‘Tis more fun to celebrate an anniversary on a weekend than midweek, and thanks to the generosity of my brother and his wife, who gave us a gift certificate for Christmas, we were able to go to 18 Below in Waterville. As soon as I walked down the long stairs—they don’t call it 18 Below for nothing—I knew it would be my kind of place. I could see that many people were drinking cocktails, and I must admit I have a fondness for mixed drinks.
“I’m getting a cocktail,” I said to Clif after we were seated.
“I was sure you would,” Clif said, handing me the drinks list. “And they have plenty to choose from.”
I ordered a Vermonter—Gray Goose and maple syrup—and it was good and simple enough so that I am planning to try this at home sometime in the summer, when we can invite friends over for grilled bread, appetizers, and drinks. Clif also ordered a cocktail—I can’t remember its name—but it had the taste of a fresh margarita.
After drinks came the tasty food—pork for me and seafood for Clif—and the restaurant was full of happy people eating and drinking. There was even a birthday gathering, and after the birthday song was sung, we all clapped.
“That’s what happens when you serve cocktails,” our daughter Dee observed when we told her about the jolly mood at 18 Below.
Indeed it does, and although you wouldn’t want to make a habit of drinking cocktails on a regular basis, one now and then does add a splash of fun to an evening.
So happy anniversary to Clif and me. After 37 years of marriage, I can honestly say that we are true friends. We share so many of the same interests—biking, movies, theater, art, books, and food as well as a love of family and friends. I know this doesn’t sound in the least romantic, but it is my guess that nowadays most long marriages have this element of friendship that strengthens and sustains the relationship.
I know I can’t imagine a marriage without it.
And a cocktail now and then doesn’t hurt, either.