Date Night

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Do you know how infrequently we get a “Date Night?”

Let me tell you something you already know.  When you and the Mrs. work 40 hr jobs, are involved in lots of extra-curricular stuff, and have three kids (one of whom is hard to find a sitter for), Date Night doesn’t come cheap – or often.

The setup

That perfect alignment of planets occurred last night.  We had a movie we wanted to see showing at the Cheap Seats in Bangor.  We didn’t have any school board meetings, play practices, play dates, interviews or anything else planned.  We even had our go-to babysitter, provided we could pick her up literally at the end of her last babysitting job.  This was going to work!


Of course, we headed to Chili’s for Happy Hour.  Appetizers were $5 and we were desperate for some “crack sauce.”  The salsa/ranch we had last time we were there was calling my name.  Turns out ‘crack sauce’ isn’t what ALL the staff call salsa/ranch, just Gail.  We asked Sherry for some, and she brought us plain salsa.  I thought she had forgotten. She stopped back by and:
Me: Can I get some crack sauce?
Sherry: More?
Me: Some!
Sherry:  What are you talking about?
What are you going to do.  Just when I thought we were learning the lingo, I was proven wrong.  When we first got there, the hostess who greeted us offered us a chance to color.  I initially passed, having my fill of crayons – isn’t this why we left the house?  Then we found out the coloring was part of a social media fundraiser for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.  Color a “chili” and with your donation, post it to the wall of the restaurant and tweet your result.  Good cause.  Kinda fun.

I tried to get creative, but Beth went classic.

 Do you have any idea how hard it is to take a selfie with your wife with an iPad in a booth?

Harder than I thought.  Trying to find and look at the camera, while holding both chilis up, making sure your hand doesn’t appear in the shot – tricky.  Only now that I review the picture do I notice that it looks like I have very tiny hands with well-manicured nails and Beth has monster mitts.


$3.50 for movie tickets. Told you they were cheap!

Forgetting there’s a reason they’re the cheap seats, we boldly marched into the theater at 5 minutes to show time; only to find it nearly pitch black.  Usually there’s a wide path as the door opens with seats to either side.  In our case, we must have had the ‘big’ theater, because there was a wall directly in front of us (which I walked into), a center section, and smaller sections to either side.  I crashed into the chairs in the center section, tried to stifle my cry, and felt my way around the seats.  Beth was just about to turn back into the hallway when the lights came up to 10% of their normal power.  We found a  pair of cowering women seated in the middle of the theater – scared to death.  They had found their way in, and would have tried to get back out if they could’ve summoned the courage.  We sat a respectful distance from them, doubling the amount of customers who paid to watch The Heat.  An older couple joined us and sat incredibly close to us.  Too close to be socially acceptable in such an empty theater, but whatever.  Being familiar with Melissa McCarthy’s other work, we feared they may be in for more than they bargained.  Not the case.  They laughed right along with every curse word she screamed.  In fact, they were enjoying the movie almost as much as they were enjoying Beth laughing until she cried beside me.

You guessed it: trouble in paradise

Just as the movie was running at full tilt, we got the inevitable call from home.  Beth left to answer it.  It was Jake!  He’s never called anyone on the phone.  Ever.  Beth’s excitement turned into a knot in her stomach as Jake bawled over the phone that there was thunder and lightning and angry clouds and that he was very scared and she needed to come home NOW!  If we hadn’t been over an hour from home, we’d have been out of there in a heartbeat.  Beth relayed her best ‘calm Jake’ plan over the phone and came back into the movie.  We got our next call 10 minutes later.  I didn’t answer.  Our third call came moments after that.  I took this one.  It was Liv – Mom Lite.  They were doing everything Beth had suggested, but it wasn’t helping.  He was in his room with his headphones on, the air conditioner for white noise, and his favorite movie playing.  Still bawling.  She did say that the ‘angry clouds’ were moving away.  Hang in there, we said.  Ten minutes later the babysitter texted to say that he was calming down, all was going to be OK, and not to rush home.  Could date night be salvaged?

Guilty?  You bet

It’s hard to relax and enjoy the rest of your date night when your kid with autism is screaming at home, scared beyond belief, with just a babysitter.  Who am I kidding? Anybody but Mom isn’t good enough in those situations.  Thank goodness the babysitter is so easy going.  That being said, the second the movie was over, we dusted ‘er for home.

Wild ride

Sixty miles up a dark, wet, and drizzly highway with lots of fog, heavy traffic, and light-up-the-sky lightning every few seconds at 70-75 miles per hour is NOT my idea of a good time.  Thankfully we found some great tunes on the XM from the decades channels and were able to lighten the mood by singing at the top of our lungs.  Trying to recite and remember Melissa McCarthy’s lines from the film helped too.  The Heat is a freakin’ funny movie!  Of course, to assuage her guilt for not being there when the kids ‘needed her most,’ Beth said they could all wait up for us.  When we pulled into the driveway at 9:30, EVERY LIGHT IN THE HOUSE WAS ON, even in the basement.  Jake met us at the door screaming that we should have been home at 8:00!  A fresh round of tears began to fall as I handed the babysitter her pay (complete with combat bonus) and started turning off lights.
Forty-five minutes later, the sitter was home, the kids were settled, the house put back into working order, pajamas donned, we were feeling very relaxed.  Just how Date Night should leave you feeling.  Can’t wait until next time.

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