Date Night Interrupted

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.

Lovely Little Tornado

Like many of you, one of my favorite things to do on a weekend is catch up with friends. Old, new, doesn’t matter, just as long as you have some good stories to tell, and don’t mind when I accidentally spill wine down the front of my shirt, and yours. This is when nice, civilized, young-ish ladies start laughing, cackling, heckling, and before you know it, snort-laughing our way to the bottom of a bottle of Stag’s Leap 2007 cabernet. Calories? Fuggedaboutit, because there’s got to be food involved, too. Ladies, don’t mind me, I’m just going to save this three-point Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bar for a rainy day. In any case, we’re just like those girls from Ab Fab, except we’re not British and we don’t drink martinis. And hopefully our fashion sense has moved somewhere beyond the year 1996. But don’t count on it.

So, last weekend, some of my girlfriends came over. There was a nice selection of wines NO WE DON’T DRINK TWO-BUCK CHUCK ANYMORE and food. We had just enough of a conscientious spread to make us feel like we are healthy, skinny girls who eat dainty little things like artisan crackers and organic hummus, decorated with snips of parsley. And there might have been some aged gouda, and sliced figs both generously drizzled with honey. Clearly, accoutrements you’d expect to find in first class. We also prepared things like Velveeta cheese with Lil’ Smokies on top of onion rings, and bacon wrapped Hot Cheetos. Those last two were my newfangled inventions. But I’m guessing I didn’t have to tell you that.

Just as I was getting settled in, wine glass in one hand, Hidden Valley Ranch laced Funyon in the other, I realized we were all involved in some sort of complicated, nonsensical discussion about only God knows what. Except that it seemed to be a language we each spoke and understood very well despite others who may or may not have been earjacking HUSBAND ALERT HUSBAND ALERT our conversation. I heard something that went kinda like, “Have you seen the new…. Oooh, are you going to eat that? … And then she had the nerve to – wait, hold the phone, where did you get those shoes? Did you know that I actually met Slick Willy one time? Anyways, if you guys still want to book that trip, I’d be totally down for that!”

Um… WHAT?!?!

It was a lovely little tornado.

Then it dawned on me. We were all suffering from Girlfriend ADHD. This group of girls could go from zero to fifty topics in just a matter of minutes. Just like that (I totally snapped my fingers right now). It was quite impressive really, considering each of us was following along and contributing without missing a beat. What was even more remarkable though, was that this chaotic mess fell into perfect cadence (insert soundtrack Bitter Sweet Symphony here); despite our best attempts at a shit show, it worked like a flawlessly choreographed dance, and it was splendid.

If I had to guess, Girlfriend ADHD is the result of too much work, too little sleep, and not enough time spent with the girls in your life who make your heart sing. That, and OMG-I-HAVEN’T-SEEN-YOU-IN-LIKE-A-MONTH-AND-I-TOTALLY-NEED-TO-TELL-YOU-EVERYTHING-THAT’S-BEEN-GOING-ON-MY-LIFE-IN-LIKE-45-SECONDS-BECAUSE-I-CAN’T-STAND-IT-ANYMORE!!

As this lovely little tornado came to an end, me and my girlfriends kissed and hugged and said our goodbyes with promises of grabbing lunch tomorrow, I thought about how lucky I was to have friends, tried and true. You know, the kind of friends with whom you can talk about anything, and text from the toilet when you feel like it. It was a good night. A really good night.

Congratulations, I’m a Jerk

If you know me well, you have likely made the acquaintance of my dear, irrational friend, Scared of My Own Shadow. I can only describe her as paranoid. This is a girl who is absolutely certain that every bump in the night is going to end in death. She’s positive there’s a monster lurking in all closets, a troll in every corner, and one of those little creepy red-hat gnomes just under the dust ruffle lying in wait (dust ruffle, really?). She could add clowns to this equation, but that would just be outrageous. This elevated level of anxiety usually occurs at night. You know, when all the scary stuff happens. Redrum? No thanks. In fact, she’s becoming mildly terrified now as she types this. From behind the glow of her computer screen, she just whispered into the dark, “What was that noise?” to which Dave, without missing a beat, replied, “I just farted.” Excellent.

I used to think my good friend Scared of My Own Shadow was this ridiculously complicated enigma. You know, like an unintended consequence of some ill-fated childhood experience. But really, my childhood was filled with nothing but Rainbow Bright, hamsters, and soggy but very delicious nachos (Hi Mom!). Like it or not, I have accepted that this is just the way it’s going to be.

Hello. My name is Elizabeth. I’m afraid of the dark. And it’s a problem.

Enough with all this context already. Let’s fast forward to where things start to get interesting. Last night, after the snoring commenced (Dude, ever heard of a C-PAP?!), and my son was tucked in like a bean, rice, and cheese burrito, I dozed off dreaming of a Fleming’s bone-in ribeye, lobster mashed potatoes and chocolate covered everything (What? I’m on a diet!).

And then it happened.

