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License – Chapter 53

By on March 13, 2017


Joe knew Lainey was more than disappointed.  She had called to make the dinner reservation at their favorite restaurant and instead of a friendly voice at the other end of the line, she had gotten a recorded message announcing that the number she had dialed was no longer in service.

A quick Google search had turned up the sad fact that Emeralds had bitten the dust shortly after their last visit several years ago.

Secretly, Joe was glad.  He knew Lainey loved the place.  And he loved Lainey, so he led her to believe that he thought Emeralds was the place to dine as well.  But in truth, he considered it uppity, too trendy and geared towards the affluent.

Lainey would always sit there, awed and dreamy, as the waiter proclaimed the evening’s specials and exotic sounding foodstuffs flowed smooth off his tongue.

And Joe would sit there smiling and nodding, trying to turn his bafflement into his best simulation of knowledgeable enthusiasm instead.

But what were those things the waiter was rattling off?

Arugula gremolata. Garlic crostini. Smooth chipotle aioli. Haricot vert. Rosemary demi-glace.

Were they sauces? Side dishes?  Seasonings?

Lainey would order something like Pecan Crusted Pork Medallions served with a cabernet peppercorn demi-glace, accompanied by haricot vert drizzled with garlic infused butter and porcini dusted pommes frites with a rich tomato aioli on the side.

Did she really know what was she ordering?

And Joe would search the menu for something he thought he recognized, like the Flat Iron Rib Eye with a creamy gorgonzola mash.

Surely, that must be a steak with mashed potatoes!

Then, when her meal arrived, Lainey’s eyes would practically pop out of her head.  They became basins of sparkling delight, as if heaven had just been set before her.

To Joe it looked like nothing more than a few small pieces of pork in a pool of brown gravy, green beans and French fries, all arranged like a work of art with drizzles and dollops of creamy sauces on a fancy plate.

His meal would arrive on a fancy plate too, with the steak already cut into strips, fanned out in a semi-circle and sprinkled with several different kinds of mushrooms.  There was a sprig of greenery sticking out of the potatoes.

Joe would have preferred to cut his own steak!  But he figured he knew why they served it that way.  To make the piece of meat look larger!  Joe was sure that if he reassembled the strips, his steak wouldn’t be any bigger than Lainey’s pork medallions!

Who did they think they were fooling?  Not him!  And apparently not anyone anymore!

Now a new place was going to have to be decided upon.  If it was up to Joe, he would select a down to earth restaurant where he could get a thick cut of prime rib or a tender, juicy steak cooked medium rare, a baked potato and a salad.  A normal place that called gravy ‘gravy’ and mayonnaise ‘mayonnaise’ and didn’t charge double just because they called it a reduction or a remoulade.

But the fancy fooler was the type of place that made Lainey happy, especially when they were going out to celebrate something special.  And, bottom line?  If that was what made her happy, then it made Joe happy too.

“Don’t you worry about it, Sugar Girl,” he told her, “I will personally take it upon myself to find another place befitting the wondrous occasion of our twenty sixth wedding anniversary. You just leave it to me.”

After getting recommendations from some of his co-workers and checking out websites and menus online for high class trendiness and aioli, demi-glace, haricots, and frites availability, he settled on The Crystal Inn.

It was a huge success.


Poetic License


It was the perfect place, the perfect night

There were white cloth napkins

There was candlelight

And Joe and Lainey feasted

Till they could feast no more

Their appetites to whet

They started with

Salmon croquettes

Topped with creamy dollops

Of lemon caper aioli

There was crusty baguette bread

With a garlic butter spread

And a salute

With raised glasses of chardonnay

Here’s to us!

You and me!

On this, our 26th anniversary!

Next to tantalize their palette

Arriving on a crystal plate

And tasting just fabulous

Was a crisp iceberg wedge

With warm bacon dressing

And crumbles of tangy blue cheese

Then the waiter, with a flair

For the main course did declare

They should have the most delicious

Pan seared scallops

On a bed of angel hair

The finishing touch

Before they went on their way

Was red raspberry coulis

Lightly drizzled

Over airy coconut meringues

Click each course upon arrival

Click on Joe’s happy smile

And click on Lainey’s smile too

Click on her candlelit green eyes

Click on the kiss

Joe planted on her lips

That the waiter took by surprise

The very next day

When Lainey went out to shop

To the photo kiosk Joe did trot

Select, edit, print

And last night’s clicks

Were now photos in the palm of his hand

Back home again

Joe hurried then

There was no time to waste

A surprise to prepare before Lainey’s return

And her sweet lips again he did taste

Down from the shelf he took it

Their anniversary album

Leather bound and gold inscribed

And to the next unused page he did flip it

It was there his plan would come alive

With glue stick in hand

He!  Joe himself!

The photos inside did affix

And in rainbow colors

He titled it

Honeymoon #26

When Lainey through the door did come

She spotted the open book

She dropped all her bags

And quick as a flash

Into Joe’s arms she did jump

She kissed him all over his face

Love singing in her heart

And with tender tears and a grin

She made a proclamation

There was no doubt in her mind

Joe was the world’s best husband

And would be hers till the end of all time

They smiled and they laughed

And around the room they danced

Giddy and light as two balloons

Each day was a celebration

A joyous confirmation

Of their love

And their never ending



license-front-coverAll  previous Chapters of License are available on Home Page  – Click on Archives in the links located upper right corner. Search – License – Chapter #

Print editions available at Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport & Simply NY on Culver Road. Online at Amazon and Diane’s website. Comments, Questions? Contact Diane Rivoli through her website