This weird thing has happened in my speech: I’ve begun to refer to myself in the third person. Not in the Joe Miller/Deion Sanders/Smoove B “Wade Armstrong thinks…” style; I roll a little more adjectival. “Your husband needs to…” or “Maybe your husband should…” is more my own particular idiom. This married thing, it seems to have rather adjusted my self-identity.
It was a year ago — actually, a little more than a year ago, 4:45pm Eastern on September 12, 2009, so I’m writing this whole thing more than two days late — that Courtney and I got married. To celebrate the 365 days since that big day, on the 11th we had dinner where we got engaged, and spent a night at the hotel where we got married. Then, on the day itself — the 12th — we enjoyed our wedding cake.
Dinner was Ford’s Filling Station, a gastropub in Culver City. It’s the place where I proposed to Courtney — and, actually, the place where we had our first real date (our previous two dates had been great, but they’d been at an Irish pub and a dive bar). Courtney had a roasted octopus salad and what was probably the best, moistest, most flavorful chicken we’d ever had, with a corn and celery root succotash; I had deep-fried pig ears with ooo-eee sauce, and sausage with cracked wheat risotto and smoked cracklins; then we shared a candied lemon cheesecake with blueberries that really let the cream cheese flavor loose. The hostess was lovely, the bartender was welcoming and fixed us right up (usually, actually, we just go to the bar and have a drink and a couple of appetizers, so it’s a reliable favorite), our waitress was beyond friendly, and chef Ben Ford came by to say hi and welcome us, which made us feel great and was also really sweet since he’s not a front-of-house kind of chef, glad-handling around.
We stayed at the Culver Hotel, in what I think was the John Wayne suite — John Wayne being a past owner and resident of the hotel, which is across the street from the formerly-famous Culver Studios. They’d treated us great when we booked our wedding, and the event planner there remembered us as soon as we walked in. We got an upgrade to a suite, two free drinks at their gorgeous restored bar, and, just minutes after we got back from our dinner, an on-the-ball room service staffer showed up with a bottle of Champagne. In the morning, we enjoyed their new breakfast service, especially their Eggs Benedict, which is one of the best we’ve ever had. Afterwards, while Courtney relaxed in the deep pedestal tub, I watched football and played around with the fact that the remote operated both the TV in the bedroom and the TV in the sitting room, switching back and forth randomly.
And we finished it all off with the wedding cake. Frankly, we didn’t expect much — how good could a cake be after a year in the back of the freezer? But we dutifully defrosted it, unwrapped it when still cold — to keep the fondant from sticking — and then let it come back to room temperature. And it was moist and oh, so delicious. It was the most beautiful, most scrumptious cake on the day of the wedding, and it was well worth saving for a year! A really good job by my fellow Trojan, Nancy Kay. We ate it until we’re sick. And there’s still plenty left! Come by and get some, we’d love to share.