I mean it. You really can’t go back. We tried to do just that, recently, for a special wedding anniversary.
It did not go well and that may be an understatement.
We knew there had been major changes made to the lovely place where we’d met, knew it had gotten quite fancy, had put on airs, but we still thought it would be a fun to return on such a special occasion. We could retrace our steps, pretend it was still a sweet little island, eat well, bask in the sun and just remember our first days together.
We weren’t doing badly until we went to dinner, at the resort’s fanciest restaurant.
It began with the wine service. The sommelier opened and returned many expensive and highly acidic, tummy challenging, bottles of wine. When we said that our favorite was an inexpensive one that we buy in quantity at Sam’s and surely they had something like that in their vast cellar, we lost her.
Then the food service began. Teeny-tiny plates, with teeny tiny forks and teeny tiny bites of food. By the time you’d decided whether or not you liked it, you’d already eaten it. And I don’t think seconds were part of the deal. Even teeny tiny ones.
At some point they brought me a teeny tiny stool upon which to put my not-so-teeny tiny purse. I knew…I mean I just absolutely knew…that I would trip over it when I left. But then again, I hadn’t planned on such a dramatic leave-taking.
We daintily nibbled our way through dinner. For dessert, we asked if we could share a piece of peanut butter pie. A teeny tiny slice arrived for me on a teeny tiny plate but nothing….not one single thing…for my husband. No plate, no fork, no nothing!
At that point, I rose, I thought rather grandly, and announced (apparently in a loud enough voice that everyone else put down their teeny tiny forks to watch the scene), that my husband had been kind enough to bring us back to this lovely place and they didn’t even have the decency to bring him a teeny tiny plate so we could share the teeny tiny piece of pie.
As I turned, dramatically, to leave this elegant dining room, I tripped over that teeny tiny stool, (you already knew that this was going to happen), catching both feet in the straps of my not-so-teeny tiny purse. We (I) were now the restaurant’s feature attraction.
I unraveled myself and went, now less than grandly, out the door. As I looked back to see if my beloved was coming with me or had disowned me completely, I was surprised to see the sommelier, her assistant, the maître d’, the chef and our waiter following in my wake.
I was leading the parade! With an audience! Oh, how I wanted a majorette’s baton. The power! The exhilaration! Where were the drums and the tubas when I needed them?
They asked what they could do. I vaguely recall saying that they could use this as a teaching moment.
But it wasn’t over yet.
We returned to our room. To our wonderment, it was now afloat with rose petals…thousands of them…in the living room, the bedroom, the hall, the bathroom and, of course, the bed. Have you ever walked, or slept, on fresh rose petals?
We spent the next half hour on our knees scooping them up so we wouldn’t break our necks when we got up in the middle of the night. (We’re over 50, remember?)
All those lovely pink roses gave up their lives only to be jammed unceremoniously into trash baskets. What a shame.
But it still wasn’t over.
At 11:30 p.m., (yes, 11:30 pm!) the doorbell rang. In my newest and best David M. Carmines Seafood Festival T-Shirt, I sleepily staggered to the door. It was a very nice man from the dining room, bearing champagne and cookies, complements of the chef. He realized he’d woken us up and apologized.
Still hungry from our teeny tiny dinners, we scarfed down the cookies, longing for a big glass of milk and did our best to get back to sleep.
You can’t go back. Too many things change. We’re not their target market anymore and that’s fine. Give me a giant bowl of pasta with a little fresh basil and a steak for my husband. Nice big napkins. No teeny tiny plates or forks. Throw in some good company and a bottle of wine from Sam’s and we’re good to go. Cheers!