Halley’s Comet, the New York Jets winning the Super Bowl and my wife and I having a date night; they’re rare occurrences and after this weekend, the streak’s still on.
Being married with three daughters aged 17, 10, and 9, who are a high school cheerleader, brown belt in judo and trained drummer, and little league softball player, respectively, means complaining about not having alone time with my wife is foolish. There isn’t enough time in a day, much less a week, to share a meal, a drink and are you kidding me, the kind of sexy time you want. But this Saturday we tried.
And it became another ridiculous page in our wonderful but crazy marriage folklore.
Since we’re a blended family, every two weeks, the 10 and 9 year-olds head off to their respective other families. By six in the afternoon on a Friday, we’re supposed to be down to just the teenager, and since she has a friend who is a boy and would rather stick her face in a bathtub of piranha than hang with us on a weekend night, we planned something for Saturday. Friday night was an out-of-town high school football game. Our 9-year-old was with us because she had a softball game the next morning. Our local team got their rear ends handed to them 56-28, everyone passed out on the way home while I drove, woke up the next morning, then watched our little one’s team lose a heartbreaker 18-17. Eventually we passed her off to the other parent.
Freedom! Call the fire trucks, we’re burning this town down with debauchery unseen since the Roman orgies!
Yeah, not really.
My wife was exhausted. After a long work week, she went home and napped while I ran read, wrote and went for a long run. Our teenager, who was supposed to be gone all day with her friend who is a boy, then all night with her girlfriend, sleepover included, kept coming back home for various reasons. So, my wife and I got caught up with the chain around our necks that our DVR had on us, and waited for the next interruption. Finally, it was dinner, and we just didn’t care anymore. Somewhere at a chain restaurant at the local mall, there were overpriced sirloins with our names all over them.
The place was crawling with University of Georgia fans. They were playing LSU. My wife isn’t a sports hater, but she isn’t a fan, either. Plus, she was looking forward to a good meal and a date night, too. I’m not completely unattractive in public. We waited too long to get there. Had we gone a touch earlier, the game would’ve been in the second or third quarter and the fan reaction wouldn’t have been so obnoxious. But we hit a Target before the restaurant, because that’s what middle-aged couples do, and arrived at the eating place in the fourth quarter. While I sipped a beer, and she downed a pina colada, the wait for a table grew to over a half hour, and the fervor of the Georgia fans was out of control. Then, the waitress from Hell.
I waited tables and bartended in college. I know the gig. You are either good at it or you suck. There is no such thing as an average wait staff person. Guess which one we got? The one who should be doing anything else.
I believe in signs. My daughter’s constant returns to the house, the too long trip to Target, the raucous restaurant crowd, the God-awful waitress and then the food came and was overcooked. We should’ve left, went home, and made our own good time. But it just didn’t happen. Parenting instinct took over.
My teenager is a good kid. Correct that. She’s a great kid. But she has terrible luck. For the third time in less than two months, she left our house intending to spend the night elsewhere and something bad happened. Around 8 pm, we arrived home, a touch beaten down and a lot tired. My wife looked at me with tears in her eyes and muttered, “I have a feeling she’s going to need us. We should be good and just wait for the phone to ring.”
So we did.
Around 1am, our daughter called with news that her friend’s family had an emergency and she needed to come home. Due to our state’s curfew for teen drivers, this meant we had to come pick her and her car up.
Halley’s Comet is due sometime in July 2061. The New York Jets are terrible this year and as much as I love them, I don’t envision a Super bowl appearance for at least five years. But I think my wife and I will have another shot at date night. The teenager goes to college in 11 months. For now, we’ll cuddle with each other and the DVR and wait for the phone to ring.
A few years ago, the great Emmylou Harris and almost as great Mark Knopfler did a song about grown ups being grown ups called This Is Us and it was amazing. This tune is my wife and I in a nutshell. If you don’t like it, there’s something wrong with you, or you’re single and you’ll get it someday.
Please go check out my new baby, the music oriented website, Raised On The Radio, that I’ve tri-adopted with my musical sisters, @JenKehl and Linda aka @elleroywashere http://raisedontheradio.com/
Are you looking for something interesting and music driven to read? I have two for you. My books, The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com