We reached a collective milestone last weekend: neither my husband nor I were able to read the restaurant menu at dinner. We each had our contact lenses in, and sure, the restaurant’s “intimate lighting” was moody and all, but it also precluded our actually reading the menu. Monday morning I discovered an additional $20 in ambiance: I misread the bill, so I tipped on what I thought was an $84 tab, when it was only $64. I wasn’t even remotely knocked out by our service, but whatever, she scored big time with an over 50% tip. Karma, yo. Nothing like a little in-your-face you’re-getting-old reminder to help a guy (and his wife) celebrate his birthday! Happy birthday, Tom.
We don’t get much time (take much time??) to ourselves these days. Parenting at this stage involves a good deal of transportation and a substantial outlay of money, and not just in the I waaaaaay over-tipped kind of way. Time between the kids’ activities is spent nearly unconscious in front of some or another screen, grocery shopping or preparing meals. I do a lot of laundry, but too little housework and reading. And much too little time gets spent reinvesting in the relationship at the core of its ensuing madness: the marriage.
So to celebrate another spin around the sun, my husband and I went out for a grown-ups only dinner. And you know what we didn’t talk about? We didn’t talk about this–this was the line to get into the city’s top high school’s first night of open house last week. This was the line 20 minutes before the doors even opened, I mean what the heck? Is this General Admission for a Barenaked Ladies concert or something?
We also didn’t talk about this–we didn’t talk about football. We didn’t even talk about baseball! We didn’t even talk about the MDA Summer Camp Reunion that he and our big kid attended earlier that afternoon.
We talked about this–currently our favorite tree in our yard. Normally we dislike it, truth be told, because it sports serious botanic attitude about sprouting wherever it feels like sowing its seed in the “lawn.” (Our yard sucks). But for this week, this one glorious autumnal week, its colors are breathtaking. #nofilter
We talked about what we were reading, and how we wished we read more and more often.
We talked about my friends metaphorically taking me hostage, and forcing me on an international flight to meet up with them for about 30 hours in Toronto for one crazy overnight.
We talked about next year’s family road trip. Apparently it’s going to be baseball-themed. Shut up! Baseball? No way!
We talked about tennis and his aching back and the chiropractic care he’d sought.
We talked about my flirtation with yoga, my distressed rotator cuff and the physical therapy I’m working through.
We talked about 2017’s medical bills. Jaysus.
We talked about work, but not in a negative, horribly crabby way, but what challenged us and what we still enjoyed in our careers.
We talked about retirement. *gulp*
We talked about moving, maybe finding a town a little less insane for high school entrance criteria and with a little more to offer for athletics. We DO have two children, after all. And then we talked about needing a home with a first floor bedroom, just in case. . . Because when you’re me, you never don’t think about MD and maybe your son living with you when he’s an adult. And when you’re parents, even when you’re away from your kids, you still talk about them a little bit. But then we also talked about what we liked about living in the city. This view from the lakefront, for example.
We talked about thinking that at “our age” we’d have more, but that we don’t. But even without more, we have enough. Besides love, we still even like each other a lot. I talk too much and he listens too little, but it works. We laugh like newlyweds, and in an era of too little happiness for people in our financial stratosphere, we still find humor in nearly every situation. We still overspend on dinner once in awhile, and spend time talking about what made us two before we were four. We’re OK. Minus the not being able to see after the Early Bird Specials dinner hours, maybe even better than OK.