Today Sylvia and I have been married 16 years. We’ve been working together longer than that, about 17 years, starting with the first apartment we managed on Burnet Rd. in Rosedale in 1990. On our night out tonight we pondered whether working together makes it easier to be married or not. I think working together makes it easier to be married. Sylvia thinks it’s easier in some ways, harder in others. A lot of people we know say “I could never work with my husband/wife”. But we rather enjoy it.
In a way, being married is working together, toward the common goal of building a future and raising our kids. Working together in a business requires a lot of the same skills required to work together in a relationship, so I think the two go together nicely. And it’s probably not for everyone.
So what do long time Austinites do on an anniversary night out in Austin? We went to the Roaring Fork downtown and had a superb dinner. This being Austin, contradictions were abound. It’s the first night of South by Southwest, so there are plenty of interesting characters downtown. At one table near us was a lady who looked like she could purchase downtown. Wow, was she decked out all the way, as were the others in her party. It was like being at the Oscars – until you looked one table over. At another table near us was a guy in a loose tank top who looked like he just left the gym. I had on Levis. This is Austin.
Austin isn’t the kind of town where dressing up for dinner is required. In fact, there probably are not many places where shorts and flips flops won’t be welcome. But if you want to put on the dinner attire and head out to a place like the Roaring Fork, you won’t be overdressed. I love that about Austin.
After dinner we walked down Congress Ave. to a raunchy little coffee house/improv theater called the Hideout, and had coffee and hot chocolate, and talked and observed the quirky crowd of people there. Definately more of a tattooed and pierced crowd. We love the Hideout – it’s a great little coffee house. And we love the Roaring Fork – it’s a very nice restaurant. And we love that they are so opposite, yet there they are next to each other.
And thus I suppose in celebrating our anniversary and what we love about each other, we were also celebrating and appreciating that which we love about Austin. The rich diversity that exists here. The fact that this city accommodates all types of people and businesses. All forms of dress and appearance. Austin is at the same time refined elegance and gritty counter-culture. It’s a town where we can pay a $100+ dinner tab (and we don’t even drink) and walk afterward 100 feet to a frumpy coffee house, and it all blends together beautifully to make a nice night out.
As for our marriage, it’s a bit like Roaring Fork meets The Hideout. Sylvia, of course, represents the elegant side of the equation. I’m a lucky guy.