Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thirteen Years


I convinced Nicolas to go into a photo booth with me last night at our local movie theater. He probably thought I had something really fun in mind. No, I just wanted shots of us on our thirteenth anniversary. That's crazy, out of the norm behavior enough for me!

We're looking ok for having just ingested bar food, coca-cola, popcorn, snowcaps and gummie bears (it was our anniversary - we went all out. Ohdear, my naturopath MIL is reading this...) Plus, we had just seen yet another very stressful thriller about the CIA and the war - "Body of Lies", which had me squinting so hard in distress that I am surprised I could then stretch my face back out into a smile so quickly.

It's been fifteen years since we met, waiting tables at a vegetarian restaurant in Little Five Points in Atlanta. I was directing at my brother's theater and Nicolas was just starting his farm. I was planning a move to Seattle, to go to grad. school for theater and hopefully reunite with my ex-boyfriend.

Thankfully, fate intervened. He brought me on my first camping trip, ever! His mother healed my chronic fatigue. He was the most authentic, down to earth guy I'd ever met (I'd only ever dated actors or musicians). He said "funerable" rather than "vulnerable" - this really got me. He spoke French. He had lost most of his hair when he was eighteen. He has beautiful blue eyes and the best smile, ever.

I remember the moment when I made the decision to think about us as more than just friends who go out for a beer after every Wed. night shift. It was a Thursday. Nicolas was working. I was not. I lived in Little 5 Points and was on my way to get myself dinner. I stood at a cross-roads. If I walked to the right, I would be going to the health food store, Sevenanda, to get myself a hummus sandwich. If I walked straight forward, I would be going to Eat Your Vegetables, our restaurant, to order an EYV salad and then hang around with the serious European waiter while it was being put together. I knew that he would know that I had chosen to go there to see him. This was a big move. It was easily made.

The profoundness of my having shown up may have been - ok, was absolutely - lost on Nicolas, the Belgian. He is straightforward and, after all, he is male. But that was the moment I think about every year at this time and I feel so grateful that I chose the salad.

22 comments:

kelli said...

Those pictures are awesome! Happy Anniversary :)

Rachel said...

Awwww...and I love how even the initial "decisive step" to walk toward Nicolas comes down to food. Happy Anniversary!

Deanne said...

Love the pictures! Happy Anniversary!!!!

Beachbum said...

So cool...you two, Happy Anniversary! Give each other extra hugs!

FLO said...

Sigh. That is the BEST story! Happy Anniversary!

Holly said...

Hello, and thanks for sharing your story. I read this from Fresno, CA, a recent transplant from St. Paul, but Atlanta for 4 years before that. Where is your farm? Nice to hear that the local food movement is alive and well in Atlanta-sadly, it has a ways to go here.

Kimba said...

Happy Anniversary!
The pictures are wonderful!

Funny, Chuck and I just celebrated our 14th Date-iversary on Tuesday and will celebrate our 12th Anniversary on Sunday. Seems that some really incredible couples chose October for their nuptials :)

Of course, we have discussed the fact that you or your serious Belgian waiter probably waited on us at EYV since we lived just down the street ;)

laura said...

happy anniversary!! oh this brought tears to my eyes, what a lovely story. so very very much like ours...really!! i'll have to tell it on our 14th which is coming up next month =)

Angie said...

That gets my vote for the sweetest post I've ever read:)

Happy Anniversary. The pics are adorable.

mindy said...

Happy Anniversary! You guys take great photo booth pictures!!!

Sandra Dodd said...

Thank you for writing that up and sharing it with us. I don't know how long blogs will last, or whether your kids would know to look someday, so maybe you could print that out with the photos and save a copy for each of your kids for when they're grown. It's quietly inspiring.

jodi said...

my goodness, what a sweet story. And those photo booth shots are gorgeous. Treasure them!

Tamar Orvell said...

Eat Your Vegetables! Haven't thought of this fabulous food palace since it closed one dark day. Loved this place as one spot that felt like home in the boonies Atlanta, or so I thought and felt of this town when I moved here kicking and screaming from DC with a boyfriend-turned-husband-turned-ex. The restaurant is now memories, my attitude toward Atlanta has changed, and you two: solid. Happiness to you always!

Madeline said...

Thank you for the beautiful comments. Kimba and Tamar, that is so cool that we may have waited on you way back when! Tamar, I thought Atlanta was the boonies too, coming from Boston and NY, and now it is the big city that I rarely venture into lately. But, we are off to Europe in a few hours! : )

Bhu said...

Madeline! Your post made me well up. You and Nicolas are so amazing. Happy Anniversary. I love you both so much. Have a fabulous time in Europe. I'll miss you!

Dina said...

I'm welling too! How sweet! I hope you are extending your anniversary celebration Italian-style. Ciao, bella!

Donck Family said...

Happy Happy Happy , the only work I can come up with. you two look so HAPPY, and It makes me as happy to have been there thirteen years ago when you tied the knot. to the next HAPPY 13 years and more. your brother DD

Alecto said...

These are FABULOUS! You inspired me to take a bunch of shots of Nomans and me on our three year anniversary this weekend. Unfortunately I haven't managed to talk him into letting me publish them yet!

Sara said...

Congrats!

SwissArmyWife said...

Happy Anniversary! What a great story.

Nice to "see" you again!

Sona said...

Coming in way late to say Congrats!

Linda said...

I love hearing people's love stories. :) October is an unusual month to get married -- our anniversary is also in October, and the only other people we know in October are Jon and Mary Gold (zenmomma).