Twenty Years Come and Gone So Fast

Twenty years ago, I went on a first date with a handsome engineer who was working on launching the UARS Satellite for GE Aerospace. I was a sales assistant at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia, working for a blue blooded tyrant while studying for my broker’s license. It was a tough week, and by the closing bell, I was very tired. I distinctly remember telling my coworker that I had a date but I would much rather go home and get in my comfy clothes, read the latest Glamour magazine, and polish my nails. Even back then, I knew how to party. But I would never cancel a first date, so off I went.

Ed picked me up in his black Jeep Wrangler. He was wearing a purple tie. I was wearing a gray printed wrap dress, buff stockings, black suede pumps and pearls. Ask any of my friends, and they will confirm I am terrible with faces. But I am great at remembering clothes! I was glad to be dressed a little on the conservative side, because the restaurant was very fancy and formal…tuxedoed maître d’, candlelight, etc. I ordered a vodka tonic to start.

Our dinner was wonderful and romantic. We ordered wine like proper grownups, and not even white zinfandel like those losers still in college! The food, while very good, wasn’t what I would call innovative or especially remarkable. I probably ordered salmon. Ed said that he liked that I actually ate all my food — a little foreshadowing right there! It was a special dinner because I immediately realized the guy sitting across from me had serious potential. Conversation was easy and comfortable, and we clicked right away. I was glad I didn’t stay home and polish my nails.

Twenty years and three kids later, Ed came home early last night with flowers and told me to put on a dress! He was taking me to the Dilworthtown Inn, the place where we went on our first date. We had been there a few times over the last twenty years, and I was happy to go back. Not deliberately but because it was the only thing in my closet that fit, I put on a gray dress. Not deliberately but because I keep forgetting to pick up our massive dry cleaning order and nothing else was clean, Ed put on a purple checked shirt. He looked even more handsome than on our first date. Damn, men age well.

I ordered a vodka tonic to enjoy while I examined the menu. And what a menu it was! The Dilworthtown Inn has gotten much better with time. Neither stuffy and boring, nor tries-too-hard weird, everything offered was just right. After much deliberation and a little help from our fun and fabulous server, I decided to go with:

Wild Burgundy Escargot
Vanilla Scented and Dark Rum Glazed Roasted Pineapple, Serrano Chili, Sage Brown Butter

Manchego, Baby Spinach, and Arugula Salad
Fried Manchego, Sliced Plums, Serrano Ham, Marcona Almonds, Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette (Ed and I split this, and THANK GOD — it was a meal in itself)

Twin Lobster Tails
Whipped Potatoes, Haricot Vert, Baby Carrots, Drawn Butter

The lobster was delicious, but yes, a little boring. Of course, it was exactly what it claimed to be, and the right choice for someone who likes the classics prepared to perfection. I am always powerless in the presence of lobster and escargot on a menu, because I love them so much and rarely get to have them. Then I get mad at myself for ordering the same thing I always do. What would I get if they were not on the menu? What would you get? Take a look at this wonderful menu and let me know: Dilworthtown Inn Menu

I marvel that the last twenty years went by in the blink of an eye. As Mom Moms everywhere would say, “The days go slowly but the years go quickly.” After twenty years, I am so incredibly blessed to wake up every morning next to someone I love and respect, someone who brings out the best in me and who is always my biggest cheerleader. I can’t wait to see what the next twenty years will bring.



4 thoughts on “Twenty Years Come and Gone So Fast

  1. Okay I would have started with the Lobster Bisque (but that maryland crab cocktail looked good too), Caesar salad for two (well if the other half wanted it, if not, then field green salad with the pumpkin vinagrette) and Chateaubriand for Two (once again it would depend if Jay wanted that, second choice…Coriander Dusted Halibut.

    Thank you for my virtual fine dining experience and I didn’t even have to put on makeup or find a dress that fit.

    • Claire, we seriously considered the Chateaubriand for Two, too! Ed wound up getting a special (crispy red snappy with some sort of wasabi/ginger something-or-other…very good) and he also got the Maryland crab cocktail which was perfection!

  2. Such a great story! Sadly the restaurant where we had our first “date” (Jim specifically asked me out as “not a date or anything” You know just a fancy dinner, a show, etc. No not a date) is no longer in business. Even the restaurant that replaced it is now gone. We’ve been together a long, long time I guess. Happy Anniversary! Wishing you many more happy dates!

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