Date Night at the Mall

I don’t think my husband and I have been out by ourselves since The Party back in December.  We foolishly squandered the chance to go out last weekend when the free babysitters my parents were here.  We just weren’t in the mood to go out.

I KNOW!  When am I not in the mood to go out?  It must have been a full moon or something.

Any-WHO.

Yesterday we were sitting around talking about possibly making a deal with the devil replacing our PC with a Mac, and I said suddenly, “Let’s get a babysitter and go out to dinner tonight and then to the Apple store!”

And Hubs was all, “Sure!  Let’s do it!”

I can’t believe it’s taken me 13 years of marriage to figure out how to get this man to go willingly to the mall.  All I needed to do was mention the Apple store, and he’s there.  I can’t believe I never thought of that before!

I wasted no time getting on the phone, but as you can imagine, securing a babysitter on a Saturday at the last minute was no small feat.  After leaving a few messages and getting a few nos, we resigned ourselves to another evening at home.

But then who called at 4:55pm but my favorite babysitter, and who happened to be FREE on a Saturday night!!??

I was so excited.

We make plans for her to arrive at 6:00, and then I ran upstairs to make myself presentable.

In the car on the way to the mall, I reveled in the wonder of silence.  With three kids and the constant stream of neighbor kids in and out of the house, I don’t hear silence very often.  In fact, I’ve almost forgotten what silence IS.

At one point, I scared my husband half to death when I said suddenly, “Hear that!?  Listen!”  Poor guy, he thought something was wrong with the car, but I was just referring to the glorious SILENCE.

At the Apple store, we compared the different models of laptops and desktops.  I’ve been drooling over Nap Warden’s latest purchase, and I would like a laptop SO BADLY, and the MacBook is SO SWEET, but I just could NOT believe the difference in price between that and the iMac.  And the screen on the iMac, oh my WORD.  I mean, I have a nice computer monitor, but THAT… be still my heart.

So we’re leaning towards the iMac.

After we had our fill of the wonders of technology available for our perusal at the Apple store, we meandered on down the mall corridors in search of sustenance.  We put in our names at what turned out to be a mediocre Italian restaurant, but who really cares about the quality of the food when you’re out without your kids?

We wandered the mall for a while until our table was ready, during which time I managed to drag my husband into the Kate Spade store, where I fell in love with this fab brown leather bag — ON SALE for a mere $356.

After fondling the luxurious leather and walking around the store with my newfound friend on my shoulder for a few minutes and looking at it in the mirror from every angle, I reluctantly placed it back on the shelf and said a tearful good-bye.

After that, I wandered through the Loft, where I looked at the dresses I posted the other day.  The green sheath looked particularly promising, but there wasn’t time to try them on, and my husband’s patience for women’s clothing stores was about at its limit.

So we wandered back to the restaurant just in time to be seated.  Right next to a wailing infant, of course.  Because it would be too much to hope that a date night without the kids could actually exclude kids.

Sure, it wasn’t MY crying kid, but still, the sounds of that newborn wail made my mother’s heart ache, and I swear I felt my milk let down, although I haven’t had milk to let down in well over a year.

Despite the pitiful cries of the baby, we enjoyed our dinner and talked nonstop WITHOUT INTERRUPTION, which is a luxury I didn’t even know existed anymore.  We definitely need to get out more often.

What about you?  Do you have regular date nights?

I know all the marriage experts recommend making date nights a priority, but with the rising costs of childcare (What are y’all paying for babysitters these days?  The going rate around here is about $10/hour.  And I thought I was doing well to get $5/hour when I was in college.  That’s some major inflation, people.) and the fact that at the end of the week we usually feel like just vegging in front of the TV, we don’t go out very often.

But perhaps we will start to change our ways.

So now I’m off to church, where I must put aside all thoughts of designer handbags and iMacs and focus on the truly important things in life.  Those things are fun, but they will all pass away, go out of style, and become obsolete.  And the truth is, they offer nothing in light of the hope that can be found in Christ Jesus.  Perspective — it’s key.