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My Welly Valentine

April 7th, 2010 by the_lifer

When Aucklanders get romantic, they seek out their local views. They want to show off to the significant other, as well as see and be seen. So Auckland canoodlers herd at the Viaduct Basin harbor, the bayside promenades that look out over Rangitoto, the parks on the edges of volcano hillsides.

Romance is different in Wellington, where love seeks shelter. Courting couples nestle into the many small restaurants, drift into corners at parties, blend seamlessly into circles of friends. The romantic apotheosis is living together and the resulting freedom from needing to go out in harsh weather to have a social life.

So,  Will and Winona are at a mediocre Italian restaurant,  soothed by the dim red walls and the well-spaced tables for two. The other tables are filled by couples who, despite ordering the dishes marked as “for sharing”, are so used to each other that they take conversational refuge in critiquing the antipasto platters.  The restaurant hostess knows her clientele and, noting a certain freshness in Will and Winona, has given them a central table, so their good spirits can light up the room. They are evidently celebrating something.

Will, in a rare moment, says, “Thanks for being great about all this, Win.”

Smiling into her wineglass, Winona murmurs, “No, you’re the one who’s been great.”

“You got the flat. Which is pretty brilliant. I bloody hate flat hunting.”

“You got the job! Now I need one, too.” Before Will can say anything, she adds,
“However things work out, we’ll need the money.”

“True, true,” he replies. Then, “I’ll call you when we’re having work drinks. You can come network with us.”

As Winona beams, a waiter arrives. “Your antipasto!”

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