This is part of the Slice of Life Challenge hosted by the Two Writing Teachers
My two children got to spend the first part of their spring break with their grandparents, which was awesome for many reasons, but the best part of the awesomeness happened on Monday. I was reminded to think about a valuable idea during a not very expensive date with my wife.
It started with a 4:00 showing of the Descendants at our local "dollar" theater. I don't know if tickets there are ever $1, but spending $3.50 for two tickets to a reasonably good movie is not bad at all. As we walked in we talked a little about feeling guilty. We were watching a Monday afternoon movie. On most Mondays at this time we would both be either a) doing our own school work or b) rushing around trying to prep for the usual help-finish-homework-eat-a-meal-drive-to-a-sports-or-dance-event craziness that typically envelopes a weeknight in our home. It was more than a little surreal to be doing something just for us at 4:00 in the afternoon.
Julie headed for the concession stand then I said, "Let's skip the popcorn. We'll go to Dairy Queen for dessert after the movie." She gave me her, that's an unbelieveably brillant idea look and we headed into the theater that was surprisingly crowded. Keep in mind that in our early 40s, Julie and I were probably 25 years below the median age. I guess this is one of the many things I can look forward to in retirement.
After the movie we headed to DQ to cash in on the buy one get one for 99¢ Blizzard deal. Oh my had I forgotten how ridiculously (or should I say riDQulosuly) good a Blizzard is. As we ate our dessert before dinner we again talked about how weird it felt to be doing something so fun without our kids and on a school night. We also shared some other stories that made us laugh.
When we got home we made dinner together and ate in the dining room. I love cooking with my wife. We get in each other's way, we both want to be in charge, we both try to not be in charge. It is maddening and lovely at the exact same time. Things never seem to go without a hitch, but the end result is often perfect. I think cooking with my wife is the perfect snapshot of our relationship.
The definitely "just for the parents" menu was blackened catfish, pan-seared brussel sprouts and mashed redskin potatoes. Plus a bottle of red. For those of you keeping score since I started this post with the idea of a cheap date, I think a fair estimate for dinner was $25 (including the cost of the wine). I think our meal could have been a $25 dinner at a pretty good restaurant, not including the wine.
The food was awesome, the conversation was better. Honestly this was a little surprising because we were about 4 hours into this date and had no breaks. I can't remember the last time this had happened. I did get a little too conerned about wanting to clean up the disastrous kitchen mess and I anxioulsy left the table. But Julie made me sit back down so she could enjoy the moment a little longer. I was glad she did that.
When I reflect on her making me sit back down with her instead of rushing in to clean up the kitchen. I am pretty sure she was reminding me that we rarely have such a long time to just ourselves. I don't want to send the impression that we are shut-ins that never go out together, but this was pretty cool and I was screwing it up to go wash some dishes.
Eventually the dishes got washed, the dog was taken out and she had to do a little school work. Life started to feel more like a typical Monday night. Both of us focused on something else.
I am really looking forward to our next "cheap" date night. It was a gift to spend so much time with Jules, not worrying about anything else. I know I won't be rushing the clean-up the next time.