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I recently went on a trip to see my dad, which was sandwiched with visits with my boyfriend. As I contemplated my good time with my good fellas, I noticed a couple similar details. Each one had placed out a small natural object to make my surroundings more beautiful for me, a special touch simply because I was there. They had thought of me ahead of time and how they could make my stay special. Then they gathered around the table with me to share fine dining and discussion. All those extra details made for an aesthetically and soulfully filling trip.

Both my gentlemen also took extra care to provide wonderful meals and companies for the duration of my stay. I had always enjoyed dining with friends as sharing meals gives relationships a chance to grow as the people gather around the table to eat, catch up, discuss life. My trip started with a lovely date night in my boyfriend’s city that provided just those details. Beginning with dinner, he took me to one of the Arabic restaurants we frequent when we’re together, where he ordered enough food to fill us for the rest of the night (during which we briefly visited Starbucks and attended the movies to see The Hangover III). On my way back at the end of the vacation, he picked me up at the airport and made sure I got dinner before I headed home even though he wasn’t hungry yet. We reunited to share another meal and some face time before parting ways again.

In between those delicious Arabic dinners, my dad mostly grilled our main entres for dinner. He and my stepmom took me grocery shopping with them and consulted with me to make sure we planned exquisite meals for the weekend: lamb pops, lobster, steak, salmon. Of course, they also took me to my favorite Mexican restaurant and a fancy Italian restaurant. We even decided to make two of those meals early birthday dinners for my dad since his birthday was two days after I left.

The first nonfood detail was easily spotted. I noticed the flower my dad placed on my bedside table immediately; he put a fresh flower or flowers in a neat looking rock vase ever since the first time I visited him in Houston. That first display included a yellow, Pooh Bear bouquet (daisies I think). This time I had a single lily to gaze upon. It captured my eye every time I entered the room, in part because of its beauty and in part because it reminded me of how my dad thought to include that touch in my room.

The object my boyfriend set out, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as noticeably done for me. I had to ask about the rocks in his bathroom sink to realize he made that display for me. I had noticed them in the sink before but thought it might have been a cultural norm to which I had no knowledge. After seeing rocks in the bathroom sink at the Italian restaurant where we celebrated my dad’s birthday and having a discussion about it, I decided to inquire since none of us could come up with a reason for them. The answer I got about my boyfriend’s rocks was that he put them out when he knew I was coming; he wanted me to see something other than an empty sink. I still didn’t quite get the idea, but it made me appreciate them even more as it was yet another thoughtful gesture extended to me.. I even saw a heart shaped rock as we looked at his sink together while we talked about them. I thanked him for making it pretty for me.

In ways for aesthetics and nourishment, I had my fill of special touches during the weekend. The flower, rocks, and food all served as the physical details of fulfilled relationships. These guys thought of me and how they could make me feel a little more special, and they joined me at the table to share good food and discussion while we spent time together.