It’s 3:59am, otherwise known as my body has not yet gotten used to DST and thinks it is really 4:59am.  Coffee is brewing and I am getting ready for my 90 minute work out with Evan at 4:45am.  Good morning, Tuesday.  And good morning, blog.  It’s been a while…

After I drop Liv off at school early this morning so she can make up a Spanish test, I will vote.  Nothing about this feels right – well, my choice does given the two “choices,” – however the whole thing makes me question my profession.  Running for President is nothing if not the most over the top sales job ever.  One spewing with venom, malice, lies and stupidity when it comes to the business-like mindset which is required (in my opinion) to operate this great country of ours.  I miss the founding fathers.  They seemed pretty great.  If I lived back then, I may have even dated one.  Surely if they were as intelligent as they appeared especially in comparison to today’s “leaders,” then I would have easily been able to overlook dating someone with better hair.

So the reason Liv had a make up test is because I picked her (and her best friend) up from school at 1:00pm last Friday.  We took Liv’s friend to Chicago to celebrate her 16th Birthday.  They are all turning 16; my childhood friends and I are all turning 40…yikes.  This is going to be such a wonderful year (seriously – no sarcasm, I am very much looking forward to ALL the exciting things which are on the books and in the works).

In an effort to “culture” the girls – or at least get them big city ready – I bought tickets to a show and made reservations at a fancy-ish Italian restaurant.  As we walked in to Francesca’s on Chestnut (how could it not be fancy-ish with a name like that?) I was immediately in love.  Uh-oh.  No, Beth, no…no more impetuous with the falling in love immediately thing.  I had forgotten how much an Italian restaurant resonates with me.  The aroma, the ambiance, the attire, the obvious anticipation of calamari, wine, insalata caprese, and an unknown deliciziso entree.  Screw it, I was going to be in love for at least the next two hours. 

And in love I was.  The food was over the top fantastic – pumpkin ravioli?  Brilliantly sweet.  I savored every last amazing bite.  It was just the right portion size to leave me wanting more yet, realizing I had enough.  I’m sure there’s a correlation or life-like simile here but let’s leave it alone, people. 

While in Francesca’s, I took in all the others dining around us.  The dynamics which were represented kept the smile on my face and warmth inside both my belly and soul illuminated.  There was the (clearly) loaded yuppie family, complete with a Dad in the obligatory navy blazer pretending not to be filthy successful, his wife – the Mom – with her $200 blow out hair (First Lady of a Whig in a former life?), and their four very handsome and way too young for me sons.  I loved watching them laugh together, rib a little, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. 

Next to them sat a very eclectic couple, but I deduced they were strictly friends who had either a) tried to date at one point and hated it or b) were about to and would end up crazily happily married with little eclectic kids running around their concrete floor in a flat somewhere.  Watching their dynamic was cool and exciting.  And somewhat tiring because she wouldn’t shut up.

At a table to my left sat a Dad and his son.  Just the two of them in little matching sweaters with white polos underneath.  The Dad was not sporting a wedding ring.  Maybe it was his weekend.  Nonetheless, they were cute and engaged in a very parental-child-like conversation.  I enjoyed that as it reminded me of time I spent with Liv years ago.  Sans the gay matching sweaters.

And finally – finally there was the couple who got to me.  These two were seated just down from the Dad and son.  In fact, the husband was sharing the same booth back the Dad was…you know, the long row of a booth against the wall.  He was engaging her with his intellect; she was smitten.  He had very distinguished wrinkles around his kind and witty eyes.  His laugh was genuine and deep, matching his unconditional love and admiration for his wife.  Their hands touched once in a while across the table, carefully making sure they didn’t knock over their wine – red for him, white for her – but it wasn’t in a lovey-dovey kind of way.  It was more in an “and can you believe THAT?” emphatic sort of connecting kind of way.  If I had to guess their ages – I’d go early fifties.

That couple did me in.  Not because I no longer could resonate with the other relationship dynamics in the room.  I could.  For I had been involved in those other’s before – the yuppie (well, Midwest yuppie) family, the platonic eclectic couple, the single parent with a cool mini-me kid.  However, that couple – the head over heels, profound respect, admiration, and friendship couple – I have not been.  And it wasn’t even the recognition of that glaring omission in my life which made me tear up.

It was the fact that I could see me sitting in her spot.  Drinking her white wine.  Looking across the table at the man with whom she was in love.  The man whose company she was completely, utterly, and unapologetically enjoying, as she thought with anticipation of the things they were going to accomplish next.  And I saw me sitting there.  I could even picture what the guy I’d be with would be wearing.

Why yes, I could even see his face.