For the first time in my life, I’m thinking about cheating on my wife. Tomorrow is our 34th wedding anniversary, which is heaping even more guilt onto my conscience.
Here’s the deal: She told me I can’t go to our favorite Nashville restaurant, Chef Josh Habiger’s Bastion, without her. Since he cooks with such passion, it’s the one restaurant she only wants me to experience with her. I get that, but I still can’t stop thinking about it. There are only fifteen items to choose from on the menu, and if it were up to me, I’d eat one a day. The problem is, my wife knows all too well that if I could, I’d do exactly that.
I can try to be somewhat truthful with her. There must be a way to enjoy my beloved Bastion without the marital guilt, right? What about if Oscar and Lee ask me to join them?
“Go somewhere else.” Thwarted.
Maybe, I can appeal to her manners… By the way, I ran into Oscar at the bar. Josh corralled us into his two empty seats. It would have been rude to decline! Or how about this: Oscar bid on a dinner for two and had already said I’d be his guest. What kind of friend would I be to make him go alone?
I’m not sleeping. I’m lying awake most nights, contemplating whether I can pull this off. How hard could it be, right? Lots of people get away with it. But in my heart, I know that if I try, I’ll give myself away quicker than you could say “oyster tarragon ice.”
What if there’s another workaround? Would one, or perhaps two, dishes really count as a meal? If that’s my approach, I’m confident I could look her—and representatives from the press—in the eye and emphatically state, “I did not have dinner at that restaurant. Besides, Your Honor, I only tasted one appetizer and it actually evaporated in my mouth.”
Would she be able to smell smoked chicken with gnocchi and spring peas on my collar? Would I slip and mention a dish that wasn’t available the night we ate there? What if a friend sees me? Or worse, one of our kids? I can see it now: “Hey, was that dad we saw hanging out by the outdoor charcoal area? I didn’t think they served food out there!”
I wonder if it’s ok to even fantasize. Oh my, beef and chanterelles. Duck and cherries. Kale and lemon. Cognac and meringue. Luckily, we’re going there tomorrow night for our anniversary. I guess our marriage is saved. For now.