I planned a date night.
This may not seem like a big deal to some, but for me it is. For me it is saying, I really care about spending time together, I know Steve will enjoy this, I know I will enjoy this. Even though there are 1,001 reasons to not make it happen and then feel disappointed, I am going to TRY.
When I saw that Second City was returning to JMU, I wanted to go again with Steve. We attended a show a few years ago with No Strings Attached, and it was fun. I participated in a Second City workshop in Chicago while chaperoning a school trip for my son and learned a lot.
I desired to do this together.
Several weeks ago, I checked out the tickets and pricing. Seats were going fast. There were a few left scattered here and there, mostly in the balcony. Asking Steve what he thought about going, and not hearing clear Let’s do it! in his voice, I let it go.
Several weeks ago there was also great letdown as a failed communication between us resulted in an anticipated longing falling by the wayside, unmet. I struggled through deep disappointment and wrestled with how to let go of past hurts while communicating present ones honestly.
It was difficult to admit to myself and my husband that I stuff pain and quickly say, It’s okay, or It’s no big deal, when it’s not and it is. I had to acknowledge my hurt, disappointment, and true feelings without accusing, blaming, and attacking. It was a difficult time. We are still learning to communicate honestly and to hear one another in a safe space.
Steve can’t read my mind.
I minimize desire. I long for more together time but don’t take action. I wish for connection but grow busy with distraction.
It was time to make something happen.
Last night, out of curiosity, I logged onto the theater website to see what, if any, seats were left.
The seat map showed two yellow squares at the edge of a sea of x‘s. And by sea, I mean every other seat was marked taken.
Two seats at the end of a row! A countdown timer at the top of the laptop screen ticked away the minutes I had to make a decision while Steve was out walking Dewey. Two seats. At the end of a row! (Can you tell that part in itself was HUGE for me?) The last two seats. My favorite spot in any row.
I took them.
Almost immediately, contempt and sabotage began to creep in.
What did you just do? That was stupid. You don’t even know if you can get a babysitter at this late notice. Steve didn’t act as if he wanted to go when you mentioned it before. You just spent money on something that you don’t know will work out.
And on and on.
I began my usual pattern of faux-not-caring. He can always take a friend if we don’t get a sitter. I can be here with the kids. It doesn’t matter if I go or not.
I told Steve when he returned and was met with a positive response. He helped me begin looking for a sitter, which in the end I secured.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!
So tonight is a real date night, not that popcorn and Parenthood at 9:30pm doesn’t count. It’s the fighting forward for fun together that doesn’t just magically happen because I wish it would. It’s being in the moment in our marriage, knowing that it is worth it.