I work with a guy that is entertaining. Non-stop entertainment and most of the guests adore him. He's kind, funny, engaging. I enjoy working with him. Initially, I found him challenging as he and I had not developed a rapport or work environment that suited us both. They have bar tables and fifteen bar seats. He prefers making all of the drinks while I cocktail the tables and counter (which is not what I consider bartending). We have it worked out where we both perform both tasks and end up behind the bar together and co-exist in a healthy way.
As such, we chit chat frequently. Relationships, travel, livelihood. I think Marc thinks of me as too serious. Last night, he wanted to know what I thought of romance. He asked me if I had ever experienced a truly romantic thing in my life.
I thought about it for a second and instantly had a rush of romantic memories. I was involved with a man that loved life, loved me and had no regrets. One of my favorite memories was celebrating Christmas in 2005. I love my birthday and so I always would shower Brian with a huge birthday celebration as his birthday was the day before mine. He, however, preferred Christmas. Always a big celebration. So, I was surprised when he bought me a cookbook for Christmas. A cookbook that I had wanted to buy for him. I couldn't find it and so I bought him an alternate book. Imagine my surprise when I open my big gift and find that it is the cookbook that I had wanted to buy for him. Shock. Anger. Disappointment.
I fake joy and intend to continue with the day. Meaning, drink more mimosas and enjoy breakfast before our hike. Brian asks me if I had looked through the book. I'm like, yea. I read the covers and it looks great. He keeps telling me to read through the book that had been wrapped in plastic. I figure he wants me to look at the recipes and choose one for him to cook for me. Instead, I find a confirmation of plane tickets to Las Vegas and reservations at Bouchon. Talk about romantic and an incredible gift.
Marc was wowed. He was impressed. Then, I remembered another story of Brian surprising me with a romantic gesture. Ironically, it was my birthday this time and I had just spent the weekend in Santa Fe. Sara Jo and I drove back leisurely. Brian had indicated that he wanted to see me and hoped that we would return efficiently.
Sara dropped me off and Brian told me that he had planned a picnic at Lookout Mountain. He picked up sandwiches and a six pack of beer and we headed west towards the mountains. He exited near red rocks and I saw a plethora of people hanging out with signs saying tickets available. I was still oblivious to what he had planned. He parked the car and gave me tickets to the Norah Jones concert. What a treat. It was gorgeous and just one other example of how I was spoiled by romance.
After telling Marc both of these stories, he goes--what happened with that guy? He seems fantastic. We were interrupted by tickets and customers and so I answered his question a little bit later. I told him that he had died. Marc said, now it all makes sense. I think it gave him a little bit of insight into my life.
I thought about Brian the rest of the night. How he loved life and was passionate about living each day to the fullest. I had a wonderful life with him and am grateful for the memories and that we took the time to enjoy each other and travel. I think this weekend will continue to be nostalgic.