I have a date tonight.
I have an appointment to get my hair trimmed and looking nice late this morning. I am still agonizing over WHAT to wear. I will spend approximately 90 minutes getting ready and will, undoubtedly, be unsatisfied with the results. But, I have the confidence knowing that my date will love me and think me pretty, anyway.
I've been dating this guy for 24 years. One special "date" over 20 years ago made him more than "this guy," but we still date. I used to get all nervous and butterflies in my stomach before he'd pick me up. I don't get butterflies anymore…but I do get a very happy feeling knowing that we are going to get a few hours together…just the two of us.
Tonight's date is a special one. It's our annual date to our favorite restaurant. It's got romantic atmosphere, great food and wonderful service. It's also a bit pricey, which is why it's an annual date. Tonight, we will also do something extremely rare for us….go to a movie. Kinda excited about that. After the movie, we will probably find a great place for coffee and dessert (hoping to go to my favorite dessert place, if any money is left after dinner and the movie).
Let me clarify the word "annual." We go to this restaurant annually. By no means do we go on just one date a year. On the other hand, we do not have a weekly "date-night." Our lives are a bit crazy with farming, kids, homeschool, ministries, etc. However, we know when we need a date. And, I do mean need. In our busy-ness, we often need to just sit down, look at each other, and let each other know that we're still here, still supporting one another, still loving whole-heartedly. Maybe it's a late-night run to a local fast-food place for a milkshake. Maybe it's a couple of hours to sit and talk at one of our favorite coffee spots. Maybe it's dinner and some shopping. We may do several little dates in a few weeks time. But, we usually end up having a "real" date, like tonight's, about every 4-6 weeks.
Our kids, no matter how old, are still not crazy to see us leave. Sometimes, I make them something special or order out for them. Other times, they fix their own dinner. A couple of our kids pout. Oh, they do a good job of laying on the "guilt" but it never works. We go.
We talk. We sometimes just stay quiet. We hold hands. We laugh. We discuss the future of our children and our own future as a couple. We reminisce. We just enjoy each other. We spend a few hours removed from the hustle and bustle and hurry and stress of daily life. We refocus on us, on our marriage, on this gift from God - on this "for better, for worse…in sickness, in health…for richer, for poorer…for as long as we both shall live." We come home feeling connected once again. Refreshed. Ready to face reality again having re-confirmed that we are together in this thing called life.
I am so excited. I have a date tonight!