Sunday, January 09, 2011

Date Night

Green eyes study me. Herbed boullion perfumes the negative space.

Our booth is unromantically close to the kitchen; I try to ignore it. In happy contrast, our skewered meats snuggle beneath intertwined forks balanced at the lip of the fondue pot. "I think about that sometimes, you know? Like, if we didn't know each other and I saw you, what would I think?"


"I'm pretty sure I'd spend all night trying to stare at you without being caught."

"But you wouldn't try to come talk to me? To get my number or something? So you'd spend the whole evening staring and then I would leave and you'd never see me again?"

"I think we both know I wouldn't be able to work up the nerve."

He's right, I know. Not because he's not attracted to me in this hypothetical scenario (he's been flattering and clear about how I look this evening), but because I know the same would be true for me if he wasn't in my life already. I'd be terrified to even try to approach him because it's just not in my nature. It is fortunate, then, that we had enough nerve to talk in biology class in 1994. It is fortunate that we've weathered so much marital, personal, emotional and financial strain to be where we are now, which is generally quite comfy.

But there's something to be said for being a little uncomfortable for each other, too. Going out when you'd rather stay in, because she likes it better. Straightening your hair, wearing something that shows effort, because you know he'll notice. Ironing a shirt that's normally for workdays, because she'll eye the silhouette. Eating fondue because she loves it. Walking blocks in the stinging night air because you know how she'll feel when she's taken out.

We find ourselves with a regular babysitter this month; last night we ventured into Sacramento for fondue and drinks. It's a gift to spend time together without worrying about the clock. It's unfamiliar but wonderful. Part of this is K's generous offer to babysit without a curfew, but the other component is knowing that our kids are so easy and require so little effort from anyone that we can enjoy each others' company once again. Years and years of diapers, law school, Cheerios, and crying (child and adult) are behind us. There's such a nice peace in our family now. The kids are so easy, so polite and fun. It makes it much easier to ask people to watch them.

(Side bonus of "date night"--knowing someone is coming over to your house to watch your kids means you're more likely to clean it before she gets there. It has a nice "kick in the pants" quality to it, and that means I'm not having to clean today.)

As we left DeVere's for the cold walk back to our car, we gave ourselves a little pat on the back for being done with all of that baby stuff. Of course there's so much about it I miss, but there's a nice confidence now in allowing ourselves to spend time alone. Date nights remind me that I really do like E, a lot. Being out of the house puts us in a different frame of mind for conversation and we move away from perfunctory toward things that are actually interesting, fun, adult.

I feel like I've really done something this weekend. I suppose that's the best I could ask for. Love tank, full.


  1. Love it :) It's always good to see examples out there of marriages that work.. or marriages that were FOUGHT for and now work. Being a single gal, there are so many more relationships out there that make me scared. It's something I want so bad, but also something that I sometimes think I might be better without. P.S. did you take those pics with your iPhone? Which one is it? Amazing pics.. man, I need to upgrade if this is the iPhone 4!

  2. Thank you for the sweet comment you left me! I love the new blog lay out, it looks fantastic! And I love this post. Its a great reminder, especially now when my husband is doing so much for us. Thanks!

  3. @T; most definitely not from my iPhone! If you click on them you'll see the original place they were posted. :)

  4. It gives me hope that one day we will start having dates again after Jordyn is older!

  5. Aw, what a great night. :-) I heart the Melting Pot. Have you heard of Shabu in Midtown? It's a Japanese fondue place.