Date Night

imagesTonight is Date Night for my husband and I.  I am so excited.  It’s been a while since we had a real date night, complete with tickets to a show and hopes for dinner prior!  I can only hope it goes as well as the last one did.

The last time we stepped out it was for a night of comedy with Tim Hawkins.  We bought the tickets months in advance and we enjoyed looking forward to the event. The day finally arrived and we spent the day rushing around running errands and making arrangements for the kids to go to different places in our absence. We bought groceries and I picked up a new book for my daughter to take on our vacation the following week.  She wanted a Dork Diaries book, so I selected one of the dozen or so titles in that series.  Of course, I selected one of the two that she had already read! No problem, we can stop by Walmart and make a quick swap on our way.

After printing out the directions old school on the computer, we headed out. A quick pit stop for a new title and we’d be ready to be entertained.  We parked in the front of Walmart and we discussed our game plan.  He was going to head directly to Customer Service for a refund while I ran back to the book section to pick a different title.  I would then make the purchase and he would receive the credit. Done.  You’d think it would be that easy.  However, it was a Friday which meant that all the employed people in the county who don’t have local bank accounts were standing in line to cash their paychecks.  After selecting the book and purchasing it, George was still customer number 5 in line.  I told him we could skip it and return the book later, but he said he had already made it that far, so we’d wait.  We waited while these hard working men cashed their checks, returned previous purchases and wired money to relatives, tick tick tick, counts down the minutes of our date night.

We finally were given our credit and ran for the car. Wait! Did we park at the side like we always do? No, I think we parked in the front.  Yes, in the front by the cart returns.  That narrows it down a bit.  Eventually, we locate the car and head out.  A glance at the clock on the dash makes it apparent that we won’t be able to have the sit down dinner we had thought we might, but we can definitely do fast food somewhere on the way. I decided that I wanted a baked potato instead of the typical burger and fries, so we chose to look for an Arby’s en route. We finally saw an interstate sign telling us there was an Arby’s at the next exit. We took the exit and before we even descended the ramp realized that this was a poor decision.  The traffic was backed up onto the ramp and traffic appeared to be at a stand still. The Arby’s was 2 traffic lights to the right and we finally arrived feeling a little more nervous as we still had some driving to do and showtime was fast approaching. We entered the restaurant quickly and were a bit discouraged to see 3 take-out customers with their arms folded and their toes tapping an impatient rhythm. RATS! A backed up “fast” food restaurant! I take a look at the board to see that they no longer offer baked potatoes anyhow. We order a sandwich….to go….and head out as quick as we can.

Back on the road, we take a look at the directions.  Doesn’t look too difficult, however, the printer ran out of ink on page two. It gives us a hint of where we are headed though.  Thank goodness for smart phones.  We ask our friend Siri to take us to 300 Gallery Drive.  We will be a bit late, but I’m sure they have someone warming up the crowd before the headliner comedian.  We’ll be fine.  Make a right, two lefts, another few rights, a left at the T, a couple more rights, some lefts and we arrive at our destination on the right. Wait! That’s a Water Treatment Facility!  Seriously?! The show started 3 minutes ago and we are obviously NOT at our destination.  We ask Siri again and she starts her whole “Recalculating song and dance!”  It appears she took us to 300 Galley Drive instead of 300 Gallery Drive! Back the rights and lefts we go and finally, we are on the correct road.  We rush, park and run to the locked door that we had hoped was the entrance.  No worries, the warm up guy is probably still performing.  We race around the building, go inside and manage the maze of hallways following the sounds of laughter.  We see TV monitors along the way showing Tim Hawkins on Stage!  Are you kidding me?  He opened the show?!  Bummer. We give our tickets to the usher as she informs us that we won’t be able to sit together but she thinks she can get us in the same section.  Is it still date night? I take my seat between complete strangers trying not to cry as they yak it up. Remember, they were already warmed up by the headliner!  Eventually, I, too, was laughing along, but still feeling very uncomfortable spending date night in a separate row from my husband.

At intermission, we shared our plight with those near us and they agreed to let us sit together.  We enjoyed the second half and headed home getting more lost on our return trip than we did on our way there.  Finally, we saw a sign indicating that we were about 15 miles south of where we were about 45 minutes before.  Get me out of this car and off of this date night!!!!  We finally made it home about 2 hours later than we wanted to be and we both mentioned how much we enjoyed our date.

OK, so that was our last date night, so why do I want a repeat? Because in ALL of those things, I realized that we didn’t have an argument.  We didn’t say one unkind word to each other.  In the midst of all of that, we genuinely enjoyed each other’s company.  Looking back, I could see the couple we might have been 20 years ago.  Twenty years ago I would’ve told him that we shouldn’t have waited to return the book, he would’ve insisted that I didn’t need to search for a baked potato and should’ve settled for a burger. Twenty years ago, I would’ve thought he should’ve had a map and he would’ve thought I shouldn’t have taken so long getting dressed.  BUT, we aren’t those impatient people anymore.  We value our time together too much to argue about things that are relatively out of our control. We view the whole evening as a miracle.

We are going to see another comedian tonight.  I hope he can make me laugh as much as sharing our previous date night story has.  I’m also hoping to eat at a restaurant with a fork, but the night is young and time will tell!

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