Last Friday night my lovely wife, a/k/a “She Who Must be Obeyed”, and I were able to get a late sitter. We put the Weapons of Mass Destruction to bed, welcomed the sitter, tiptoed out of the house, and headed for a 2120 viewing of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”.
The local shopping area/lifestyle center/place to hang out was lousy with cars. We had to park in the farthest reaches of the North Forty, wedged between a prom night limo and a car living up to its bumper sticker “if the car be rocking, then don’t come knocking!”
We get to the theater 25 minutes prior to tee time, only to discover the show is sold out…and the next movie we had any interest in did not start for another 75 minutes and was an hour longer than “Smith”, putting us far beyond the time we told the sitter we would be back.
So, we had some Ben and Jerry ice cream to salve our wounds, and drove home wondering why there were so many cars.
THEN IT HIT US…because we were once not married. We remembered the improvisational nature of Friday night social life.
Saturday night was for parties and prearranged trips. Friday was that mad dash from work to happy hour, eagerly awaiting the first icy cold spray of beer to hit your throat, grabbing for that first greasy nacho, imagining that the cute guy/girl/whomever was looking at you. It was a spur of the moment dinner at that new ethinc joint around the corner, and-assuming that some exotic food did not send you to the john or the emergency room- sitting on the patio watching the sun go down, the moon come up, and all around the air was ripe with possibilities illicit, mysterious, often dangerous, sometimes illegal, but always exciting. You always moved fast on Fridays, because if you didn’t get there early, you were in for a long wait…and that all came back to me on the way home that night.
Now, happily married for eight years and together for two before that, Friday night means something else. Soccer practice, trips to the mall to get a gift before the saturday birthday party, and resting up from a long work week. Illicit, mysterious, and dangerous are words reserved for colorful jokes and questionable links emailed to me by folks I sometimes actually know.
But exciting…all it takes is that special glimmer in my sweeties eye, and I know that Fridays are still exciting!
Yep, Fridays are different now. We know that if we want a weekend date, we either leave early on friday- w/ or w/o the kids, or wait for Saturday and a sitter. But normally, it’s me and She and the WMD, and oh how noisy it can be! And as I sit among the clutter and the sturm and drang of a house awash with little guy testoterone…and the sanctioned mayhem of Star Wars light sabre’s knocking over lamps…I smile and think how lucky I am that as a result of friday night food poisoning I ended up in the middle of this madhouse that is my life.
Funny how those little moments remind you of how things used to be, and of how much better you have it now.