Dinner Out

What a wonderful evening we had tonight. I am giddy over it.

A few years ago running out to the local Thai restaurant for an hour would not seem a big deal, especially given that we were home in time for Ralph to go to bed by his usual 8:30. We used to eat out several times a week trying new places, some fancy, some ethnic, some greasy spoons. One of the real joys we shared as a couple was food because both of us have always been adventurous eaters.

Tonight the food (though it was surprisingly good for our small town) was beside the point. The point was that Ralph actually came with me. Lately when we make plans to go anywhere–dinner, a movie, to visit our daughter– Ralph decides at the last minute that he is too tired to go, but tonight he showered and got ready without my nagging.

Of course, as I drove us into town I had to remind him whom we were meeting , my friends Francis and Susan who are sisters. Francis recently stayed at our house for two weeks; we ate together every night and she sat  with Ralph on the porch. Nevertheless, it took some serious prodding for Ralph to remember exactly who she is. He has met Susan a numerous times; she works with several of Ralph’s buddies from his twenties about whom they have gossiped with great pleasure. I don’t think she noticed that he didn’t have any memory of her or their connection.

Everyone felt new to Ralph; and Joe, a friend the sisters brought along, really was new, someone neither of us had met.  As it turned out, having new faces gave Ralph just the audience he needed. He told stories while eating whatever I ordered for him. If he repeated himself, no one particularly noticed or cared. He laughed more than I’ve heard him laugh in ages He was relaxed and completely charming. Wonderful company. The man I fell in love with years ago.

So what if he went to bed as soon as we got home? Unfortunately Ralph probably will have forgotten by tomorrow what a lovely evening we had, but  I can remember it and savor it for days. And one thing about MCI, at least at this early stage, is that I have finally begun to live in the moment, at least occasionally.

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