22 hours ago
Monday, December 10, 2012
The first rule of Date Day is: Don’t talk about Date Day, at least not in front of your kids, unless you want Date Day to begin with the peeling of inconsolable children off your shins.
“Hey, there’s a matinee for the new James Bond movie tomorrow at…” my wife Kara started to say, then she looked at our son Evan, who was staring at her while dancing in place.
“Do you have to go potty?” she asked him.
“No, I don’t,” he said, hopping from one foot to the other. Fortunately, he was too busy holding it in to ask what “matinee” meant (the correct answer in that situation: “It’s a large underwater mammal that serves as a speed bump for motorboats.”) and the issue dropped.
When you have two kids, a day of romantic spontaneity doesn’t happen without some serious planning. Several weeks prior, Kara and I had both scheduled a vacation day on an upcoming Friday so that – and here’s where the plan gets ingenious – we could still drop the kids off at daycare. It’d be like having a weekend day from five years ago, back when free time was the default and we were allowed to lounge around, accomplishing nothing for the good of anyone. It was awesome.
On the big morning, Kara and I played it cool. When I dropped the kids off at daycare, as far as they knew, Daddy was headed to work. Then I zipped back home, where Kara and I enjoyed a lazy morning, which might not sound like much, but on a normal day, our living room is more likely to host a motorcross rally.
“This is weird,” Kara said from the couch, coffee in one hand, book in the other.
“Want me to ask you for a waffle and then scream and refuse to eat it when you cut it in half?” I offered.
After a couple of hours, we headed over to a new tapas restaurant that we wanted to try, but that didn’t appear to be the kind of place with buckets of crayons behind the podium. I’d never been to a tapas restaurant before, and would soon come to understand that “tapas” is the Spanish word for “still hungry.”
“Here you are,” our waitress said, putting four silver-dollar-sized plates in front of us. I thought we’d placed an extravagant order, but that was back before I realized that lobster ravioli, in this context, was not plural. They’d taken one lobster ravioili, cut it in half and stacked it on itself to make it seem taller, like a short guy putting lifts in his shoes.
After both delicious bites, we asked the waitress for our check, explaining that we were trying to make it to the Bond movie.
“My brother saw it. He said it was AMAZING,” she said, getting so enthusiastic that she didn’t notice I’d eaten the plates.
At the theater, I ran to the ticket machine, credit card in hand, no time to spare. That’s when I noticed that the showtime we’d been trying to make didn’t exist anymore.
“Dude, there’s no 1:10 showing,” I said.
“I just checked it last night,” Kara said, looking up at the marquee to verify my mistake. But the showtimes had indeed changed since we’d checked, and there were no movies left that would get us to daycare in time to pick up the kids. The marquee might as well have read: James Bond Skyfall: NEVER.
We stood by the ticket vending machine, hugging, and I could feel that Kara was crying.
“I don’t care about the movie, we just don’t get to do this kind of thing anymore,” she said.
“Aw, babe, look at the bright side,” I said as we headed to the car, working out another plan for the afternoon. “The next time we have a chance to see a movie, we’ll be able to legally pay for it out of our 401(k)s.”
You can paint the town red with Mike Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Mike Todd at 12:38 AM