When we made plans to go to a concert in Knoxville, John said we’d go early and eat dinner there. My counter suggestion was to eat a small fast food sandwich before the concert and have a milkshake on the drive home. Things began to go astray when we saw a restaurant we’d never noticed before, Aubrey’s. The chicken salad sandwich sounded innocent enough, but it was huge. We both also had creamed spinach, which was so good we had to stop ourselves from licking the dish. The milkshake question was answered later.
The tour concert was performed by the choir of men and boys of St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue. We used to go to evensong there about four times a year when we lived on Long Island. After moving, John began to listen to their streaming services at SaintThomasChurch.org. The concert was in a downtown church in Knoxville. The building was much, much smaller than their home church, so we could see the faces of the singers. The music was powerful, almost overwhelming. However, the thing that affected the entire audience was the frigid temperature. The locals knew to bring warm wraps. John snuggled into his suit jacket, while I secretly plotted a way to climb on his lap, if necessary. What saved the evening for me was the huge program. I laid it across myself from shoulder to shoulder and whispered to John that I’d ask for his program for my lap if my teeth began to chatter.
The milkshake question came up as we headed home on I-40. John asked, “Do you want to get a shake?”
I replied, “That was the plan. I’m game if you are.”
John said, “If we’re going to get a shake, we’d better stop now.”
I didn’t understand the immediacy, but I said, “You ought not to ask me, because that’s the way I cheated you and Amy out of a Biltmore treat. If you want one, you ought to say so.”
Without further quibbling, he said, “I want one.”
We pulled up to the drive-in menu, and John ordered one strawberry shake (his lifelong favorite) and one chocolate. The voice from the box said, “We don’t have strawberry. We’ve shut the machine down.”
Aaaauuuugggghhhh! I should have insisted we go elsewhere, but while I hesitated, John said to make it two chocolate ones. I know that the particulars will be forgotten, and in the retelling of the milkshake saga years down the road, it will somehow be ALL MY FAULT. John is not vindictive, but he is good at reshaping a story to tease me.