Anniversaries as parents to little kids are hard. For our eleventh last week, I was content to do our usual romantic take out from That Place That’s Good, But Not Too Expensive, You Know, The One You Ordered From Last Year? But nay. This boy, he’s a romantic, even if he does preface the evening by saying, “I took you to the Driskill last year. This one’s on you.” Swoon!
Planning date nights stresses me out. We’ve never hired a babysitter for a few reasons. One, they cost money, and I wasn’t prepared to double the cost of our dinner by having someone sit on our couch and watch Project Runway* while the kids slept. Two, I just have this thing about people I don’t know being in my house? I’m weird like that. And three, finding someone I could trust to hang here would be a challenge, and if this is your first time here on this blog, hello, my name is Leigh Ann and I am lazy.
Back in the days we call BZ (Before Zoe), we had a good run of date nights. We would swap with my friend Vanessa, who has twin boys just days older than the girls. Since our kids all went to bed at 7, we would trade nights about once a month, and we’d pay in ice cream. Teenage babysitters should really think about accepting this type of deal if they want more business.
But now it feels intrusive to ask a friend to leave their family on a weekend evening to come sit at our house. We don’t even have cable. Plus, I would have to clean, and well, see above. LAZY. So I did what any mom whose husband was offering a night out would do: I Facebook messaged my friend Lori (LORI!) and begged her to take my children for a slumber party type gathering while Christian and I hit the town. I promised it would be “fun (with extra !!!)!” I promised we wouldn’t stay out late. I promised reciprocation. I sweated while she clearly tried to pretend she hadn’t seen my request, despite having JUST answered that her Saturday evening was wide open.
And finally…”I’d love to!” It sounded forced, as forced as words can seem on a screen, but I didn’t care. I took it.
It was a perfect Austin evening, so naturally, everyone and their dog (literally, this is a very dog friendly town) was trying to sit on a patio somewhere. Saturday evening dining is hard enough in this city without the prerequisite of fresh air.
After a few “Oh, an hour? Fuck that – I mean, no thank yous,” we settled on Kona Grill in the Domain. There was no wait. We sat in a ridiculously large booth, big enough for 6, and took silly pictures of each other. No cat GIFs were had, unfortunately. The food was amazing, and then we celebrated with cake balls and milled around the Domain until the stores closed. At 9. Our night owl tendencies astound.
Anniversaries have changed. Or have we? It’s not that we can’t hang with the raucous night crowd, it’s just that we don’t really want to. We declined second beers because we are lightweights, and we still had kids to pick up and put to bed. And don’t you know, childless waiter, that hangovers and 6:30 a.m. don’t really mix, and my husband has to go help his boss load furniture into storage pods tomorrow morning, and OH MY GOD we are so old we are lamenting hangovers we don’t even have.
The food was amazing. The company was better. The cake balls were the best. H&M was underwhelming. We picked up the kids a little after 9 p.m. and had them home in bed in no time. Eleven years in the bag.
*I have no idea what they would watch. We don’t have cable. They’re stuck with Netflix documentaries, I’m afraid. Babysitters, line up!