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3:24 p.m. - October 17, 2005
A Date! A Date! A Very Important Date!
Liz and I finally got some alone, adult time on Friday night. So we went on a…a…what do you call it when two people who are or have a potential to be romantic have dinner together???

What’s that…A DATE! Yeah, that’s it! Thanks!

Friday night we got a friend of ours who has a boy about Katie’s age to come over and watch Katie and Kristin while Liz and I went to a local steakhouse. This was the first time that we have left Kristin with someone new since she was born four months ago, but we felt it was OK. Our friend is an assistant county prosecutor, so if there were issues we would have been covered. She knows people!

So Liz and I ate our steaks, drank some wine, and came back after a couple of hours. We put our kids to bed, and then, in true parent fashion, we fell asleep on the couch watching a Criminal Intent rerun.

But hey, we fell asleep TOGETHER on the couch.

We haven’t gone out much as a couple ever since Katie was born, and some of that is my fault. (Yes, a man admitting he has a fault – alert the media). Before Katie was born, Liz had a funky work schedule, and I did a lot of work for the Indianapolis hockey team and other stuff, but we still scratched out some time now and then. Because of my schedule and what else I did, I always wanted to stay in, and when Katie was littler I always wanted to stay in with her when I could.

But now, with Liz not working, and plenty of friends and other baby sitters there should be no excuse. (I know, I’m sounding like Liz right now, but if I tell myself enough I’ll remember to do this…)

Of course, this brought me to remember when I met Liz. So let’s climb into the wayback machine, shall we Sherman?

The year was 1992 and I was living in Indianapolis and going out five nights a week to Broad Ripple to see the local bands, hang out with the alternative rockers and others who decided they didn’t want to fit in, and basically be an iconoclastic anti-conformer.

I was just a sheep in a different flock, really, but back then I thought I was ‘edgy.’ Yeah. Rock and roll, baby. Sit in your alterna-bar with the art students and the local musicians and listen to Sonic Youth and laugh at the preppies going to the Monkey’s Tail.

And I had several dates. Many relationships didn’t pan out, and I didn’t think I was meeting enough women. Of course, I felt I was timid and shy, but by the third or fourth or ninth Rolling Rock, I was no longer shimid and ty...I was loquacious, eloquent, (ok, just loquacious), and loud. Always loud.

So I decided to place a personal ad, just to see what would happen. There, I met a young lady that was divorced and had a couple of kids. Now I wasn’t thinking that I wanted to be “insta-Dad” but she sounded nice and we had a good conversation on the phone.

We went out, and had a nice time, but in talking to her more, I felt that she had too much baggage for me to have a serious relationship. I’m talking a semi hauler full of baggage. But she was a nice person, and needed some positive male in her life that was not romantic with her. So we became friends.

She went through some stuff – her ex-husband remarried and her kids went with him. But she was seemingly getting better.

After a while, the roommate I had skipped town on me, so I needed another roommate. Her lease was up in a month, so she agreed to become my roommate. She had found a job working for a financial services company, and her baggage was shrinking, so I thought. It still could fit into an airplane’s cargo hold, but it was becoming more manageable.

It was January 1993. The future roommate told me about a nice young lady who needed a date to a company function. (This company always did their huge Holiday party in January, for whatever reason). Her date could not make the party because he had to go to Bible Study (I kid you not) so she wondered if I would be willing to go with her friend. The tickets and food were all paid for. I just needed to wear a suit and act nice.

I could do that. So I agreed.

But someone upstairs had another plan for me. The week of the party, I was stricken with Chicken Pox! (Insert dramatic trumpet fanfare here…)

So, here I am, a perfectly healthy 27-year old male, laid up for a week with chicken pox. The future roomy came by mid-week to check on me, and she verified that I was spotted up and miserable. So she called her friend and told her the bad news. However, during the weekend I felt strong enough to call this friend and apologize to her.

We talked for about an hour about this, and that, and the other. It turns out that she had the chicken pox the past summer, and couldn’t go to her high school reunion in Kansas because of it. We had a nice conversation, so we decided to go out the next week, provided I was all healed up.

I had another blind date set up for that week as well, and even though I was still spotty, I decided to go. What the heck, if they like me when I’m all pasty and blotched, then they’ll like me for sure when I’m normal.

So Liz first saw me a week after I had chicken pox.

We went to a local brew pub, then went to my favorite ‘outsider’s bar, then went back to her place and talked for a while. We wound up snuggling on her futon for all hours, before I had to peel myself away to get back home.

Actually, I had a great time on both blind dates (Liz and another woman – she looked like a female version of Robert Smith of the Cure – well her face and hair did – not the rest of her – thank goodness). So I became a juggler for a while.

But over time, I felt more comfortable with Liz. We complemented and supplemented each other well. But most of all, we could talk and communicate, for the most part, about various and sundry things.

I basically spent most of 1993 at her studio apartment. Meanwhile, the roommate who was basically living alone in my apartment (and taking care of my clothes, and getting my mail) had more baggage accumulate, and she had to get out of dodge.

So she and Liz cooked up an idea. The roommate would move stuff into a storage unit, and Liz would move in to my place in November. “Make it so!” I said. And after they laughed at my lame Picard impression, they did indeed make it so.

My whole family then started with the inane questions. “So when are you gonna get married??”

One year to the day after our first blind date – I took her to the same brew pub, then to the same bar. And then I asked her to marry me. I didn’t have a ring, or anything and really I just thought of the idea of us being married about two days before we went out. (I was a bit in debt, and so was she – and she always said that she wanted to pick the ring out herself).

My whole family then started with the inane questions. “So when are you going to set the date??”

We set the date for December 24, 1994, because I could get the Wabash College chapel for our wedding, and it just made sense to us. And I’d never, ever forget our wedding date.

My whole family then started with the inane questions. “So when are you gonna get a ring?”

Well, dangnabbit, we finally got a ring. And we got married on Christmas Eve.

My whole family then started with the inane questions. “So when are you gonna have kids.”

Oh, I could write more statements over these past 10 ¾ years, and the inane questions would always follow. Family, stifle thyselves!
Liz and I, when we were childless, both had pretty inane and hectic schedules, and we went out as a couple when we could. Frankly, we both were pretty tired so we just zoned out together when we were together. Now, with kids, we’re falling into that same trap but we need to break out of it. Thank goodness Kristin is mellow enough at four months that we can escape for a while.

So our goal is a monthly date – at least – with a planned getaway in February and one during the summer. It should be good for our souls.

Besides, I think I may get lucky after some of these dates! Who-hoo! Next time, though, I won’t turn on the TV.

 

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