But last month, in celebration of our birthdays (two weeks apart-ish) we gave one another our very first overnight date since Fable was born, booked a hotel room at The Biltmore downtown and prostituted ourselves to strangers in order to purchase two of the best seats at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where we sat in our fancy best and watched La Traviata with tears in our eyes. Not only were we the youngest couple in the entire theatre (Lame. The Opera needs to market to younger people before the stage stands empty. OPERA, PEOPLE! LET'S GO OPERA!) we were also the most dressed up. Hal rented a tux and the whole nine.
It was like prom except way more lactate-y. (I forgot my pump so had to milk myself like a cow over the toilet. How's that for imagery? Ah! But you're quite welcome!) We even got to ride in The Biltmore Hotel's Towncar which made us feel like hot shit even though we had to sit with a bunch of uppity strangers who quite obviously hated us.
I digress because last night's date night was almost as good as our fancy opera romp. Last night Hal and I were lucky enough to attend the red-carpet premiere of Paper Heart thanks to lovely friends with fancy jobs and not only was the movie incredible (arguably the most enjoyable, creatively inspiring film I've seen in the last five years. Serious brilliance. I recommend with five stars) but I got to be there sans kids with my lovely husband who seldom holds a hand that isn't Archer's when we leave the house.
The film for those not familiar is part made-up scripted fiction, part documentary but in a weird way you don't really know what is real and who's acting and who's playing a part and which people are being themselves and ah, such is life: tall tales revealing taller truths and in the middle of everything, love lost and found and sometimes lost again. (And sometimes SOMETIMES found even after all that.) We even got to revisit our five-minute (IF that) wedding during scenes that took place in The Little White Chapel, our place of matrimony four and a half years ago.
The importance of dating your mate, spouse, significant other is obvious. Experiencing life without kids from time to time is a reminder of how much fun you can have together as a couple. And for us, it's imperative: the best therapy money can buy.
Last night made me want to grow old with Hal. Not because we have children together or because we signed a silly piece of paper in a crowded Las Vegas courthouse. But because regardless of what brought us to this point, what caused us to marry in the first place, we love each other hard. We're more than just the parents of our children and it's easy to forget that, especially when you have young babes literally hanging from your body.
And even though we tell each other daily, before bed with Fable between us, in the morning as I'm buckling Archer into the car to go to school and on the weekends when we're loading the refrigerator with smashed berries from the farmer's market (Sweetie? Next time don't put the peaches on the berries/ Whoops, sorry/ It's okay. I still love you/ I love you, too.) it means something different hearing it in the back of a taxi cab buzzed off free booze or in a crowded theatre against the glow of Bai Ling's pleather two-piece like candlelight in the heavily perfumed darkness...
Roll credits. Bring up the lights.
In other news... we're saving up our pennies for a house with central air because (phew boy!) it's been a thousand degrees up in this piece and my bangs are permanently stuck to my forehead and blergh.