I always thought date night was for old people. At thirteen years old, back when my teased bangs were cemented into place with Aqua Net hairspray, and the only acceptable lip color was Frost Bite Pink by Wet ‘n Wild, I remember being asked to babysit by my neighbor so she and her husband could go on a date night. Date night? Really? It was like some term all old people everywhere agreed to use in order to sound young and exciting. Except they weren’t. It sounded desperate. Why would anyone have to plan to go out with their own husband –plan to go have an overpriced, mediocre meal while the babysitter measured her time in dollar bills? I pitied my neighbors, who must have been twenty-nine at the time, simply for being old. Date night sounded pathetic and boring. And no thanks, I’m good.
Now I’m thirty-six and a mom of a 2-year-old devil child. I can think of nothing more brilliant, really, than spending a kid-free-all-the-frills-fancy-overpriced-date-night out with my one and only. After an especially stressful work week for me, Dave and I decided Friday was going to be the night. We just needed a place to go, and someone to watch the tyrant, err, the kid. Only problem was, none of the six grandparents were available, and my neighbor’s teenage daughter was apparently too busy sending Snap Chats to bother. I was desperate. Anyone? Please?! Heck, I’d gladly pay double to anyone willing to do what grandparents do for free, so long as she didn’t have a prison record and promised not to steal my collection of fuzzy socks, Ryan Reynolds movies or my iPad. I needed out. Finally, I found someone who fit the bill, and we were out! Date night would ensue. We were victorious!
We headed downtown to one of our favorite restaurants; a place known for delectable market seafood and award-winning steakhouse fare. That, and outrageous prices, but I didn’t care. We were a bit early yet for our reservations, so we walked across the street to an upscale lounge to grab a drink. I ordered up my usual vodka tonic with not one, but two lemons, and all was good in the universe again. The leggy brunette behind the bar handed Dave the bill. No more than two seconds later, the pen in the bill fold came tumbling into Dave’s lap and EXPLODED, like forreals EXPLODED, on his pants; on the crotch of his pants if you want specifics. OMG!!! We scrubbed, rubbed, blotted, clotted, and wiped until it was…
…an even bigger, bluer, four-inch soggy ink stain on his crotch. Fan-freaking-tastic. Universe: 1, Date Night: 0
Defeated, we crossed the street to the restaurant hoping to make our 7:15pm reservation, Dave avoiding all eye contact as we hurried along. As we approached the hostess stand, I could sense all pairs of eyes being pulled like magnets to Dave’s soggy, blue crotch. Without missing a beat, the obviously inexperienced hostess asked, “Tough night, huh?” “Um… yeah. We have a 7:15 reservation for Dave?” “Oh sure. Just give us about twenty minutes, and we’ll get you seated as soon as we can.” TWENTY MINUTES!?!? I could slaughter a cow, cure the meat and braise a side of beef in twenty minutes! “Okay, thanks. We’ll just be over here…” Universe: 2, Date Night: 0
Finally, we were seated at this really fancy table. A crisp, white linen table cloth hung perfectly, angled points matching faultlessly. A single white orchid leaned delicately in a bud vase, while a little flame danced atop a candle. Now, this was totally a lifestyle I could get behind. Just as we were getting settled in, I heard booming voices from our table neighbors, “Yes, well then you’re a jerk!” she said. “I’M a jerk? YOU’RE a jerk!” he spat. Oh boy. Our table neighbors were neck-deep in some kind of intense and completely inappropriate lovers’ quarrel. This was about to be a loooong night, and I was beginning to wish we had stayed home. Universe: 3, Date Night: 0
In a very fortunate yet ironic turn of events, the food was incredible. Well, except for the Cretons de Chez-Nous. The best way I know how to describe it? Liquid meat. Seriously, liquid meat. Have you ever had this? You think about that, while I Google the term Cretons de Chez-Nous. Bleh! Universe: 3.5, Date Night: .5
We finally arrived home just before I owed the babysitter another twenty spot. The best part of the night was putting on my big pants and letting the air out of a bag of chips. Next time I’m staying home.