The Dinner Invitation

He called yesterday, his voice on the other end sounded awkward and hesitant. I knew immediately that something seemed askew. He announced that he had made Valentines dinner reservations, at Zeus on Belmont, for Friday night at eight-o’clock. He continued expressing that there weren’t any more reservations open for Valentine’s Day. Friday night was the only option. I didn’t have much time to respond because in the sentence that quickly followed was unexpected. “The guys from work have planned a get together with their wives for tomorrow night, (Friday the 13TH), would you like to go?” I paused in scattered thought, then replied to ask my ambiguous husband of fourteen-years. “Are you asking me to Valentines dinner Friday or out to dinner with your friends Friday?” In his “I feel like an idiot voice” he says. “The guys have been planning for a night out, so, what would you like to do?” I say, “You didn’t think ahead, you didn’t think to make a reservation a month ago for Valentines, and now you ask me if I want to go to dinner with your friends on the same night you just, today, reserved a day before Valentines dinner reservation.” “I am confused!” I said, shaking my head and tapping my finger. He says “At least I tried! It would be nice to hear a, THANK YOU!” “How? I say, when asked to choose between the hope of thoughtfulness and what you really prefer to do. It’s only love after all, isn’t it? A day to celebrate what brings lovers together in the beginning. Shouldn’t love be celebrated every day? I thought trying to understand. I felt my heart begin to break and with that brokenness, a child emerged. The child who didn’t get the one special Valentine card in her brown paper bag with cutout red hearts glued to it’ from the one special little boy in second grade. 


Tears well-up in my much older eyes and a voice with power of its own quietly says, “Thank you for remembering and for the opportunity of choice, which I cannot choose!” He was stunned and frustrated at my ungratefulness. Within that space between my phone and his was the obligatory Valentines dinner and a much preferred get together. “It’s just love, an overrated snippet in the fold of a paper pink heart” I say mockingly. Our love is lost amid everyday disruptions and demands, it needs to be reminisced to maintain its flame. But, “It’s only love!” I say again, accompanied by a small laugh. He says with a smile in his voice, “Yes, it is,” so, “What do you want to do?”

Living in Richmond, rich with culture has allowed time for me to practice writing. Poet by first choice and published in Chronogram in 2004 and 2010, I am continuing to learn more and practice writing skillfully. Currently, I am attending a poetry workshop through Visual Arts Center of Richmond instructed by Randy Marshall. Future writing goals are to find publishing opportunities. My Blog began in July of 2014: mariebaril.com please feel free to explore. It is in its infancy.

Rhonda has taken a class with Valley.