I believe Doc was moved by Sammy Davis, Jr. (and an overt message from me) to provide a memorable gesture for our 10 year anniversary. It was a little more Sammy than it was Flannery, but I'll take it.
There were many memorable things that happened today. For instance, Lucy, when she got out of the tub, wanted to be Super Lucy and insisted in the way only a three-year-old could, and I obliged. I loosely tied a blanket around her neck and she was transformed.
I told the girls I needed two super heros to help me on my mission: To find the DVD remote. They gamely agreed to help me in my quest. Lucy even went to get friends. She ran into the bathroom and said in the mirror, "Mommy needs some super heros to find the remote...do you want to help? [pause] Good! Let's go!" And she raced back into the bedroom.
I told the girls to check under the bed while I stripped it of its sheets. "Not here!" I said.
"Not here!" said Riley popping back up from under the bed.
"Now I need you to help me remake this bed!"
"Yay!" they yelled as Riley jumped on the bed. We had some fun flapping the sheets around and then we decided to straighten the covers. By this time, Lucy was on the bed too, jumping and superheroing. Riley and I got the sheet and one blanket on and Riley lost interest. I straightened my side up and looked at Lucy.
"Ok?" I said.
"NO!" she yelled and started stumbling around.
"Are you caught in your cape?" I asked, looking at her feet.
"No, no, no, no, no!" she said and then pointed to the covers, "It's not straight!"
"Well, why don't you straighten it?" I asked.
"Super heros don't do that," she said and leapt off the bed.
After the girls went to sleep, I came out to the garage to see how Doc was doing.
"I've been thinking about that gesture," he said.
"Oh?" I asked, "What is it?"
"Well, I want to make sure the kids are asleep first."
"Hmmm...they're out," I said.
"Ok," he said, "Follow me."
He lead me outside and into the driveway, under the nearly full moon. He walked me clear out to the spotlight of the lampost at the end of the drive and said the following:
Tonight is our tenth anniversary. I want you to stop and think back and call up all the memories of every time I've been late or screwed up or forgotten anniversaries and hold that image in your mind. Got it? OK. Now wait here.
He walked back to his Jeep and started shuffling things around. Oh, God, I thought, He's going to shoot me. But the thought passed as he finally got everything how he wanted it. He turned and started walking toward me with a pie in one hand and the other hand behind his back.
He leaned into me in that way he does when he really wants to make sure you're listening and said the following over a lemon merangue pie: "Now, I want you to take this pie and shove it in my face."
"No," I said, "I won't do that."
"Come on," he prodded.
"You can do it."
So I stuck my finger in the cream on top and wiped it on his chin.
"There," I said.
And he got this look in his eye and his right shoulder dipped. In a half second I caught sight of a second pie.
"Oh no you don't, you bitch!" I yelled and ducked as I brought the pie up and over and hit him square in the face. My duck saved me (ducks will usually do that for you), all but the right side of my head.
"I can't believe you did that!" I yelled as he laughed, wiping pie off his face.
I started walking into the house pissed and amazed. Who does that? I wondered. He followed me in and we went into the kitchen and started to rinse off. He's laughing and I'm still trying to recover.
"I can't believe you did that; you're such a little bitch!"
After we were nearly cleaned of, the joy of it started to wash over me. God, that was fun. And you know what? I think I kind of liked landing a pie in his face. We talked later about how ten years is a long time and we've both driven each other nearly crackers and we decided that we both deserved what we got.
Phase two of Operation Gesture was much more Flannery. Doc went back to the Jeep and fetched a dozen beatiful roses and a cool bottle of Asti, my favorite.
"Now," he said, "I want to tell you: the pies were reduced, but I paid full price for those roses."
And my heart melted.