The last time we went out for dinner was on my birthday, March 11, 2020. We left and the world was still sort of normal. When we came home, lockdown had been announced and it would be two years before we could come and go, but three before we really felt “safe.” There’s something about living through a pandemic that can really ruin one for wandering around. So, for us, it has almost three years. First we couldn’t go out, then we could but it was dangerous. Then (finally) it was okay, but we’d been inside so long we didn’t feel like going out.
Tonight, we celebrated our 32nd anniversary. Phooey on everyone who said it would never last. Somehow, it has lasted. Add to these 32 years of marriage that we were friends and lovers for at least 25 years before we got married. If we still like each other now, it’s nothing short of a marital miracle.
We went to a local Japanese/Asian restaurant. Since Owen was treating, Garry and I went all in and ordered the huge meal for two. 15 pieces of sushi, 15 pieces of sashimi, and two maki rolls — a dragon and a rainbow roll AND I ordered shrimp tempura as an appetizer. Everyone shared it. I don’t know why they call this “extra” part of the meal an appetizer. It mostly fills you up and usually, I skip it. But today, I needed to taste everything.
It’s the first time since pre-lockdown we’ve gone out to eat and ordered what we really wanted. Garry isn’t usually a big eater. He makes an exception for Japanese food. He can eat his own weight in sushi, sashimi, maki, tempura — pretty much anything else that shows up on the table, he’ll eat it. I just can’t eat quite as much as Garry. That being said, I ate about four times more food than I typically consume and only stopped when I realized I was going to be sorry if I didn’t.
The Japanese waitress seemed astonished that three white people and one brown person could eat that much Japanese food — using hashi (chopsticks) and not forks.
We ate everything except the plastic plate decorations. But of course, our waitress had never had dinner with Grandma Kraus. Granny lived to 104 and spent quite a few years in China and Japan — including much of World War II. The whole family was locked in a Japanese concentration came in the Philippines, including my first husband who was born in Shanghai, China just as the Sacred City was sacked.
Before you ask, they were not missionaries. Grandpa Kraus was the International Manager for Otis Elevator, so the family was there for business, not religion.
Grandma Kraus was surprisingly ungrudging towards the Japanese. She had many items she’d got from pre-war Japan — incredible kimonos and a silk copy of the Emperor’s horse. She prepared the best tempura I’ve ever eaten. It was amazing. There was a catch. You had to eat it using hashi. She would not give you a fork. If you wanted a share of the food, you had to learn to use the appropriate eating utensils. Hashi.
Kaity was supposed to come too, but she had to work. Amazing how work alters one’s lifestyle. She too can eat her own weight in sushi and sashimi. We took her to a Japanese restaurant when she was 7. She more or less rolled out of the restaurant and has been addicted to Japanese cuisine ever since.
Kaitin was able to come by in the morning for a couple of hours. I gave her a gift — a Kachina “Medicine Man” plus one of my drawings. She pounced on the printer and took it with her. I felt better about the whole printing thing because there is nothing wrong with that printer. They are still selling it on Amazon for about three times what I originally paid for it and $30 more than I paid for the laser printer.
Not only is the printer in perfect working order, but we’ve used it so little, it’s close to new. In the five years we owned it, I think I used two reams of paper. In total.
All in all, we had a pretty special day. Forgive me if I don’t post more tonight. I’m very full of sushi, sashimi, and maki. I actually wish I had more. I’m ready to keep eating. Shocking!