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Diary of a Date

October 5, 2010

Whenever my parents visit, two things are inevitable: we will eat succulent roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for which I would sell a kid(ney); and I will go out on a date with my husband. Usually we go to a movie and collapse at home before SNL’s opening monologue; but this time I made him promise that we would go on a real date. One that required a reservation. And a coat check. And lipstick. Here’s a recap of how it all went down:

2:00 p.m.:
I call to make a reservation for that evening at a club offering dinner and live music. Despite my last-minute request, we are in luck: someone just cancelled. The date gods are smiling.

5:00 p.m.:
Salivating, I watch my kids and mom devour some mac and cheese. I won’t be eating for another four hours but don’t want to ruin my appetite. I sneak a lemon bar or three to tide me over (aside: my mom baked for her entire visit and my fridge is full of pie, cake, bars and another pie –I’ve gained a pound just writing about it). The date gods are judging.

7:00 p.m.:
My husband and I re-consider our planned night out. We’re now two hours past our usual dinner hour and two hours before our usual bedtime. We lie down for a little pre-date nap. The date gods are rolling their eyes in disgust.

7:45 p.m.:
I am in a dress and have shaved my legs past the knee. We leave for the city early to grab a drink before dinner. The date gods are placated.

7:50 – 8:35 p.m.:
Stuck in traffic and parking is a bitch. The date gods are tsking.

8:40 p.m.:
We arrive at the club late for our reservation and are seated right beside the stage (we’re so close I could pluck the guitar player’s strings – not a euphemism – if I wanted to) and below a speaker. I ask if we might sit at a vacant table with a better view and am informed that there is a standing reservation for that table. The date gods are intrigued.

9:00 p.m.:
Hilarity ensues as my husband and I attempt to read the menu in the extra low lighting. I almost set my hair on fire trying to use the candle and my husband barely avoids setting the menu on fire. We are feeling very, very old. The date gods are not surprised.

This is - no joke - a picture of my husband's head. He was sitting less than a foot from me (totally Ben Affleck, right???)

9:10 p.m.:
After going through the preliminary talk about the kids, my husband and I enjoy some grown-up conversation along with our cocktails (mine tastes like something my daughter would want to pour in milk). The band saunters in and begins to set up their instruments. There is a huge bass and a sax. The date gods swoon.

Another classic, this time of the band. Also a foot from me and with a spotlight.

9:10 p.m.:
Finally the mystery couple with the great table show up: they’re in their late fifties – he’s sporting pants like Ed Grimley and she’s wearing loose lounge pants, a long cardigan and what appear to be slippers. The date gods are disappointed.

9:12 p.m.:
What the—? Mystery Lady has pulled some strappy sandals out of her bag and is swapping the slippers for them. They’re flats, but very sparkly. She wanders to the bathroom and I joke to my husband that she’s going to do a quick-change, a la Clark Kent. The date gods are giggling uncontrollably.

9:15 p.m.:
Lemon squares and frothy martinis have converged to give me a sugar-induced tummy ache. The date gods are dubious.

9:20 p.m.:
Holy-sweet-mother-of-a-showgirl: Mystery Lady sashays past us in a gold chainmail dress with a black tankini underneath. She has transformed into Cameron Diaz’s crazy neighbor with the electrocuted dog in There’s Something About Mary. She perches on her seat and starts twitching…or is that dancing? The date gods are dazzled.

Imagine this vision...

...wearing this.

9:30 p.m.:
The band begins to play an intoxicating mix of jazz and swing. Everyone around us starts bopping to the beat, especially Mystery Lady, who takes over the dance floor in a golden, spastic flash. The date gods are dumbfounded.

9:30 – 10:00 p.m.:
Sitting directly beneath the speaker, my eardrums are vibrating with every blast of the sax. I lean on my hand and furtively plug one ear. I look over to my husband, who is looking at the scene before him with an inscrutable look on his face. A rotund woman gets too energetic and ends up falling onto the stage, almost taking out the piano player. The date gods are unsympathetic towards all of us.

10:10 p.m.:
My stomach is killing me and I yell at my husband to see if he’s ready to go. He gets the bill and we leave as the masses converge on our table. The date gods are not surprised in the least.

10:11 p.m.:
My husband proclaims that he’s had the most fun ever and that he can’t wait to go back. Feck. I feel like a dope for thinking he also wanted to leave but promise that we’ll be back. It then takes us 20 minutes to leave the parkade in a crush of post-something-or-other traffic. The date gods are yawning.

11:00 p.m.:
I’ve had a peppermint tea and my stomach has settled. He’s had some cake (still not a euphemism). I’m in bed, foundation garments and contact lenses removed, snuggled under a duvet with my husband, watching 30 Rock on the laptop. Despite the early hour, we’ve had a fantastic night. The date gods are pleased.

Liz Lemon can cure all of your ills.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2010 11:17 am

    where did you go???????? I was thinking about you guys!

  2. October 5, 2010 3:12 pm

    I’m so glad we’re not the only ones to plan and look forward to a fancy pants date, only to end up running home (at an hour at which I used to be *leaving* the house for a night of fun, no less), … and to be so happy to be there :).

    The last date, our babysitter laughed at us when we came home for being so early (we were home by SNL.

    PS. I love a good lemon bar!

  3. October 5, 2010 5:03 pm

    Having Mimi visit equals a date for us too. However, as Lil Diva is only 1 and my mother is tired by 7 PM, we took pity and did an early dinner date and then were home by bedtime.

    I couldn’t have waited that long to eat anyway. 🙂

    Glad you pleased the Date Gods!

  4. October 6, 2010 12:38 am

    ‘the date gods are dazzled’ – this one had me rolling. I can commiserate. As much as I fight it, I just ain’t hip no more. Not like Mystery Lady. Maybe if I had a dress like that? Or had a standing reservation at a jazz club? But alas, alack, my velour track suit with the expandable waist calls to me around 9pm.

    • October 6, 2010 7:50 am

      Honey, I’m reading your comment whilst wearing yoga pants that haven’t touched a yoga mat in months…

  5. October 6, 2010 1:10 pm

    I just love that on date night you were taking pictures for this post! I have so much to learn.

    • October 7, 2010 3:56 pm

      My family and friends are getting very nervous that everything they do/say may come back to haunt them in the blog (they’re right)…


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