109 Degree Date…by Aly

It’s all worth it.

After missing our date in May I felt like we really needed to do something special and different.  So I thought I would beat Kevin to the punch for a over the top romantic (within a tight budget) date for June. I had no idea what to do, and then the miracle of television provided an answer. I somehow caught a commercial for Clausen’s Inn on between folding laundry and Yoga Booty Ballet.  A weekend package included dinner at our favorite restaurant, champagne and strawberries, and, of course, breakfast.  Father’s Day was coming up, we still had not been on a June date, and I wasn’t about to buy him the yard yeti he wanted at the local garden store!

He really wants one…in OUR yard!

On Father’s Day I rolled up the reservations with a gold ribbon and presented my grand date gesture.  Surprise!  I hit a homerun!  He wasn’t expecting it at all.  Yay, me!  I can do this romantic thing… I just can’t keep it up very long; my pragmatic tendencies naturally come out.  Like many women in the “mommy mode,” I am good at survival, meeting basic needs, thinking of worst-case scenarios, and planning for disasters, or dinner, whichever comes first.  But I can do “romantic” for a day.

We made our date for June 29th, just under the wire.  Whew, back on good “Tired Dating” schedule.  Even the heat wasn’t going to stop this romantic night.  Columbia hit a record 109 on Friday which meant the “loft” room I reserved was a tad warm upon check-in… the thermostat in our sweet retreat room read 90..  We ended up moving to a smaller but cooler room.  Adapt.  And move on.  Good mommy’s do that.

I highly recommend overnight dates!  Even just a few miles from home.  You can truly get away from all the things that pull you in opposite directions from your spouse.  You can focus on each other and stay in “date mode” longer.  After champagne and strawberries, we walked to the restaurant from the hotel, had a lovely meal, and enjoyed the stroll back afterward.  No getting in the car and driving home to kid chaos.

Ellie Kate is a Squatch. Jake has a box on his head. And GA is just done. Mommy radar is always on.

I have to admit I was still checking on the kids until I knew they were all safe at home for the night.  The mommy radar is always on and maybe that is what has promoted my pragmatic mode for all these years; but every once in a while I can push that mommy out of the way and support my inner romantic.  If you are a mommy, and you are tired, that means you need a date too.  Just do it.

Because…

While pondering our March date, which has yet to be determined, I asked myself this question:   Why am I dating my wife, especially when she is soooo tired all the time?

Because if I dated another woman it would be extremely hard to explain.

Because dating her allows for minimal rejection – she won’t tell me she has other plans.

Because there is no other woman on the planet who deserves my full attention. Period.

Because it feels good to get in our car and back out of the driveway knowing wherever we go there will be no arguments erupting from the backseat about the ipad/pod.  (there’s a thought…maybe for our March date we should just drive around peacefully for hours.)

Because if, and when, our children get married, I want to have earned the privilege of sitting on the second row of the church while holding her hand during the wedding.

Because Family Systems is more than a Theory, and most likely, how Aly and I treat one another will be a key ingredient to the interaction between our children and their spouses.

Because when her eyes smile at me some of my insecurity is defeated.

Because she is curvy and smells nice.

Because “quality versus quantity” is bologna, and hours invested with each other make more difference than minutes.

Because when it came time to say “I do” twenty three years ago, I did.  And the vows said nothing conditional about receding hair or expanding waist (mine.  all mine.)

Because she tolerates my jokes.  And laughs every now and then.

Because everyone we know who has an empty nest tells us the view from the top of that mountain is worth the climb together.  Dating each other is part of that climb.

Because sitting in church on the same pew the Sunday morning after a Saturday night date is better than sex.  (In one sense.)

Because Merlot, cornmeal encrusted oysters on fried green tomatoes, and Crab stuffed Sea Bass are pre-requisites to conversations that CANNOT be had at home.

Because God said I should. Well, maybe not explicitly, but The Song of Solomon said something about walking across the Hills of Bether, and I think that is kinda about dating my wife.

Because sometimes there are problems in life that CAN be solved by dinner and a movie.

Because staying in love means playing the part, not just assuming the character.

Because our lives are too stressful to have no rewards.