Date Night – Then and Now

file2731266152771On August 15, 1991, my husband and I went on our first date. This August, we’ll celebrate twenty-one years of marriage. What can I say? The guy took me on some great dates.

He still does, but not nearly as often. And it’s not like he’s dropped the ball. It’s just the reality of time, finances, and kids. So when the opportunity arises, he pulls out the big dogs. But our outings these days are different than those of yore.

Remember how it used to be? Two days before, I’d have planned the outfit. I mean everything – from the jewelry to my pedicure. These days, I think about what I have that will go with shoes that are sexy, yet comfortable. Yeah, it’s a limited choice. The night of, when I’m already an hour behind in my planned beauty prep, I discover nothing fits. This results in me calling off the whole night because, “I’m too gross to go out in public!” Thankfully, my husband, who’s still a charmer, can talk me down from the ledge.

In the old days, we were eager to learn everything about one another. file9221246822250Nothing the man said was boring. Now, over our first cocktail, we’re usually deciding on the appropriate punishment for the latest stunt our kids have pulled. (For you good parents, that would be consequence.) Once we’ve taken care of business, parent roles are pushed aside, and we talk about ourselves. Granted, we don’t always hang on the other’s every word, but on a good date (with a good bottle of wine), we laugh and enjoy one another sans all the junk that can clutter most days.

Back then, when it was time to head home, he’d open my car door and make sure I was comfortable before he shut it. As he headed to his side, I’d adjust my outfit to display my bod to its best advantage. I’d check my compact, looking for any debris in the teeth or nose, and as he opened his door, I’d toss my hair, trying to pull off fun, when in fact, I was going for a quick fluff. Then I was ready. Ready for that kiss that I knew would curl my toes.

But we’re married now. Intimacy has been established. There’s no wondering how our evening will end. On our last date, after he let me in the car (yes, he’s still a gentleman), I rushed to kick off my heels and yank off my Spanx shorts. By the time he got in the car, I’d reclined my seat and planted my feet on the dashboard.

He cocked his head and gave me a sexy smile. “You know we’re in a public parking garage.”

“I don’t care,” I answered, letting out a deep breath. “I’m freakin’ bloated.”

My husband patted my knee and said the words that prove he’s a hero: “I’ll stop and get some Gas X.”

God, I love that man.

Rose photo by mxruben. Cocktail photo by imelenchon.

Help us out, Hallmark

My husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary this summer. It was a fabulous day. Yes, a big milestone, but more importantly, we celebrated during a peak.

Anyone who’s been married for more than a year, knows that the path of marriage consists of peaks and valleys. The peaks are what keep us going. They remind us why we married our soul mate.

And then there are the valleys. You’ve heard of “the seven-year-itch?” In my house, it was “the seven-year-hate.”

Hallmark thrives on peak times. The week of my anniversary, overflowing with emotion, I skipped down the aisle, reading every card with tears in my eyes, so moved by the words that reflected my love. I couldn’t narrow it down to just one, so I bought several, including one of those expensive, “extra-postage-required” cards. (Now that’s some love!)

But during the valleys, when it’s time to buy the obligatory card, we’re left hanging. There’s nothing out there that conveys our true feelings. We scan the cards, cringing at the words we can’t stomach to send. And it’s not just anniversaries. Think of Boss’ Day.

So I’ve come up with some ideas that Hallmark should consider.

Anniversary:

As we celebrate the day of our marriage, I want you to know… I hate your ass right now, but I’m sure it will pass. Happy Anniversary!

Daughter’s Birthday:

I can’t believe you’re sixteen. Through the years, my love for you has only grown… But if you don’t stop your smart-mouthing, you’ll be at your grandmother’s before you can say, “Facebook.” Happy Birthday!

Mother’s Day:

Mom, we’ve been through so much over the years, I could never put into words all that I feel for you. But on this Mother’s Day, I’m so happy to share… My therapist says I don’t hate you as much as I used to.

Hallmark, you can’t use these, but I’d be happy to start a new line for you. Maybe something like:

Get Real. When You’re Mad Enough to Tell the Truth.