The other night my husband and I got dressed up for a spectacular and well-overdue date night. We went for a nice dinner that didn’t include crayons or a kid’s menu. We shared a dessert without having little fingers holding spoons wanting bites, too. We talked, we laughed, we stuffed our faces and we even got to watch some of Patrick Mahomes’s epic comeback for the Chiefs against the Texans.
Dinner would have been enough for me. It was perfect in every way and it is something I wish we could do more often, but that’s not life. Life isn’t like the movies; it’s not a fairy tale. It’s filled with a lot of hard, but experiencing the good is so important. After dinner, we went downtown. We walked hand-in-hand into the Aronoff to see The Lion King.
We don’t get to hold hands a lot. We are usually placing 3-4 children between us when we’re out and about.
Most of the time we are consoling a child, while simultaneously punishing another. It’s an endless cycle and we’re constantly needed by the young people we created. So, it truly was the most incredibly perfect evening. I can’t express that enough.
It was nice to sit across from the man who stole my heart close to 20 years ago and remember why he has been able to keep hold of it. It was nice to hold his hand and feel the protection, warmth and comfort that only holding his hand can bring. I was wearing wedges and while some women walk around effortlessly in shoes of that nature, anything above an average arch of a shoe is too much for me. Admittedly holding his hand also kept me on my feet. He’s a real hero. The night was filled with so much good.
After we got home and paid the babysitter, we noticed on the counter the leftover pizza from the kids’ dinner. We didn’t need to discuss things. While he warmed up the leftover pizza, I quickly went upstairs to change into something more comfortable. My favorite pair of pajama pants and a T-shirt were calling my name. When I got back downstairs, he had removed his jacket, vest, tie and unbuttoned his dress shirt. He looked almost as comfortable as I was. He handed me the plate that had been reheated to perfection in the microwave. (Find a man who can cook, single ladies!)
We plopped down on separate corners of the couch with our plates and he turned on an episode of The Office. It was from season eight, well after Steve Carell had left. This specific episode introduced one of my most loathed television characters, Nelly. (If you watch The Office and you like Nelly, we probably can’t be friends.) However, it was at this point I realized how truly perfect my night was and how wonderfully, fulfilling my marriage is.
I stopped for a second and blinked a few times at the enormity that my marriage is, especially in these moments. The moments where we just get to be. Sitting on separate couches with plates of food in our hands, our feet up and hair down. Well, mine is down. His is losing its hold as the gel wears out. We both have pizza breath. We’re laughing at an episode of a show we have seen numerous times and, let me stress this again, it’s not even one of the better episodes of this show. In these moments, I am reminded why God gave me my husband. He gave me this marriage to enjoy even in the simplest times. We were destined to be each other’s partner.
I would choose this reheated pizza, this corner of the couch, this living room, this life with him, over and over.
I would even choose this lousy episode of this show featuring the miserable character of Nelly Bertram because that is the beauty of my marriage; not being able to not only enjoy but also desire this very basic experience. Watching TV is made better because I am doing it with him. I love the affirmation that he’s my person. When you can go for a $100 dinner and then see what is arguably the best musical of all time, but the highlight of your night is watching a less-than-stellar episode of The Office in your pajamas while eating reheated pizza. That’s when you know it’s the real thing. It’s love.