Have you ever been, like, dead asleep when your subconscious mind is rudely awakened by one of your senses that is still on high alert just to keep an eye on things for you? You know, like when you’ve been asleep for three hours and you wake up to a spider that has been glaring at you from four and a half feet up the wall? Senses. I am pretty sure I was asleep but my sixth sense was all, “Someone’s in your room standing next to your bed. You are about to die!!” Uh, what!  My eyes blinked open, and standing just next to my bed, looming in the complete darkness, was this tall ominous figure, hovering. Of course the snoring bear man next to me couldn’t hear my panic over his own sleep apnea induced issues.

Flight or flight. Every man for himself. Do or die. Sink or swim. I was not about to go down without a fight. I swung at his head. Missed. Dang it. I’m totally going down without a fight. I sprung out of bed and darted into the dark hallway, I assumed toward the gates of Gehenna, strategically avoiding all the Hot Wheel match box cars in my path, because I’m a domestic nighttime ninja. My mind was racing, my heart, pounding. This was the end. All my hopes and dreams were over. I’d never get to eat that secret stash of Cadbury eggs from Easter that were still in my sock drawer, oozing caramel at this very moment. I’d never have a chance to use that $25 Starbucks gift card that I “borrowed” from Dave’s wallet last week or make good on that no-diet binge day I’d been planning for months. I was going to be murdered by a…

Unexpectedly, the hallway light clicked on, Dave emerged from the room, holding a Mylar balloon that read, “Congratulations!” across it. Apparently, he rethought this whole sleep apnea charade and decided to come rescue me from this mess before I did something entirely drastic like run down the street wearing only one sock. I was like, “What is THAT?” And he was all, “Your son’s ‘congratulations’ balloon.” What we were congratulating him on, I had no idea, considering I counted exactly sixteen peas on the kitchen floor after dinner, and he pooped his pants. He’s only two, but still.

So, basically, I was going to be murdered by a balloon. Great.

Too exhausted to even feign embarrassment, I shuffled back to bed with my one sock. Dave just slow clapped. That was all he could do. Congratulations, I’m a jerk.

 A mug shot of the alleged perpetrator was taken the next morning.


(Photo credit: my iphone gallery)

That New Car Smell, Kinda

One week ago today, I got my car detailed. You know that outrageously overpriced, 100% completely necessary service where you can get your car washed, waxed, wiped up, wiped down, shampooed, bedazzled, pimped and pressed, all for like two-hundred bucks? The service even comes with an air freshener of your choice: Cherries Jubilee, Ocean Mist, Spring Meadow or my personal favorite, New Car Smell. I waited, with gas station brand diet soda in hand, while Stewie got the royal treatment. As Stewie took his turn in line on the scary conveyor belt thing, I looked through the little window all, “Wow, these dudes are crazy serious about car washing.” Afterward, a team of like five guys whipping around dirty rags like they were girls’ panties all Magic Mike style, began to hand wax Stewie until he gleamed like the damn gem that he is. What!? I’m being totally serious. When they were done, I walked over with exactly three dollars and sixty-four cents, BECAUSE IT’S 2013 AND WHO CARRIES CASH ANYMORE for their tip jar, and I was all, “Thanks bro, thanks.” As a side note, this bad tipping problem is the same exact thing I remember my gramma doing, you know, just before she started wearing those elastic-waisted sweatpants and stopped shaving her mustache.

Fast forward to today. That New Car Smell air freshener has faded; trust me, this is the least of my troubles. Stewie looks like he was under attack by angry raccoons or maybe even, like, grizzly bears. You know those murderous, oddly human animals that break into mountain cabins and ransack everything just to find some food? And when they don’t find any food they trash the place and urinate everywhere just because they’re freaking pissed? So basically, that’s what Stewie looks like today.

Here’s how it went down. I was looking for a shoe in the back seat when I pulled out two empty grocery bags, six used napkins (ketchup anyone?), a role of toilet paper, at least eight sticks of gum still wrapped but no container in sight, three socks, a jacket, a Taco Bell hot sauce packet that was all, “Ahhhh… we meet again!”, a glass plate, shreds of wrapping paper, a head of a stuffed monkey, a Big Gulp cup, several straws, paper clips, a leaf, an expired debit card of a girl I haven’t seen in a year, exactly three Twizzlers coated in dirt, a brochure on trains, a half eaten muffin, some damp crackers, a book about grizzly bears, a spoon, a horseshoe, an unidentifiable brown substance smashed into the carpet fibers of the floor mat, and a toy wheel. And yes, finally the shoe I had been searching for. Had a BOMB exploded in my car? ­­­­­­I think yes. Either that or it would be totally reasonable to assume that my car had been occupied by A) a homeless person or the aforementioned grizzly bear, B) a drug addict or, (dun dun dunnnnn) C) a two and a half year old and his friends.

I should be ashamed, terribly, awfully ashamed, since it’s only been one week since Stewie’s two-hundred dollar date at the car wash. But I’m not. Not even a little.