Date Night ~ Married With Children Style

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(or….It’s The Thought That Counts…)



It had been weeks since my husband and I had been able to go out together (alone) on a weekend night.  A few weeks ago, there had been Prom, which kept us busy all weekend.  Two kids had attended.  Luke was home from college.  Neither of us mind putting our romantic life on hold to spend time with the kids and watch them as they enjoy these rites of passage in their lives.  It was a fun, but busy time.  The house was FULL of kids in and out at all hours.  There was plenty of laughter, lots of running around, and very little sleep. 

Last weekend, we were busy yet again.  It was Easter weekend.  Luke was home again, which always means not only is he here, but so is his girlfriend!  That’s OK, though.  She’s a nice girl.  Also, when younger son is home, the other kids and their friends, are here, too.  It’s feast or famine around here.  We are either home by ourselves with little Lola, or the house is full of people.  Both husband and I were definitely ready for a little household famine. 

To add to our Easter mix, we took my mother with us out for brunch.  There were ten of us at the table that day, and  T’s eyebrows shot up upon seeing the bill.  I reminded him that it was worth every penny not to have to cook for everyone! 

After brunch, our day was scheduled down to the minute.  My mother wanted to go to her house, which we are readying for sale.  She wanted to look through a few of her things.  She is adjusting well to her assisted living facility, but not so well to letting go of the contents of the house.  I had spent most of the previous day cleaning the house in preparation of my mother’s visit.  For some reason, lady bugs have invaded the vacant house.  I spent hours vacuuming up their carcasses.  I knew if my mom had seen them lying around, it would have horrified her…and somehow I would have been to blame.  🙂 

The day proved to be too much for my mom.  By the time we got her out to the house, she was sick.  As she was in the bathroom vomiting, T and I looked at each other in horror.  Here we were, with a half hour drive to get her back to her apartment, and now she was sick.  We let her rest for a while, and she revived a bit.  As painful as the experience was for all of us, it was probably needed.  She realized that she is NOT able to assist in going through the contents of the house.  She has been gone for a year now, and she has managed quite well to live without anything left behind.  She was able to see the stacks of boxes of things that we are keeping and things that will be sold.  She feels relieved that we are going through everything with care.  As difficult as the day had been, it was necessary.  We are all ready now to move forward with the sale. 

With the responsibilities of life draining both of us, T and I decided early this past week to carve out a date night for the upcoming weekend.  We asked Emily if she would please plan on babysitting on Saturday night.  She doesn’t mind doing this as long as we don’t ask her last-minute once she already has made plans.  She’s a great kid.  🙂  She and her friend Austin made plans to bake cupcakes with Lola while we were gone.  Everything was falling into place.

We woke up yesterday morning happy and anticipating a night out.  T told me several times during the day how much he was looking forward to our night out.  Sweet!  We spent the day puttering around and cleaning.  It was quiet around the house.  Andrew was at work.  Emily had taken Lola to the zoo.  We cranked up OUR music and did our various chores.  Even thought we were both working around the house, it was relaxing and enjoyable.  We were relaxed.  We were sipping on beers.  We were getting stuff done. 

Around 5:00, we called it a day and got ready for our “date.”  I was soaking in the tub when T came in the bathroom.  “Uh…are you going to wear a skirt?”  I didn’t really understand why he would want me to get so dressed up.  I have to get dressed up everyday for work!  I was planning on wearing jeans.  I’m dense, OK?  When I asked him why, he just smiled.  Oh…  Well, I didn’t wear a skirt.  It was too cold, and I don’t think a skirt and tights was what he had in mind.  I did promise him, however, that as soon as the weather warmed up, I would wear nothing but skirts. 

