Dish Rag Date

Tired Dating promises to give you the honest unadulterated dish on all our dates.  We pledge honesty, and we edit it accordingly, mainly for our own children, two of which have already replied “gross” or “I’m never reading that again.”  Maybe it was “The ‘N’ Word” or any mild reference I have made to marital dalliance.  Hey, no apologies here, maybe some of the marital dysfunction in our system today is because too few practitioners of the art and craft of marriage talk about the journey with honesty and reality.  This is hard work.

And so is being committed to dating each other in tired middle age.   We willingly and daily give our best efforts and energy to our children, but that often translates to a scarcity remaining for each other.  Too often all we have left are the few drops wrung from the already dehydrated cloth of life.   That is probably a bad analogy, but let’s go with it: If your marriage was a kitchen rag, what would it be like?  A new Williams Sonoma with embroidered Rooster?  (Why is Kitchen Rooster décor so popular nowadays?  I think someone should bring back the “Kitchen Monkey” or the “Kitchen Snap-on Tools Calendar.”)  Or, is your marriage, more akin to that wadded up rag in the far corner of the counter that begs to be laundered, the one while being completely dry smells like wet tennis shoes and mayonnaise pot pourri?

Both examples are extreme.  If you have dragged multiple offspring into your third decade of marriage like we have, one glance in the mirror or bank account probably leaves you with several conclusions.  One, plastic surgery or hair plugs might not be bad ideas.  Two, maybe you should have stayed in that crappy job just for the money.  Or, hopefully, the third conclusion fits best:  No journey that doesn’t leave its mark on the traveler is worth much.

Take our March date for example.  We made it to date night with no plans other than using a gift certificate to Solstice Kitchen.  One hundred bucks, so it was a good meal, but because of our poor planning, the remaining reservation was 9 o’clock.  The only people I know who eat that late are Skinny Girl Bethany Frankel and the Amish during harvest season.

But we needed it, that late dinner.  And it was one of the best I can remember.  Halfway through, already past ten, we were laughing about my recent cost saving propensity for digging food out of our trashcan.  I realized how naturally our conversation was flowing.  We didn’t need a double date wing couple to aid the flow.  We were genuinely engaged in the moment, and Alyson ALMOST bought my logic about how it is completely okay to retrieve the night’s chicken carcass from the trashcan to make our own chicken stock.  “You boil it anyway, like three times, it’ll be fine.”

We got home about eleven I think, or maybe a tad after.  Grace Ann was home for spring break, and all three kids were still up.  They had made some cookies and were watching a movie.  And what they thought they knew was their parents had just been out for dinner.

What I hope they will learn is their parents are doing the best they can. And, if there will ever be a success story they can tell their children about us, it will be this one:  they washed their kitchen rags regularly, and a few are still in use.