When we have a date – that is, a night out without one kid doing a funny though inappropriate rap and another handing me half-eaten ravioli, one asking what socialism means and the other if I’d eat a unicorn if it were on the menu – I like to imagine my husband and I are headed for a pleasant few hours, possibly eating food I have not cooked, perhaps with friends, or just enjoying each other’s company.
Do we have great dates? Yes. Was last night one of them? No.
Sure it was nearly 90 degrees and I wore jeans I thought looked fun and a bright blue top that seemed fun, but we were rushed – me from a house-full of over-tired kids, he from an office-full of sick kids. I’d thought about passionate curbside kisses and that golden moment before late afternoon turns to evening, the kind of light that coats everything and makes your pores disappear. I thought of a riotous movie, a post-theatre drink, hand-in-hand strolling. In short, I pictured a date in a Nancy Meyers movie, along with a soundtrack I’d like but also roll my eyes at because the whole thing is just so unrealistic.
And the texting – the kids texting me fifteen times during the movie.
Because they’d set up a dinner date for us at home, complete with invitation in faux-script (they don’t really teach handwriting anymore, what with fonts and italics, or if they do, my kids are failing). The table set with a cloth, place cards, gourmet salads with baby green, garlic kale, roasted beets, and grapes. A Mason jar filled with ice, tongs included. Silverware. Wine glasses and an unopened bottle that would remain unopened because of Diet Coke and fizzy water in the glasses.
And the kids so proud of their efforts and pulling off a surprise.
Just like in the movies.*
*The thing that’s not like the movies is that I had already made a tart but I didn’t mention it. But now we have that to eat, too. How unrealistic.