13 August 2012


Good night. Paul and I had a good night last weekend. A week ago Saturday, we celebrated a special anniversary – at least I imagined that we would be celebrating. Apparently, Paul was not so much in a celebratory mood when I advised him why we were enjoying a very special date night.

On our way downtown, I decided that I had held my excitement too long and I just had to tell Paul. Somehow I had managed to go an entire week without telling him about the special date night I was planning, the gifts I had purchased and, of course, the reason for such celebration. “I’m excited,” I finally said, smiling from ear to ear. “This marks the 10th anniversary of our first date!”

Paul stopped walking. He had a look of confusion, disgust and regret all over his face. “What?! Ten years? (long pause) Nooooooo… Really?! (deep sigh).” We made it across the street before he said, again, “Really? It’s been that long?”

Nuts. I ruined his life.

Luckily, his dismay subsided before we arrived at our destination – an Italian restaurant located on the marina with the most amazing view of the rehearsal show for Singapore’s National Day spectacular. The show is so big that participants rehearse months in advance and live shows including fighter jet flyovers and fireworks displays are rehearsed on location every Saturday night for at least a month prior. Luckily, our anniversary weekend just happened to fall on the evening of the final rehearsal, which meant we could see practically the entire show.

We were treated like VIPs when we arrived. Sidewalks and marina-front areas were blocked off with tall, yellow barriers that resembled cages or jail cell doors. We had to speak with three security personnel and have our names checked against a list on Suit Guy’s clipboard to be granted access to the area, and we were led down to the restaurant by one of the gatekeepers.

We sat at a table outdoors and, before we could order, we were greeted by three military helicopters flying a very large Singapore flag across the water. The weather was perfect – a cool 80 degrees and breezy as the sun slowly set. We got to see two types of military boat craft up close and were amazed as F-15s and F-16s flew over us no less than three times, maybe four. I could not believe how loud they were, and that sound just echoed off of all of the buildings in the surrounding business district.

We had a great meal that delightfully ended with the most amazing baby hot chocolate soufflé, accompanied by fresh fruit and my favorite ice cream. We watched the sun set. I cannot speak for Paul, but I certainly was thrilled every time the fighter jets made an appearance.

Paul eventually cheered up and just accepted the fact that I stole one-third of his life. He enjoyed the presents I gave him, including a set of tennis balls so that he can throw them at the walls in lieu of his wedding ring, which he lost – again – just days before our anniversary dinner. I told a friend I would have to give him his backup ring as a gift but he found his ring in time.

By the end of our date, just as on our first date, we enjoyed a spectacular fireworks show, first at our table and then later at a spot a bit down the waterfront. Because the barricades were up, there were just a few other people in the area. I could not have asked for a better night.

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