When Ryan texted me that he had made dinner reservations for us because he felt like enjoying dinner out with cocktails and his wife, like most women, I immediately started to think of what I was going to wear and the chronological logistics that would have to occur as soon as I got home from work. I knew I wanted to throw on a new maxi dress that had yet to see the light of day and that I needed a blush touch-up. I also knew that my hair was a mess and that I was opting out of wearing heels for the night. With all of the details mentally playing out there was one underlying thought that I could not shake, can never shake. Out of everything I was sure of there was one thing that I was most persistent on, this was NOT going to be referred to as a “date night”. I don’t really know what my problem is but I cringe anytime I catch myself about to use that particular phrase. For me, it’s right up there with dads referring to watching their own children as “baby-sitting”, my top pet peeve phrase ever. They’re your kids, your’e not babysitting, you’re parenting.
The term “date night” has a connotation of rarity, as if it’s something infrequent. When I hear “date night” I immediately assume that a couple is trying to re-kindle their romance, escape from a house full of children or that the two people involved make so little time for each other that it has to be scheduled, none of which applies to our marriage. I know I am setting myself up to be misunderstood so please do not misinterpret my motive. The awareness that there are many a couple that literally NEED a “date night” is present. Neither of us think that we are immune to one day finding ourselves in a lifestyle that requires dinners to be noted in our shared calendar app. However, at this moment in time, 2 1/2 years into our marriage and only 4 1/2 years total into our relationship, as the newlywed stage seems to be as present as ever, for us to label a dinner out as a formal “date night” just seems misleading, even discrediting to the true nature of our relationship. We just aren’t there yet, and part of me hopes we never are.
As I run the risk of digging myself into a big hole, I realize that my above comments could be rubbing some readers the wrong way and instead of over explaining myself I prefer to leave it as food for thought. In other words, I digress. So, lets cut to some pertinent details about our dinner out. Babe booked us an outside table at Sweet T’s, a southern bbq restaurant and bar with the most authentic menu that I have yet to see this side of the Mississippi. Sweet T’s has all the southern staples, cat fish, hush puppies, dishes ending in “gumbo”, all enjoyed with the sounds of Frank Sinatra and Etta James playing in the background. Starting with a Jack Daniels based Sweet Tea cocktail and an order of the hush puppies with honey butter we moved onto pulled pork bbq sandwiches, full of extremely sloooow cooked meat that practically melts in the mouth, completed with a shared side of Mac-n-Cheese. The simplicity of the presentation leaves all the attention to taste, and taste it does. Comfort food at it’s finest.
In our house no dinner is complete without dessert. Considering we had to help each other roll to the car as the Mac-n-Cheese settled, there was no chance that we were going to be able to make it through a dessert off the Sweet T’s menu. Stuck in between that, can’t eat another bite right now but know we’re going to want something sweet later, we headed to our trusty fall back that never lets us down. Fro Yo baby. With two more holes punched in our Yogurt Time card, we happily headed home, to toss the dessert in the freezer and most importantly, feed the cat.
Holding hands like high schoolers, carrying leftovers and frozen treats, arriving home to our number one faithful fan who’s furry little self is always waiting by the front door, an extra pep in my step from that darn Jack Daniels Sweet Tea, contentment overcame me. Contentment from some crazy good fortune that has become my life. Contentment that I am still not too sure what I have done to deserve.
Before I forget… about that maxi dress… not a style I visit frequently. My height is not exactly maxi dress friendly and it’s a rare occurrence for me to stumble upon one that hugs (or doesn’t hug) in all the right places. Somehow, during a random pop into the Montgomery Village Ross where I rarely venture, something about the pink on pen stripe combo stopped me mid visual scan. Without even trying it on, I decided to risk the possible waste of a good $14 and go ahead and pull the purchase trigger. My risk taking paid off. By far the most comfortable dress I own, and one of the most inexpensive. My trust in the retail discount giant has been restored and how many times do you actually get to say “Do you love it? I love it, I got it at Ross.”