A long time ago in a galaxy far away from bills, health issues, jobs, child rearing, and 401ks… there was a thing called “date night.” I remember it well. There were movies, restaurants, picnics at NIGHT (with roses on the front seat of his jeep for me), and limitless opportunities to talk and spend time together. As time progressed, date night was replaced with ballgames, cheer competitions, late-night visits to the pediatrician, homework, and general adult responsibilities that eat away at time. Yes, date night became the occasional anniversary dinner or Christmas shopping for the kids.
With the development of the pandemic almost a year ago, date nights with my husband became even more rare. We had already gotten out of the habit of carving out time for each other as he had a long recovery the previous year from back surgery and was at home (no getting out for dates.) Life happened and sometimes got in the way of the truly important things like relationships. We had gone to a nearby town on our anniversary this summer, so I got the motivation to date my husband again. Unfortunately, we are usually tired and good intentions go “out the window”…. especially on a Friday night!
I got home from school this Friday and just wanted to go to sleep because I was so tired. We sat at the kitchen table (my head literally on the table!) and decided begrudgingly to go ahead and make the 45 minute drive to the tree lot we like to visit. This would be the first time our children would not be with us to pick out a tree (they were not interested in going) I was sad as this was always a family tradition, but kids grow up as we all know. We also decided to let little guy stay with my mother in law. Although we were exhausted and I was completely dressed down (including messy hair and minimal makeup), I wanted a tree, so off we went.
As we got on the Pascagoula Bridge, I took several pictures of the most beautiful sunset. This was the type sunset one might see with a significant other. We got to the town where the tree lot is located and literally could not get to the lot. It was situated on a frontage road off the highway and there was no exit. We decided to take a chance and turned off onto another road. Twenty minutes later we were still “lost” and I was laughing so hard . Finally, we got back onto the bridge. Unfortunately, we missed another turn and had to take the bridge to the end of it and turn around AGAIN.
Finally, we found the tree lot. I picked out a tree in less than five minutes. A couple and their three teenagers were admiring their tree and the mom asked me to take a picture of them in front of it. They made silly poses. This was actually fun! We left the lot and stopped at a gas station for fine date night food… Cokes and Reese’s cups. As we rode home, we talked about Christmas plans and listened to music. At home, we were surrounded by our three kids, a dirty kitchen, and more “things” to do than could be handled in one night, but for two hours I got a spontaneous date night. No flowers, pretty clothes, or fancy restaurants. Nonetheless, it was one of the best date nights I can remember in a long time.