Back before we had kids, Wes and I failed to realize that EVERY night was date night.
Now that our movie selections, on the rare occasions that we go to one (because four tickets at the movie theater are crazy expensive, y’all, even without the popcorn and drinks, which two certain children always NEED to have), are limited to rated-G features, most of which are animated, we can really appreciate a true date night. And now that our evening dining out must be to restaurants that boast a children’s menu and have to include ketchup in which to dip EVERYTHING (ugh), we look forward to nights out by ourselves. And now that we hardly ever get date nights at all, we rejoice when they’re offered to us on a silver platter.
And REJOICE we did, when just such an opportunity was handed to us last week.
Wes got a text last week right before Wednesday night service from our worship minister, regarding two tickets he had to Wicked (!!!) but couldn’t use. He asked if we could use them, and when we told him that we sure could but there’s no way we could afford it with Disney on the horizon, that amazing, phenomenal, blessing of a man (did I do you justice, Derrick, because I mean it!) said they were his gift to us. So, we jumped on those tickets like no one’s business.
I was so determined to get to this musical that I had halfway rationalized that it would be okay to kennel my children with Charlie’s vet or Petsmart either one (I kid, but Emmy would have LOVED to have gone to doggy daycare, y’all) when we remembered a very sweet couple from our church who had offered again and again to watch our girls if we ever needed a date night. I called them, and sure enough, they were available. And because they’re grandparents with a toy room? Our girls were ALL about that.
And WE were ALL about that. We fed those children, dropped them off, and ran for the hills, y’all. I kid. We DROVE for the hills, y’all.
We opted not to do dinner (because Mickey gets all our entertainment budget this month) but instead spent the extra time before the show checking out the entertainment district in downtown Houston. I believe it’s changed a little since I was in college (over a decade ago, but who’s counting?), but I was still able to tell Wes with perfect clarity how I remember going to the Alley Theater as a freshman theater major (seriously, my parents were thrilled with that choice) to watch Death of a Salesman. And I wept, like a baby, through that entire show. I had read it for class beforehand, but seeing it? Heartbreaking, even to my eighteen year old self, who probably had no clue of all the deep themes and sad issues in that play. (Still don’t probably.) So good. So, so good.
And that? Was probably one of the last real theater performances I’d seen. (There were a few more that first year of college, but then… yep, that was it.) I’m not sure why I stopped taking the opportunity to do things like this.
Oh, yeah. Back in 2006, I had a baby. And then, before my body had a chance to take a breath, I found myself pregnant again! (Good times for the fertile Faulks, y’all.)
In light of our tragic lack of culture, Wes declared that we were both overdue for an event that didn’t include wearing sports jerseys and booing at refs. And we were. (Although we enjoy yelling at refs, which is a kid-friendly activity. Go, Rockets!) Neither of us knew much of anything about Wicked going into it, and we stayed away from the internet, not wanting to ruin any surprises. Boy, are we glad we did that, because it was one surprise after another! The ladies next to us had practically the whole thing memorized and were delighted every time I gasped and grabbed Wes’s knee. (Wes was plenty delighted by that as well, I’m sure.) He did proclaim halfway through that this was a “girl show,” because of all the talk of feelings and emotions. I told him that I was pretty sure that was just “musical theater.” But whatever. I liked it! So, so much!
We didn’t rush off at the end of the night, still so happy to be out together ALONE, without children tugging on us, both of us dressed up for the first time in so long, so thankful that even nine years into us we’re still thrilled enough just by one another’s company that doing anything together is a real treat.
We’re so thankful for time spent together. And so thankful for generous friends who let God use them to bless us at just the right time.
Hooray for date nights!