Date night should never start off with a stop at the ATM machine to check your bank balance. Nothing kills romance as fast as over-draft.
Good news though, the Carpenter and I had a coupon for dinner. The coupon meant we could forgo our cola for a whole glass of wine, each. That meant we could afford a movie too.
With great anticipation, the Carpenter and I sat in a darkly lit restaurant awaiting our fancy entrees. While I tried to think of what to talk about, negating topics such as children, family, work or the aforementioned bank balance, the Carpenter focused on staying conscious. Soft music and dim lighting make him sleepy. Needless to say I did all the talking. He blinked on cue.
After a fabulous dinner we realized we’d gotten through a meal without children interrupting. Frankly, that was enough foreplay for us to go home and fall happily asleep. That’s what foreplay is, right: the melatonin of sleep?
Then it started. The Carpenter yawned. When someone yawns, it’s like passing a car wreck. You don’t want to look. You shouldn’t look. Look away. But you don’t. You look. Next thing you know, you’re yawning too. There we were, walking to our car, yawning like preschoolers after lunch.
Defeated, I had to admit that if we went to a movie theatre and they turned down the lights, the Carpenter would be asleep. It would be a waste of money. The Carpenter agreed. No movie.
Only I wasn’t sleepy. I wanted to go out. So I pulled out my ultimate femme fatale move: I suggested we kill time at giant home improvement store. Hey, a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, (and I really want just one home renovation completed).
The Carpenter was totally turned on, not by me, but by the search for ceramic tiles and heated floors coils. We had an awkward conversation about toilets too. I’ll spare you the details.
Eventually, it was time to go. I panicked. I didn’t want to go home. That was the place where dirty dishes were stacked, floors needed sweeping and the cat box was no longer a sand dune. The children would still be awake, for goodness sake.
“We can’t go home,” I yelled. “We need to do something, anything but go home.”
“No,” the Carpenter said calmly in that psychologist tone he saves for my outbursts. “We need to accept that we’re tired, that we both work really hard and it’s been a long day. We have hockey in the morning, you’re working all weekend and we really don’t’ have the money to spend on a movie we will just fall asleep in.”
“We’re losers,” I declared, matter-of-factly.
The Carpenter laughed. “No, we’re responsible. We’re supposed to be. We’re parents.”
“Screw responsible.” I yelled again. “I don’t want to be responsible. I want to be fun.” (I stamped my feet for dramatic effect).
“We choose this life when we became parents, right?” he said. “There’s nothing wrong with working hard and being tired. It’s worth it.”
I hate it when he’s right, which is pretty much all the time.
Ah, but he loves me. On the way home, the Carpenter stopped at a convenience store and came out holding my favorite brand of chip dip and crinkled chips. Romance is not dead, it’s just on a budget.
Writing has been my passion since I learned how to hold a pencil (which I still cannot do properly). Despite my father’s insistence that I would starve to death in this career, I remain well fed and eager to write more. They say you should do what you love: I love to write.