St. Patrick’s Day

1901761_10152261963765272_925445519_nI would have been fine had this not been my Facebook memory today. However, I just cannot even. It’s one of my favorite pictures in life, and always will be. But I carry so much sadness over it, too, because it’s just a reminder of how bad everything got and how we destroyed our marriage from the inside out. It guts me like a fish to see pictures of us happy, because in a lot of ways, we were. The cutest couple on earth, witty banter included… even after our breakup. I saw an old entry that made me laugh out loud….

Leslie: Because we’re broken up, does that mean I can’t jump on you in the morning to wake you up?

Dana (eyes barely open): Don’t be an asshole.

I miss injecting humor into the “Danabase.”

But that was my schtick… Because we were in separate bedrooms, I used to jump on Dana pretty much every morning. When I sleep well, I am a ball of energy in the mornings. Dana, simply put, is not. She reminds me of my little sister in that way. Lindsay is not a morning person, either, so waking Dana up in the morning reminded me of my childhood, jumping on Lindsay in the same way.

It was such a cool thing having separate bedrooms, because we were allowed to take up our own space in the house and come together when we wanted it. We slept better, I think, which made me excited to see Dana after spending a few hours away from her…. but who am I kidding? I spent most of our marriage excited to see her, because she is a bundle of energy pretty much every other time of the day. People even commented on it, that they’d never seen a couple so excited to see each other, and that part of our marriage is something I will always miss. I hope that whomever we choose will also have those eyes for us. I am always of two minds on getting back together, that it would be the most wonderful and terrible thing ever. Wonderful in that I will always have those eyes for Dana, excited to see her and out of my mind with joy. And at the same time, not wanting to lapse into the people that we were to each other at the end. I don’t want to get back together and then realize that we broke up for a reason, capiche?

We also spent St. Patrick’s Day in the Irish pub where we worked, and the year we gave up alcohol for Lent, gorged ourselves on Kaliber, the NA put out by Guiness. It was actually really, really fun to drink beer all night and still remember everything that happened. 😛

If there’s anything I miss more than life, it was spending time with Dana at the pub, because when we worked together as a team, we were unstoppable. Being married to your kitchen partner has its advantages, because we could relay information quickly with just a look, and in a busy pub, seconds matter. I would definitely rehire.

We had a deal. At work, she was the chef and I was the sous. At home, I was the chef and she was the sous… But that came over time, because in the beginning she didn’t trust me with her All-Clad and I was relegated to grating cheese…. a running joke in our marriage, because if it’s funny once, it’s funny a thousand times. 😛

She gave me the greatest compliment of my life during that time, that my palate was better than hers [Editor’s Note: for those who don’t know her, Dana is Cordon Bleu certified, which is why the comment was so enormous to me]… which inevitably leads me to Chef and my greatest accomplishment in the kitchen. You’re going to think this is a small thing, but it spoke volumes to me. Chef and I were alone in the kitchen at Tapalaya, and he asked me to taste something. I said, “it needs salt.” Without missing a beat, Chef added salt. *I* told the Chef something, and *he* listened to *me.* My Chef was John-Michael Sadler Kinkaid, known to this web site as JMSK. He’s now at Pass & Provisions in Houston if you want to go and check him out.

On this day, memories are flooding out of me and I don’t really have a choice in the matter.

My last name is Lanagan, after all. There will never be a time in my life where St. Patrick’s Day isn’t important to me. Not only am I part Irish by birth, I will always remember Dana and I busting out corned beef, concannon, fish and chips, etc….. The official food of St. Paddy’s Day and loaded with memories for me as I move on with my life.

On some days, I am really good with it. On others, I am really not.

Today, I cannot even.

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