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Celebration

Laura and I opened a bottle of Cambria the night we brought Ada home from Greenville Memorial Hospital. We’d been saving it for a couple years—probably the longest I’ve ever kept a closed bottle of alcohol in my life. In 2006, when I was young and flush, I experimented with buying pinot noir by the case. I wanted to be the kind of person who had a good house wine at all times.

When I met Laura, I had just purchased a case of Cambria pinot noir and we had a bottle or two every night she came over for dinner. That turned out to be a very good investment. Indeed, the way to a woman’s heart is through the stomach. We indulged in wine and cheese and bread almost every night during the first 8 months of our courtship. We told ourselves we were being European.

Laura had never tasted Cambria before, but she could tell the difference between undergrad chuck and wine you would order at a nice restaurant. Having successfully impressed the woman I was absolutely sure I would be with for the rest of my life, I didn’t tell her how much it cost until later on. A brief timeline going forward: engagement, long distance while I was in graduate school, moving to Thailand together, marriage, moving back to the States, getting by on the beach in the shitty post-collapse economy, moving to the upstate for Laura’s graduate school in Clemson, my new job, adopting two dogs, a move to a better house, and now baby Ada. Today, buying a case of Cambria for house wine seems insane. If there’s wine in the house, it’s most often a 1.5 liter of Concha y Toro.

Well we didn’t finish that bottle of Cambria like we had planned. The next morning we took Ada to the pediatrician and were told that her jaundice, though not severe, was worsening. “Go back to the hospital,” we were told. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Another two days at Greenville Memorial. Homecoming Part II, we removed the half bottle of Cambria from the fridge. Broke the seal on the Houdini vacuum cork. Poured two glasses and waited for them to warm up.

I don’t think we finished the bottle that night either. I think what happened was I put Ada to bed and Laura crashed in our room. I stayed on the couch near the pack-and-play bassinet with built-in changing table and waited for the next feeding. I watched a lot of garbage television and checked my computer for comments on the picture of Ada I’d posted earlier. On to the next chapter.

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