Matthew and I have always been big fans of a weekly date night. We are so blessed to have my mom, who comes over every week to watch the kids so we can get away together. Date nights have somewhat evolved over the years. When it was just the two of us, date night was a wonderful way to ring in the weekend after five days of work and school. Throughout the week leading up to the event, we’d talk about what each of us would like to do, make any necessary reservations or preparations, and anticipate our night together. Planning these days is mostly to secure babysitting. My mom will call the day before and ask what time she should come over. Most of the time I won’t really know what to tell her, but the general rule is, the earlier the better. “Where are you going this week?” she’ll ask me. A pause. “I don’t know…”, I’ll reply slowly, realizing that we’ve overlooked this minor detail. “I guess it really doesn’t matter.”
Most of our dates are still pretty typical- dinner and a movie, then maybe some ice cream. But it’s more the getting out that counts, and sometimes getting out is all we have the energy to do anyway. One Friday when Harper was just a few weeks old and still waking up throughout the night, we were particularly exhausted. We had just finished a nice dinner at Charleston’s, our favorite restaurant.
“I am sooo tired,” Matthew groaned as we got up from the table.
“Me too,” I sighed, taking his hand as we made our way to the exit. “I just want to lay down.”
Matthew nodded in agreement. “That would be wonderful,” he said dreamily.
As we stepped outside into the night air, we stopped and stared. Just 100 yards across the parking lot, lit up like a beacon of hope, was the neon sign for Sleep America.
Moments later we were staring up at the ceiling, flat on our backs on a $3,000 king size Select Comfort Sleep Number mattress. If it hadn’t been for the pesky salesman who insisted on visiting us periodically, we may have drifted off right then and there. We laid there for as long as possible without looking suspicious, feigning interest in prices and different models, calculating our individual "Sleep Numbers". It was only when someone from the church walked in and recognized Matthew that we decided it was time to go. We thanked the salesman and left our pillow-top respite, brochure and business card in hand. We both agreed, dinner-and-a-movie was highly overrated. Dinner-and-the-mattress-store was the way to go.
Then there was last week when we had dinner and went to Michael’s Arts and Crafts together. I practically had to drag Matthew out of the car. It didn’t help my case that the car in the space next to ours was occupied by a man sitting in the passenger’s seat, reading a book. Once inside, I searched for table décor as Matthew trudged along behind me, insisting that I count the number of men we encountered. I must admit, I didn’t see any other men while we were shopping, but when we got to the register, each of the three women in line ahead of us had a man standing dutifully by.
“See?” I touted on the way back to the car. “There were three guys in there.”
“Yeah,” Matthew retorted, “And they all looked like me- like they wanted to die.”
Next week we will probably go back to the standard dinner and a movie. “The Sentinel” is coming out and we’ve been waiting for that one. But on those weeks when nothing good is playing, you never know where you might find us, although Costco is a pretty safe bet.