in the middle of the week.

We've always worked far away from each other, with commutes that take us in opposite directions, so I guess the opportunity never really presented itself, or we never presented the idea to each other. But on this particular day, an otherwise unassuming Thursday in January, business brought us to the same part of town at the same time.

"Why don't we meet for lunch?" he suggested the night before, and we agreed on 12pm at one of our favorite locations (Let's just get all the "nooner" jokes out of the way right now, it was JUST lunch, people).

I thought about it all morning. 9:30am meeting = 2.5 hours until my lunch date! 11am conference call = get to the point people! 11:45am traffic jam leaving the office parking lot = SERIOUSLY???

And then there we were. He was waiting with a pot of my favorite tea and that same floppy hair I fell in love with more than a decade ago. 

Sure, we have regular date nights, but there was something so easy about this. No babysitters to arrange, no racing around to prepare dinner for those staying home so that we can leave and go sit somewhere and talk about those staying home before heading back home. No toddler clinging to one leg on the way out the door, leaving a firm coating of guilt and goldfish crackers on my skinny jeans. No warnings to stay on your bottom or else and no complex negotiations involving a requisite number of bites took place. No referring to oneself in the third person, and no third, or fourth, or fifth person at the table. It was just lunch. 

I'd love to say we discussed something deep and meaningful, but we didn't. Just some basic talk about work, about home, about plans for the weekend and an upcoming vacation. It was ordinary, and yet not. The same, and yet different.

In our every day lives we are so entrenched in the roles that we play: Mom, Dad, daughter, son, sister, manager, employee, etc., that it's easy to forget that were are also just us. Two individuals: Mona and Mark, who very much enjoy each other's company. And lunch.

So for 48 minutes we gobbled up as much we could. Then we put our many layers back on- coats and gloves for the cold, multiple hats for the roles we play, superhero capes for good measure. We went our separate ways: back to the office, back to business, and eventually back to the home we've created together.

I was just lunch, and it was absolutely delicious.

And for the first time in a long time, I felt perfectly full. 

No comments:

Post a Comment