Friday, January 25, 2013

The Big 30

Holly's Power of Veto

I turned thirty yesterday.  After we put the kids to bed, Holly made an offer to let me pick dinner. This is a big deal because while she says this often, it usually comes intertwined with a veto power she mysteriously holds.  This time she promised not to veto anything.  So I picked Mark's pizza. (Some of my students made some good suggestions earlier in the day, but I wanted pizza and Mark's is my favorite.)  I also wanted it delivered so I wouldn't have to go out in the 7 degree cold spell.  That's what I would normally have to do because Holly doesn't like driving in the snow.  We settled on a Buffalo Chicken pizza with boneless chicken wings.

If this wasn't nice enough, Holly even decided to let me pick ANYTHING to watch on Netflix, again, without her ever-present power of veto.  At first, I considered an action movie with lots of car crashes, explosions, and heroic rescues.  But I knew Holly would just pretend to like it and then disappear into her laptop.  That's no fun.  Then I considered watching The Artist, the silent movie that won the Academy Award for best picture.  I knew Holly would like it once she got into it, but I wanted to be able to eat pizza and talk, not get overly engrossed in fine film.

The Artist, A fine film rejected on the premise there wouldn't be
ample opportunity to make colorful commentary with Holly.
So I picked a documentary on America's Mansions.  Holly said it looked interesting and I thought so too.  We watched two episodes with our pizza and toured through our television grand antebellum mansions in the South, and sprawling, lavish industrialist estates on Long Island.  We each picked our favorite.  I opted for Longwood, an unfinished Southern Mansion they say has a ghost haunting the unfinished upper floors.  The Civil War broke out during it's construction and the Northern workmen literally dropped their tools where they were standing and walked off once they heard.  Scaffolding was left in place, and lunch pails where left open.  The war wasn't kind.  The father grew depressed, walked the unfinished halls and died, leaving the widow to raise her family in near poverty in the finished basement of the mansion until she got a settlement from the US government for property damage after the war.

Longwood Mansion, in Mississippi, Brian's choice with it's
spooky stories and unfinished rooms to make his own.
Holly liked this French-names mansion lined with 300 year old oak trees.  It's a a big, white box of a house with a huge wrap around porch on both levels.  What we both didn't like was this gaudy Vanderbilt place on Long Island called "The Eagle's Nest."
So that was our birthday...eating pizza while admiring and mocking the real estate glass ceiling we will never hit.

The Morning After...
Anderson enjoying the leftovers of Dad's birthday dinner.

The Morning After II...
Anderson exploring the couch while Carter tries to
decide if he likes Buffalo Chicken pizza or not.

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