Before we had barely enough time to bid farewell to the family en masse, our next visitors landed on our doorstep: my father in law and his girlfriend. He asked us to book a "fancy" restaurant for dinner one night, so we opted for Bennelong at the Opera House.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love tartare? Seems I'm particularly partial to tartare that is full of texture, light and crisp crunchy delights with tender Wagyu beef.
Before I'd barely digested my entree, Pops had gotten down on one knee and proposed! And I thought the most dramatic thing I was going to witness that evening was the unveiling of my cocktail from a passionfruit cloud filled cloche.
As it turned out, we picked a pretty damn good venue for the deed: great food that converted even one of the picky eaters amongst us to a few things they didn't ordinarily enjoy, and in an iconic setting that our tourist relatives had just toured around and enjoyed the day prior.
Over our delicious mains we discussed wedding plans and how the newly engaged couple would share the news with all their kids and grandkids when they got home. Sadly I don't think any of them got to hear the news over perfectly cooked barramundi or suckling pig. There should be more samphire on things. And hidden portions of tender meat under confit carrots.
Sadly there was one black mark against Bennelong in my books - absolutely no personalisation to any desserts were allowed, so my request for a little "Congratulations!" to be scrawled across their plates was apologetically denied. But I couldn't stay mad at them for long with desserts like these. My creme caramel vs mille-feuille was amazing. I think I'm addicted to dishes full of interesting textures.
On a side note, Pops getting engaged really made me reflect on marriage in general and, mid whatsapp conversation with Petite Folle, I came to a bit of an epiphany about mine. You know that age old gag you hear in best mans speeches and doing the rounds back when email was so new that people used to actually forward on chain-mail jokes, that goes something like "A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change and she does"? Well, that happened to us.
Except it wasn't marriage, it was kids that happened to us. The CG and I had six years together on our own. ON OUR OWN! With no one to care for but each other, with no greater prioriy than making sure the other was happy. And that was easy. When you have time and money, and you actually love someone, it is easy to make them happy.
But when you have kids - well, you might still have money (albeit far less to spend on yourself) but you sure don't have time anymore. And as a mum, my number one priority has become making sure my kids are happy. That they are safe, healthy, secure, that I am raising good human beings. And it sucks to be the CG because the chick he married, who he thought he knew, is now not interested in the things she used to be and doesn't have time for the things she used to do.
But it doubly sucks to be the CG because not only has he lost his old babelicious partner who actually wore nice underwear, he's now in partnership with someone who expects HIM to change! Yep, if she's not doing the things she used to, then why should he be doing the things he used to? Surely he too should give up all semblance of a life outside of the kids?
After that little (big) realisation dawned on me, I felt pretty sorry for the CG. Obviously not enough to make me go back to being fun-time Christine, because I don't know if you've been paying attention but we have actual lives that depend on us (I know, sometimes I still can't believe it). But enough for me to promise myself that I will try and make time occasionally to resurrect the old me and to occasionally let the CG be the old him.
Another evening at Bennelong might just be the place to bring back the old us.