Since we forgot about our anniversary until the day of, we decided to make up for it by going out on the Friday night. I had bought Gourmet magazine, special Paris edition, to read on the airplane coming back from the States and so I had this huge list of restaurants I had been wanting to try out. No time like the present to dig into that little project. Still, it was a bit last minute so it was no surprise that my first few choices were booked. We ended up getting a reservation at Lapérouse. Ruth Reichl said in her article that she really enjoyed the lunch that she had, so that was enough of a recommendation for me. It was a fun place to try because we've driven by a million times and remarked that it looks quite sweet and we should make reservation but then I never get any farther than that. To be honest, I don't tend to think the 6th for restaurants. Its very neighborhood-y and so they are all small and booked up by the locals. We don't tend to make our plans far enough ahead of time to get a table, and then if we do, its a bit of a pain to get there via metro and forget about finding a parking place. I'm starting to sound very crotchety so I I'll just shut up about the parking. Moving on to the good stuff.
The dinner was actually very nice. The restaurant is very French with little French-y chairs and big white table clothes. The waiters are all in suits and are very proper, although its nice that it didn't feel too stuffy. The food was fine overall and the duck was gorgeous. Also, the green salade was perfect. I think sometimes the quality of the simplest plates is the best way to judge the kitchen. The only downside is that it seemed the night that we were there that the only other customers were tourist couples out for a fancy dinner. So even though the staff was quite cool and friendly, all these people buttoned up in their best behavior made it feel sort of naff. (The only people not buttoned up were the Russians in the private salon on the 2nd floor celebrating a wedding. About every half hour we would hear disco music start up, along with an ever-louder chant of 'Vodka! Vodka! Vodka!' followed by a huge cheer and clapping.) To be honest, I do think it would be a nice place to take out-of-town visitors for a fancy dinner. Its very very French and you have a lovely view of the river, although we spent most of the meal people-watching, students heading to the Latin Quarter. Bo-bos heading to dinner in the 6th. Tourists strolling along the quais.
Its a good thing dinner went so well because B started things out very much on the wrong foot. We had just settled into the car to go to dinner when B started telling me in a rather self-conscious way about how he had recently seen his jeweler friend. Clearly he was trying to work around to something and so naturally, I thought that he had decided to surprise me with a little present. I hadn't expected anything at all, since we normally don't buy each other presents for our wedding anniversary and just had the time to think, "How sweet!" when he comes to the point and shows me the several thousand euro watch he bought himself. "Do you like it?!", he asked me, as he twirled it in the light so I could appreciate it from every angle. "Do you think the band is okay? I wasn't sure. I had been looking at it for ages and couldn't decide but finally just bought it. I never hardly buy myself big presents so I just decided to do it." He went on, describing in detail his tortured path to the final purchase, never picking up in the slightest on my less than enthusiastic responses.
Just to be clear, I don't begrudge him the watch. He's absolutely right- he hardly ever splurges on himself. He works hard enough that if we can afford it, he should indulge every once in awhile and offer himself a treat. In fact, if I am angry about anything, its that I would love to have given him a gift like that for his birthday but never dare spend that much on a present for him because I am sure he would kill me when he got the bill. And if were to ask him in advance for the money he would never stop harassing me until I spilled the entire secret. Its just that I find his timing to be a bit rude. Seriously? It never crossed his mind that if he was to show me his new watch while out celebrating our anniversary, he might have balanced things out by atleast showing up with flowers for me. Was there ever an example of a more clueless husband? Hmmm. To think that I thought it would be too naughty to get a massage, and a facial, and a manicure when I was at the spa. I don't think I need to feel too guilty about that now.
On the bright side, I think I have finally broken in my 4in Christian Louboutin heels. I had almost resigned myself to the fact that they were too ridiculously high to ever allow me to walk normally (thereby getting passed over many times when I dressed for a night out) and on Friday night, when I decided to put vanity before comfort and slip them on, I was actually getting around just fine. See, it doesn't take much to make me happy.