We've been talking about doing it for months now, but Heidi and I finally secured child care (in the ever fabulous Jeff and Caryle) and had an official date - something that we haven't done in a very long time and was sorely overdue. We were originally going to go to a movie - Hot Fuzz was the film of choice, but as the week wore on and we got closer to Saturday night, we decided to do away with that as who wants to spend 2 hours together in a dark theater not talking? It kind of seemed to defeat the whole purpose of going out together.
Instead, we went out to Dublin Bay which is one of our favorite restaurants in Ames. I drank two glasses of wine which rendered me unfit to drive (total lightweight, I know) and had a great 10 oz. sirloin. Heidi had their pub pie, which is kind of like a pot pie, only its potatoes, not bread, that make up the crust. It was great, just sitting there, talking to each other, being silly, looking at other people around us, wondering if you had to be blond to sit at the table with no less than 20 sorority sisters around it. The food was great, the drink even better and the company the best of all.
After that, we headed to Cafe Diem for a nice cup of coffee. Only trouble was, once we got there, we realized there was live music tonight. The music didn't seem bad - a bit bland, but good enough to drink coffee to, but there were so many people there we couldn't even get to the counter to order coffee. We decided that this must be a sign that we were supposed to go to Boheme Bistro - a bar off of campus that we discovered quite by accident one night. It has the best atmosphere and the drink is good as well. Imagine our shock and horror as we drove past it and there were no lights on in the place and it looked completely deserted! It appeared to have closed for good, which was weird because Heidi and her friend Brooke had just been there but a month ago and it appeared to be thriving. Every time we'd been there, it had been doing good (although not great) business. It is also the only place in Ames where I can listen to Fiona Apple. I have tried listening to her at home, but it just is not the same as listening to Fiona Apple at Boheme Bistro.
Dejected and defeated, we headed toward Somerset which is a new development area in north Ames. We ended up at The Cafe - a very swanky (by Ames standards) restaurant which also had a little coffee place as well. We enjoyed coffee and dessert there, and talked about how even though it was a nice area and had a lot of nice businesses, it was still just so sterile that it didn't seem right. The lack of trees was a big turn off for me, but I suppose I must cut them some slack as it's only been developed in the last couple of years, and well, trees don't grow overnight.
After drinking the coffee and eating the dessert, it was pushing 9:30 which is pretty late for us oldsters not used to going out without a 5 year old! But we decided to live on the edge and make a quick run to Borders. On the way there, we made one last drive by the apparently defunct Boheme. I had made a comment idly that perhaps it was their vampire night The first time we went there, I thought it would be one of the most likely places to be a gathering place for vampires that I could think of! (and that's a compliment!) Imagine our surprise and elation to see the neon lights on and Boheme open for business! YAY!! By that point, we couldn't eat or drink another thing, but it was good to see that we could still go there sometime if we wanted to.
The highlight of the Borders trip was definitely walking in and immediately spying Rue McClanahan's autobigraphy My First Five Husbands... which cracked me up and, of course, I had to pick it up and look at it. Certainly not a buyer (and certainly not at $24.95) but it looked entertaining.
The thing I love about being married and going on a date is that you can have all the fun and rush of a date without all the performance art. There is something to be said for the comfortable and familiar - too often it gets associated with boring and mundane. Heidi and I have been married for 10 years this year, and I swear we're still discovering things about each other - but there's also the whole idea that she knows what kind of wine I like and knows I'm the original absent-minded professor and I know she's going to eat the chocolate even when she says she's full because chocolate is (supposedly) not about hunger. I don't have to put on a show with this person and I know that she's going to go home with me at the end of the night.
Ultimately, it's about reconnecting - which is something that you really need to do when you've been together as long as we have been. It's so easy to get lost in your own world - it's especially easy when I'm stressed out from work and she's busy writing and we feel mostly like ships passing in the night, joining forces only to get through a difficult parenting moment or to hash out who's going to do what around the house.
I love you honey - I had a great time and we need to do it again very soon.