About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Self-sufficiency: the tired, overburdened parent's aphrodisiac
My mother offered to babysit the two hellions last night so Chuck and I could have a date night. According to her, Chuck and I should meet out at a restaurant, sit at a table and chew our food, drink some wine, throw back some dessert, hold hands, profess our love, possibly make out in a parked car, etc., etc.
It sounded good in theory but true to our nature, by 5 p.m. both of us were exhausted from working all day and in no shape to go anywhere. All we wanted was our pajamas and to sit on our couch, yet when I explained that to my mother on the phone, she wouldn't take no for an answer. She insisted we spend some adult time together.
Poor sweet, crazy woman. She's always trying to get us to do something exciting...and we're always laming it up. Like the time she babysat and we got drunk in LensCrafters. Or the time she babysat and we went on a Woolite and Hellboy outing.
She had an idea.
"Come home and pretend we're not here."
"No really. Pick up a pizza for yourself, and when you get home you'll see what I mean."
At 6:30 p.m. Chuck and I walked through the door, pizza box in hand, and found ourselves in an empty living room (empty of people, I mean, not of all the shit that comes with having two kids—wouldn't that be nice). Our pajamas were laid out on the couch. Alongside them was a note: "Don't be pains in the asses. DON'T come upstairs until you're ready to go to bed."
My thoughtful mother had barricaded herself upstairs with the rugrats so Chuck and I could have a couch date. Sweet cushions of love!
"So what do you want to do on our date?" I asked Chuck. I waited for his typical response—"I don't care"—but was surprised to find he was brimming with ideas.
"First I want to eat this pizza in front of the TV and watch whatever I want to watch. I don't want anyone to ask me what I'm watching. I don't want to talk while I'm trying to chew. I want to eat another piece without getting you one. And I'm sorry, but I don't care if you're thirsty."
He sat down and crammed a slice of pizza in his mouth.
"Chuck! I want the same thing. I don't care if you're thirsty or hungry either."
"No. That's your problem."
"You'll get your own juice?"
"Oh, God yes!" He shoved more pizza in his mouth and started channel-surfing. Somewhere in there he beamed lovingly at me (I think).
Let this be a lesson to you: If you're looking for love, don't underestimate the power of offering to take care of yourself.
Or, subsequently, the excellent birth control that is a nosy mother and two children standing at the top of the stairs.