Marriage & Life Partners

Honeymooning with a President

The night after our wedding, my first husband, Adam, and I entered a tiny restaurant called Mabels Lobster Claw in Kennebunkport, Maine. This was in August 1991, well before the internet made finding restaurants the work of an instant. Though we didn’t take a fancy honeymoon, I’d done considerable research into where one could get the best lobsters, and Mabels got rave reviews. As we approached the front porch of the restaurant, we were stopped by large men in dark suits. They asked some questions and my bag was inspected. We may have been frisked; I can’t recall. But this was long before 9/11, so it was a very unusual occurrence.

When we entered the restaurant, which was no bigger than a moderate sized living room, there were numerous tables with men similar to the ones who’d stopped us on the porch. At a small table dead center in the room was then President Bush, wearing a denim shirt, eating a salad. Across from him was his wife Barbara, casually dressed, but with a string of thick pearls at the neckline of her blue shirt.

We sat not more than three feet from the Bushes, and when a plate with two lobsters was put down in front of the First Lady, my eyes nearly popped out of their sockets. TWO LOBSTERS! I’d never seen such a thing, never dreamed of it.
“Excuse me,” I whispered to our server, who was standing nearby. “Does she get two lobsters because she’s the First Lady?”

“No,” she laughed, pointing at an item on the menu in front of me. “Those are ‘The Twins!’

I looked at the menu and, sure enough, there was an entree — though not an inexpensive one — called “The Twins.” Two lobsters! Stuffed! I couldn’t believe it. I looked at the price, then back at Barbara Bush’s twin lobsters. Stuffed!

After careful deliberation — and by careful I mean at least twenty seconds — I decided to splurge. I had just been married! How many times was that going to happen? (A question, by the way, that I am still asking myself.) I’ve never regretted the decision to get those two lobsters (or to marry Adam) and over the years — including on my honeymoon with my second husband — I ordered and thoroughly enjoyed “The Twins” many times. They are smaller and sweeter with double the claws, double the tails, double the knuckles (sweetest meat of all).

While we were eating the same blueberry pie that we saw the Bushes order (there is nothing bluer or better than Maine blueberries in August), the Bushes got up to go. Before I knew what was happening, my new husband bolted up and called out, “Mr. President! We were just married!”

Without for a second hesitating, President Bush rushed over to us and exclaimed, “That’s wonderful! We need a picture here!”

Instantly, a photographer emerged, and President Bush — towering over me, as you can see — stood beside us and posed. The photographer asked for our address. Three weeks later, a Manila envelope with the return address — THE WHITE HOUSE — arrived at our home in Brooklyn. Inside was this.

Rest in Peace, Mr. President.

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