Not Put Asunder, 16 Years and Counting

Chicago 2012!

I already used up the one photo we’ve taken together so far in 2020, so please enjoy this previously unshared file photo from our April 2012 trip to Chicago and C2E2, a souvenir from a bygone era when we were allowed to travel out of state and be near other humans.

It’s that time again! Another year of shockingly blissful marriage to the amazing Anne, another anniversary dinner to celebrate.

That dastardly villain they call The Year 2020 may have ruined countless plans, traditions, occasions, relationships, industries. countries, lives, and toilet paper supply chains, but we didn’t let it stand in the way of our marriage or our mandatory evening out. It looked funny at times, but we worked within the necessary boundaries.

In years past we’ve made a tradition of trying new restaurants on our anniversary. This part of our tradition, at least, remained intact. A half-hour drive to Indianapolis’ northeast side brought us to an Italian fine-dining eatery called Sangiovese. They’ve been around since 1994 and have two locations ’round those parts, one slightly closer to us than the other. It’s the only time I’ve ever made a dinner reservation and been instructed in advance to call ahead upon arrival to ensure the foyer was clear before we walked in, so we wouldn’t risk sharing airspace with other patrons any more than we had to. That was a unique approach.

Many tables had clearly been removed. Those remaining were spaced safely apart. We wore masks for our entry and our exit. All employees wore masks. Small servings of salt, pepper, and Parmesan were bought to us in little bowls in lieu of shared place-setting shakers. I did freak out a bit in my head when I noticed a banquet hall in the back appeared to be hosting a large, loud bridal party with no masks or distancing whatsoever, but to a certain extent that was between them and their enclosure. The doors to their room were eventually shut later in the evening, and no one in their party came within fifteen feet of our table. I’m taking it on faith that this paragraph does not constitute foreshadowing of any dire developments within the next five to fourteen days, and yet I feel oddly compelled to include this storytelling detail in case any local contact tracers happen to drop by leisurely.

Where were we? Oh, right: happy occasion! Anxiety aside, Anne and I very much enjoyed the experience and stayed on the lookout for blissful marriage metaphors wherever we could throughout our A-plus meal. We’re the Goldens. This is who we are and what we do.

Gamberi alla Griglia!

Appetizer: Gamberi Alla Griglia — Gulf shrimp wrapped in prosciutto, resting on field greens with herb-infused olive oil, garlic and tomatoes. “Shrimp and fancy ham” sounds like something a bully might call us, but they started us off on the right foot.

Cappellini pomodoro with meatball!

Anne’s dinner: Cappellini Pomodoro and Basilico, topped with a value-added spicy meatball. She was not expecting its enormous red pepper payload. Marriage, by the same token, can also be loaded with surprises that leave you wide-eyed.

Rosticciana!

For me, the Rosticciana — sauteed pork loin stuffed with mortadella, Italian sausage, and fresh rosemary, topped with an amazing Gorgonzola cream sauce. Likewise, we do savor our moments of cheesiness together.

Bomba!

Anne’s dessert: a sweet, three-flavor bomba. Because life, much like this ice cream, something something something flavors!

Tiramisu!

As for me, I retreated to the comfort of a safe, welcome tiramisu. Old-fashioned yet viewed from an uncommon angle, which describes any number of our self-deprecating anecdotes.

Anne!

My lovely dinner companion and superior half, a woman who’s accompanied, encouraged, coaxed, or dragged me across more finish lines than I can count.

…and here’s hoping our next several anniversaries take place in a vastly improved world. If they don’t, I look forward to facing them together, with or without masks.

(Afterthought: a little voice in my head is telling me I may in fact have used our lead photo before. Please feel free to comb through the 2,203 previous entries and fact-check me on that. Feel free to invite your friends to help look! Our site stats thank you in advance!)

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