A spur o’moment lunch out was just what we needed yesterday after a tumultuous week. The day was bright, excitingly windy, and there was an invigorating nip in the air.
“Want to go out for lunch?” I called to Peter. He was holed up in the basement as usual.
“Yes!” He was ready in spirit instantly, but another half hour passed before he was ready physically. Oh, it’s not that he can’t do it, no, it’s that he changes his clothes more often than a high school girl getting ready for her first date.
Finally, I corralled him into the car. We headed to Salem, a short trip down the mountain. The scenic route, I’d decided — less trucks, fewer wind gusts, less taxing drive — but I entered the Interstate automatically. “Ah-h, forgot where I was going,” I grumbled.
“Now you know why I don’t drive anymore,” Peter said. I whipped off at the first exit and got back onto the quieter, prettier road.
Peter was as excited as a kid at Christmas when he realized we were headed to The Blue Apron. We were no sooner seated than he said, “Well, I see they still haven’t fixed the wall.” I turned to see what he meant, then noticed his twinkling eyes. I groaned at his worn joke. The walls are original old brick and they are lovely.
When the server came to take our drinks order, Peter said, “What beer do you have?” He listened carefully as she recited a long list of beers with inventive and mostly unrecognizable names. “I’ll have an IPA…I just wanted to hear you say all of them.” My apologetic glance said I-can’t-do-anything-with-him. She laughed.
Peter ordered the swordfish entree, not the luncheon serving, as she suggested, rather the dinner one. “Good,” I said, “I won’t have to fix dinner.” It was nearly 2:00 by then.
When she returned to ask how everything was, Peter said, “Oh, terrible…” He always does that, then waits to see if the server has heard what he’s said. She heard, but she already had his number and laughed. Some time later she returned, noted Peter’s near-empty beer and asked if he’d like another. “Yes, but not today, thank you,” he said.
I sat back, shocked, not that he’d said no, but because I’d never heard that one before. “I can’t believe you came up with a new line,” I said.
“I always say that when I’m out on me own. You’re never there when I’m out with me mates,” he insisted.
“Well, no-o, but you haven’t been out with them in years. Anyway, it’s new to me.”
We ordered desserts, lavender pistachio chiffon for Peter, espresso panna cotta for me. Peter was taken aback at how purple his was, but ate every bite. I could’ve eaten two more panna cottas. “Two more,” Peter said, nodding toward my empty cup when the server came back.
“Really?” she asked. I shook my head and rolled my eyes towards my husband. “You really have your hands full, don’t you? she asked.
She got a big tip.
Header photo: The Blue Apron’s brick wall.