When it comes to presents, I’m not the type of girl who asks for jewelry or clothes or gift certificates to the spa. I tend to be more practical-minded (after all, if you’re going to spend money, it might as well be on something you need!), so it will come as no surprise to my friends and family to know that, for Christmas, I asked Brett for a blender.
My wonderful husband, who did buy me a blender by the way, slipped an envelope into the box. An envelope filled with four pair of tickets to Bass Performance Hall productions! I was beside myself in shock and glee. I love going to the theater, to the symphony, to museums and such. But with a family of five (and a husband who loves sports), our family outings are usually at the Rangers ballpark, McDonalds, or the $1.50 hot dog combo at Costco.
“This year, honey, we’re going to have four real dates,” Brett said, as I teared up holding the tickets. “Four times you can get dressed up and go out with other grown-ups. I’ve already talked to your mom, and she’s agreed to watch the kids. So mark your calendar, babe. We have four dates this year!”
Now, for those of you who are reading this and are (1) still single, (2) newly married, or (3) independently wealthy, you may be thinking, Four dates in a year? That’s it?! What’s the big deal?
The big deal, my friends, is this:
Tonight, I will put on something other than jeans and a T-shirt. I might even—gasp!—iron something (if I can remember how to iron). I will not only shower, but also style my hair—and actually put on makeup. I may even hunt around and see if I can find a pair of earrings and a necklace buried somewhere under the kids’ Tylenol and spray-on detangler.
Then, I will get into the car with my husband, and the only seat belt I’ll fasten will be my own. I will listen to anything on the radio I want to. And not once will I have to answer “How much longer?” or referee “She’s not letting me play her Leapster!” or contort my body to flail my right arm back to pick up a toy that fell on the floor.
Brett and I will go out to dinner somewhere that doesn’t have a play land or French fries, and we’ll talk to each other in complete sentences that do not include the words “potty,” “sit still,” or “starving children in Africa.” I won’t be so busy cutting up meat and buttering rolls that my own food is cold before I get to it. In fact, I might actually be able to eat my entire meal, from start to finish, without interruption.
And before we leave, I’ll probably go to the bathroom. All. By. Myself. (Insert the “Hallelujah chorus” here.)
Then we’ll drive over to Bass Hall, and we can park wherever we want to. In the back row, if we please, because I’ll only have my purse to carry, instead of the ten-pound diaper bag stuffed with snacks, toys, books, crayons, miscellaneous Happy Meal toys, and an assortment of unidentified objects. (Who knows, I may throw caution to the wind and leave my purse in the car. Just imagine the freedom of not having to carry anything!) Brett and I will hold hands and stroll through the parking lot with ease, instead of looking like a couple of border collies herding a pack of wandering children.
We’ll walk inside the theater and stroll leisurely to our seats. I’ll actually be able to peruse the playbill, instead of instructing anyone (in that “you better listen up or else” loud whisper) to sit down, quit playing with their folding seat, and for heaven’s sake look forward and quit staring at that man behind you!
Brett and I will watch the entire play, and not once will I have to dive into my bag to pass out fruit snacks or M&Ms. I won’t have to answer a zillion questions about “How much longer?” or “What’s that lady doing?” or “Mom, can I go to the potty?”
Instead of extending my “Mom arm” (you moms know what I mean: you stretch your arm along the seat behind your kids, ostensibly as a sign of love, but it’s really so that you’re in closer reach to gently but firmly thwack the back of their heads when they get unruly), I just might lean over and put my head on Brett’s shoulder.
And watch the entire play. In peace. Ahhh.
And after the play . . . well, never mind. You get the picture.
So thank you, honey, for the tickets! I’m so excited about tonight. I just need to dig through the laundry pile and see if I can find something clean to wear . . .