anatomy of a date night
— Hey, there’s a great local band I just discovered. They’re playing next week. Want to go?
— Ugh…I don’t know. When’s the show? Is it on a weeknight?
— Friday. We can make a date night out of it.
— Ok, let’s think about it. Can your sister babysit?
— No, she’s traveling.
— What about…?
— No, she’s out of town too. It’s a holiday weekend. Do we know anyone else who can watch him?
— The babysitter is calling to confirm what time she should come over tonight. Do you still want to go?
— Ugh…I don’t know. I’ve been feeling a little sick, it might go late…Oh, hell, let’s do it.
— Wait, I just called the venue and they say the band won’t come on until 11:30. That might be too late. Maybe we shouldn’t go after all. Can you call the babysitter and cancel?
— No, I feel bad. She specifically called to confirm, and she would have made other plans if we hadn’t booked her.
— Ok, we’ll go.
— What should I wear? Does this look cool? I don’t know what cool looks like anymore. Will I be overdressed? Can I even wear this to a club?
— You look fine. I don’t know what cool looks like anymore either, but at least it doesn’t have any baby goo on it.
Dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant, reminiscing about all the great Ethiopian food we had in Nairobi — lots of childless friends gathered around a large table family-style, drinking beer, laughing, cracking jokes and making travel plans. That was only a couple of years ago. Date night conversation, on the other hand, is mostly baby-focused, but also touches on our travel plans…
— So…do you think we can drive to that park tomorrow morning? They have a great exhibit for kids. But I want us to be out the door by 9:30 so that we can make it back for his nap time.
— That doesn’t sound realistic. We’ll be out past midnight. Tomorrow is Saturday and I’ll want to sleep in.
— We’ll be up early anyway. He’ll probably get up around 7.
At the club — the Black Cat, one of DC’s iconic venues. Doors are at 9:30. We arrive a few minutes before 10. A DJ is spinning old-school rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues in the mostly empty back room. D catches sight of the lead singer and asks her what time the band will go on. We sit down, nursing our one beer for the night…
— Where is everyone? It’s so late already. You’re sure she said 10:30? I don’t know if I can make it to 11:30 just listening to a DJ.
— Is that a yawn I caught?
— No (yawning again).
As the set comes to a close, the lead singer thanks the crowd, “You’ve been a great audience. We’re so happy to kick this party off. We have two great selectors who’ll be spinning classic soul and reggae late into the night…” We grab our jackets and head for the door.
— That was awesome, and we might even make it home before midnight.
— Our second date night this month!
— Wait…when was the first?
— That birthday party.
— I’m not sure that counts.
— I think it might have to.