Moon River Supper Club

T and I have fallen in love with this little place along the river.   Sure, there are classier places to go in the city, but none of them can beat the food at Moon River.  It is truly fabulous.  The ambiance is second to none, and I mean NONE.  It’s like a 1960’s supper club gone horribly wrong!  That is one reason we love it so much.  The hostess is about 75 years old.  Last night, she  was dressed in a gold lame jumpsuit.  I am not kidding!  She is the friendliest old gal, but her voice sounds like 50 years of rough life.  It’s a combination of nails on a chalkboard and a sabre saw.  I’m fascinated by it, and I smile each time I hear her talking to someone, which is all night long.  To make things even better, there is a woman named Darlene who plays a grand piano in the middle of the room.  She is a fantastic jazz pianist.  Unfortunately, she also sings.  🙂  Darlene is also well into her 70’s.  Last night she was shining in a sequin dress.  Ah…it was beautiful.  T and sat for a while and imagined a list of movies in which the Moon River Supper Club should appear.  We had a lovely dinner.  Delicious.  When we finished, we took a stroll down to look at the river.  The water is still very high, and it intrigued us both. 

The Casino

I love to gamble.  Those of you who read my previous blog will not be surprised by that!  🙂  T is not much of a gambler, but he does enjoy watching me play slots.  I’m not sure why, but that’s OK with me, so off we drove to the casino.  Yes, we have a Vegas-style casino plunked down right in the middle of farm country.  It’s pathetic.  It looks like a Vegas casino from the outside, but when you enter, you immediately know that this isn’t Vegas, baby.  What you’ll see is a sea of retired farmers.  John Deere hats abound.  Almost everyone in attendance is elderly.  Yes, there are even showgirls wandering around in their skimpy outfits and huge feathered hats.  The poor girls look self-conscious and embarrassed.  Sweet girls right off the farm all dressed up on costumes.  The whole casino is a bit Twilight Zone-esque.  I promptly lost $40 (although I was once up $60) and we decided to leave. 

T reminded me several times that I should have quit while I was ahead.  Yeah….should have.  I never know when to quit.

North Shore Inn

We left the casino and discovered that it had rained in though  the sunroof.  We had no choice but to plop down on the wet seats.  We weren’t ready to go home yet, so we decided to go to another hole in the wall that we like, The North Shore Inn.  I guess we were river hopping last night!  We had been on the Mississippi, and now we were headed for the Rock River.  The North Shore Inn is a cute little place in an unincorporated area of the city.  It’s a local hangout, but T and I were not one of the locals. 

Our butts were soaking wet by the time we got there.  We both looked lke we had wet ourselves.  That made us laugh.  We went in and sat down at the bar with the locals.  As soon as we were seated, a couple came over and asked us if we wanted some mushrooms.  uh…..  Well, we said no thank you.  When they headed out the door,  everyone told us that we had made a wise decision not to take their mushrooms.  Why??  We were still wondering what kind of mushrooms we had been offered.  They were morel mushrooms, but everyone said this couple was charging too much for them.  Oh!  We enjoyed talking with everyone about the best places to mushroom hunt, and before you know it, a guy was offering us some of his homemade beef jerky.  We declined that, too. 

It was a funny night of people watching.  T and I were enjoying ourselves.  While this may not have been the night we had planned, it was turning out to be a lot of fun.  That’s when the texts began.  Emily wondered when we were heading home.  Andrew let us know that he was home from work.  Then again, “When are you guys going to be home?”  And again…  I sent Andrew a text telling him that we will be heading home soon, and he replied, “That’s the third time you have said that.  LOL”  I guess Mom and Dad were missed at home.


We drove home holding hands and talking.  We had had a nice time together.  We were happy and not really ready for the night to be over.  We were going to head right upstairs to bed once we got home.  🙂 

Ah….there’s the rub.  Our home.  Our home is not conducive to a lovely ending to a lovely night.  “Hey!  Mom and Dad are home!”  Coming home to the kids is worse than coming home many years ago as a teenager to my parents.  “C’mon, Mom and Dad.  It’s still early.  Let’s make some popcorn and watch something together.”  Oh boy.  How can you deny your kids when they are genuinely happy to see you home? 

We didn’t head upstairs to bed.  We looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and joined the kids in the living room for some family time. 

Maybe next weekend…