Smile Politely

Five years and I get wood?

This weekend will be the wife and my 5th wedding anniversary. I looked it up and the preferred form of gift for that year is wood. Well, let me tell you, I absolutely hope to get some wood for our anniversary. (Note: I tried to pick the easiest, least offensive, and most Coulter joke about the wood thing. I probably failed.) Either way, I look forward to receiving many tree branches and logs and even 2 x 4’s as we celebrate this special occasion. Wood? Really? We don’t need any fucking wood. It doesn’t matter much, since we’re more than happy with what we have and each other.


When people ask me how long I’ve been married, my favorite smart-assed response is that it seems like forever. Actually, that is sort of true, but I don’t say that in a bad way at all. It’s just that it seems like a long time, a really awesome long time. I mean, sure, if I really break it down it gets weird. There’s a good chance I could have killed somebody on our wedding day and I would probably be just about ready to get out of jail by now. That’s more of an indictment on the penal system than our marriage, however.

I remember when we got married everyone was surprised, mostly on my end. I had been a bachelor for quite a time and I suppose no one really anticipated something like a marriage in my future. In all fairness, I was much more surprised for my wife, not because she was getting married, but that she was getting married to my dumb ass. She was the one who made a sacrifice. I was marrying a hot/awesome chick. She was marrying, well, me.

That’s a picture of us that was taken in Chicago. I included it because, well, it’s a picture of us and I was talking about us, and also because it was taken by our friend, let’s call her Heather. Since she and our other friend, who we’ll call Todd, are getting married pretty soon, the wife and I had to do our anniversary dinner a week early. In all fairness, this isn’t because of the wedding, but instead because of the bachelor party. I wasn’t sure how that was gonna fly, moving our anniversary back a week to accommodate me drinking and jacking around with a bunch of my friends, but the wife is very cool, so we had our anniversary dinner last weekend.


For the dinner, the wife thought it would be fun to go to a restaurant she’d recently went to in Normal, Illinois. Of course, I got all excited and immediately shouted, “Avanti’s?” She quickly informed me that we would not be going to Avanti’s since it was our anniversary dinner and we were not carbo-loading for a triathlon. It was a fair point, but man, that Avanti’s bread is some good stuff.

Instead, the restaurant we picked was a place called Medici. I looked online and it seemed pretty cool. I also looked at the menu and prepared several possible options for myself, depending on mood. We took a little nap on Saturday afternoon since we prefer to be well-rested before we drive an hour to eat ourselves into oblivion. Once we returned to consciousness, we put on some fancy dudes and headed over.


I hadn’t been to Bloomington-Normal for several years, but for some odd reason, I was confident I could find this place, even though I’d had never been there and had no idea where it was located. In retrospect, I should have probably looked at a map first. Instead, we got to the city and just started driving around and looking for Medici. Actually, forget about looking at a map altogether. I should have at least made sure I knew which of the towns it was in.

After driving around for a half hour in Bloomington, we decided it might be a swell idea to drive around Normal for a bit, you know, since that’s the city where the actual restaurant was located. That driving around aimlessly shit sounds sort of quaint at first, but it grows tiring very fast, especially since I’m physically incapable of asking someone for directions. Once we got to the right city we, not surprisingly, found the restaurant pretty quickly.


Medici is a really cool place, sort of classy and sort of casual at the same time. We didn’t have a reservation, because that would require some sort of planning, but it was kind of nice we didn’t. We got to sit at the bar for a half hour or so and attempt to put the aimless driving behind us. Usually, a half hour at the bar equates to about seven or eight drinks for me, but since it was a special night I kept it to two. I went with something called a Crazy Ann, blueberry vodka, Curacao, and lemonade. It tasted like a wonderful dream right until the wife asked me if she should get my parasol out of the car. She ordered a beer and I offered to get her softball bat out of the car. Five years of marriage can turn people into even bigger smartasses than they were to begin with.

Finally our little buzzer went off and it was time to be seated. I was definitely ready. We sat under a big tree that kind of goes through the whole middle of the restaurant … seriously.

Hey, I got no problem sitting under a tree. I will admit I was super glad there weren’t any birds flying around in it and shitting on my food. Of course, once we were seated and I ordered another Stumbling Ann in a pathetic attempt to force them to rename it a “Stumbling Coulter.” I began reciting my mantra of “Don’t fill up on bread.” It was useless as the bread was really good, three different kinds, one with little olive pieces in it. Since I was pretty full of bread, we, of course, ordered an appetizer, a magnificent little crab cake that for some reason had green stuff on it that looked like a little salad. I quickly pushed it off the plate.

I ignored all my menu prep and went with the special for my entree, which was a N.Y. strip with a mushroom and onion sauce with some crafty little scalloped potatoes on the side. It also had some asparagus that I had no idea what to do with. They had some fine looking pizza pie, but even I found it hard to justify ordering a pizza to go when I was seriously considering seeing if I had a pair of sweat pants in the car.

So the food and the restaurant were really great and it was a fun little trip, even if it was a week early. Honestly, the best part was that I got to hang out with the wife for a while. Five years is a long time to be married, but all I can tell you is that it doesn’t seem nearly long enough to me. I could have taken her to Wendy’s and had just as good of time.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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