Hi everybody! I'm back from camping! I spent five days in our camper trailer, doing nothing but knitting and reading and eating toasted marshmallows! I knit the cutest little gloves for my daughter Katie from a pattern from a 1950s pattern book. I'll have to post pictures soon! And I finished a cute little tank top.
Anyway, sorry I haven't posted, but here's my column for this week, late as it is! I'll write a bunch of posts tomorrow to make up for it, and schedule them for later this week to unfold while I'm off doing a little more vacationing before myr eal life starts again!
Every Friday my syndicated column appears in a bunch of newspapers in southeastern Ontario. Here's this week's!
If you tried to rent the movie Date Night recently, chances are you were disappointed. It flies off the shelves because it resonates. A couple’s in a rut. Is packing lunches, loading laundry, heading to work, and cooking dinner enough to make a life great? Or do we have to prove our love by hiring a baby-sitter and heading out on our “date night” once a week?Don't miss a Reality Check! Sign up to receive it FREE in your inbox every week! Subscribe to To Love, Honor and Vacuum
Many couples choose date night. Hence my oldest daughter was recruited to baby-sit for my friend—let’s call him Sebastien—and his wife, as they left their three little ones to embark on a fun-filled evening. I know it got off to a good start because Sebastien obeyed date night rule number one. He announced on Facebook, an hour into his date night, that he was now turning off his Blackberry so he could spend time with just his wife. There’s dedication for you.
Date night rule number two is that you must eat dinner out, because eating at a restaurant proves love or something. However, restaurant encounters can be tricky. When you’re busy your entire life, it’s hard to just sit there. You have time without the kids. Why not hurry so we can get some stuff actually done? But you don’t, because that’s not romantic. You must sit at Swiss Chalet and look deeply into each others’ eyes and talk about something other than children’s bowel habits. It’s tough.
Nevertheless, Sebastien and his wife apparently lived through the prolonged dinner and headed to the movie theatre, only to discover that Inception, their movie of choice, didn’t start until 10:00. But date night rule number three is that you must always seem delighted about everything, even if you have two hours to kill in a theatre lobby filled with 14-year-olds playing arcade games. Whatever you do, don’t think how much better it would be if you were home, with the kids all tucked in bed, watching a video.
Time crawled by and finally the movie began for our intrepid heroes. But after a week of work and kids and mowing the lawn Sebastien was tired. And thus he broke rule number four: he fell asleep. When he awoke and tried to watch the movie, he couldn’t follow it at all. But did he ask his wife? Did he pay closer attention? No. He decided if he was this far gone, he may as well break rules 5-17 all at once. He whipped out his Blackberry, and updated his status on Facebook to announce to the world that he had fallen asleep. In a movie. On his date night. And then over the next hour he replied to all of his comments.
After it was all over, Sebastien paid my daughter enough to feed a Third World village for a week and drove her home. I have no idea what happened after that, but given that it was already 1:00 in the morning and they were rather tired, I’ll bet they turned in.
Here’s my question: is that really so bad? After all, in Inception, our hero desperately tries to escape a dream world to come back to his real one—a world lacking adventure, but full of family. Since Sebastian never understood what was going on, allow me to enlighten him. At the end of the movie, when our hero is home with his kids, he spins a top. If the top falls over, it’s the real world. If it doesn’t, it’s a dream. But the movie ends without telling us what happened, just so that couples on date nights would have something to debate on the way home.
Personally, I wanted it to be his real life. Adventure can be awfully overrated. Love, even if it’s everyday, predictable, and routine, is priceless. Even if sometimes we sleep through it.
Labels: columns, dating, marriage