Frannie and David Young have been married over twenty years, have two kids, busy jobs, a house in the suburbs and a dog named Max. To keep the romance alive in their relationship, they plan a “date” twice a month. Their block of time together includes very few rules—no kids or dogs, but requires an open mind. Frannie and David take turns planning dates, depending on the NFL’s schedule and how the planets are aligned that particular month.
In this second short story in the series, Frannie chooses a hands-on French cooking class as their outing. As they struggle with the “right” way to spice up their lives (both in and out of the kitchen), they discover that their strength as a couple depends on their ability to “wing it.” They also discover that “winging it” with raw oysters, a bottle of wine and an eccentric French cook can make for one interesting date.
It was Frannie’s turn to pick a date for their twice a month get-together. With two kids, a high-maintenance dog, and two careers, Frannie and David made a point to spend time together away from daily distractions. Their date mission was simple: have an open mind, learn something new about each other, try to have fun, and be physically intimate if at all possible.
Frannie doubted they were going to accomplish the physical intimacy part of their goal since they were in a class of five couples, but she had learned that David had an intense aversion against raw oysters.
“I’m not touching it,” David said, poking the oyster on his plate with a fork. “I don’t care if they’re an aphrodisiac, I can’t do it.”
“Are you at least going to eat them?” Frannie asked.
“Sure, I’ll eat it,” David said. “You know me, I’ll eat practically anything.”
“But you won’t touch it?”
“Absolutely not,” David said. “It’s going to have to go right from my fork to my mouth. There will be no hand touching involved.”
“Is there a problem here?” Chef Louis asked, stopping at their table. He wore a tall white chef’s hat, an immaculate white apron, and grasped a spatula in his right hand.
“I’ve decided I’m just going to eat my oyster, not touch it,” David said to him.
Chef Louis paused. “You realize these are perfectly fresh oysters?” he said. “I hand-picked them just this morning. They were shipped in from Seattle.”
“Well, that’s very reassuring,” David added. “I understand that you wanted us to touch them to get the feel of a good oyster, but I think I’m just going to use my fancy little shellfish fork here to stab the sucker.”
Frannie prodded her oyster with her finger.
“See, it’s not so bad,” Chef Louis said to David. “Now your wife will know the feeling of a fresh oyster and you will not.” Chef Louis walked over to the next couple’s table.
David leaned closer to Frannie. “You’re a teacher’s pet, is what you are,” David said to her. “Showing off with your oyster-touching. I’m hurt.”
Frannie frowned. “Really? I just wanted to touch the thing.”