I’ll admit it – it has been awhile since my husband and I got out together for a date. Or even had a discussion that lasted longer than 10 minutes that wasn’t about the day’s schedule or obligations. Our fleeting hallway passes where we play rock paper scissors to see who will change the poopy diaper don’t count, do they? Don’t get me wrong – we had plenty of time in our 10 childless years to gaze longingly into each other’s eyes and to discuss and debate to our heart’s content. Really though, we wouldn’t change a thing about our current reality. However, it was high time to get out of the house and remember that we are adults who know how to wear nice(er) clothes and can still act in a civilized manner in a group of adults. I’m sure many of you can relate to this scenario – trying to carve time out to explore the “we” in a marriage that
seems overcrowded with little ones.
The evening was full of ups and downs…
For our date, we chose a CD release concert for a Folk Roots group called The Small Glories at a funky venue called The Ironwood Stage & Grill. The concert was opened by TSG’s pal Brent Tyler, a rising Calgary musician. [Aside: The Small Glories are a Winnipeg duo consisting of Juno Award Winning Cara Luft and JD Edwards. They both have incredible solo careers, too. I met Cara in high school when we commiserated in the swimming pool after coming last in most of our swim meet heats. Misery loves company, even when soaking wet. We have been close friends ever since!]
We had arranged to meet friends there, have a bevy and light supper and lose ourselves in the music. Great plan, right? Well – sort of. It started well. Kids fed and ready for bed, Grandma there to tuck them in, hubby and I dressed to go out (me in newish boots that make me feel grown up and sophisticated – a rare splurge in this lean time of parental leave). Hubby and I in the car and leaving on time. A miracle! Light banter expressing how great it was to not hear kids calling for us. Quickly, our conversation turned to stresses and more serious matters. I ended up in tears as we re-hashed some familiar ground about doing more with less and navigating the busy loads. As my daily dose of luck would have it, our friends both arrived in separate cars in the same parking lot at the exact same time as we did. They got to witness my teary eyes as I swiped at them like a mad woman. A classy and auspicious start.
We had booked late (my bad), but as we were led through the crowd to our seat, I saw that our friendship with the band had paid off – we got a table right at the front. A version of “I’m with the band”! I managed to annoy the dear hubby with the seating arrangements. I wanted to sit facing him for conversation, and he wanted to sit side by side to snuggle. Too late – I had ushered our friend into the seat beside me. We looked like squabbling siblings and not a loving couple. Blush.
Food and bevy ordered and delivered. Relaxing into Brent Tyler singing a Prince tribute of When Doves Cry. Bliss. Cares slipping away. Foot tapping to the rhythms. Happy.
Break before the main act. I saw a work colleague in the crowd. I’ll admit my heart sank. Didn’t want a reminder of work to creep in to this night of relaxation. As I was making polite small talk amidst the pre-concert noise (read: shouting in her ear and turning my head to be screamed at in return), apparently another friend came up behind me and grabbed me on the shoulders as a greeting. She asked me later (trying to disguise her hurt) why I had not even responded to her earlier. I was astounded. I hadn’t even noticed her trying to feel me up! Yikes! Can we say “touch overload”? Mommas out there, can you identify? With 6 little hands on me all day, I believe my maximum ‘sense of touch’ threshold is reached about 11 am each day. Luckily she is a mom, too, and understood. It did not bode well for hand-holding with my hubby, though! Quick trip to the washroom. Being an older venue in a heritage neighbourhood, the “facilities” are quaintly rustic. I turned on the water to wash my hands and was scalded with water straight from the cisterns of hell! Shock. Sleep deprived brain took a few seconds to figure out what the problem was. By the time I fumbled with the cold tap, I had burned myself. Rest of the evening was spent with a throbbing hand.
The Small Glories were transcendent. Conversation afterwards was stimulating. My continued inability to use nouns was a challenge. People were catching on to my continued substitution of the word “thingy” to represent anything from “album” to “concert”. Fantastic “thingy” is not the best compliment. Honestly, my verbal deficit was the result of sleep deprivation and not imbibing! Oh well, my pride will stay intact.
Drive home was peaceful. Encouraging conversation. Chilled vibe. Children were all asleep when we arrived with a glowing report from Grandma. Bonus! Fell into bed exhausted but refreshed from stepping out of the “mommy zone” for awhile. Felt at least somewhat more connected to hubby and a fleeting reminder of who we used to be with a dose of happy with who we now are.
Perfect night? Nope. Enjoyable night? Absolutely! Necessary? Incredibly. I’d love to hear about some of your less than perfect nights away from the kids!