Date Your Mate

Last night Hal and I went out on a date. We try to do up the town once a month. Nothing fancy - dinner and a movie, usually. We drink, fondle each other's private parts under the table and call it a relatively early night because clock's a-ticking and holy shit does date night get expensive. FAST.

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.


Andrea | 1:11 AM

Would love to see pics of you and Hal in your opera best! :)

Andrea | 1:17 AM

Doh! Commented before I watched the both look fantastic :)

Mrs. Melberry | 6:04 AM

If I didn't have my own office, I would have gotten some strange looks when I burst out in hysterics about the lactate-y part.

I love it.

TexasBobbi | 7:18 AM

It is great that you are taking time ti date each other still.

Amanda | 7:54 AM

Totally date your spouse. We've been lucky that our in-laws understand this and take our son off our hands for a much needed movie-dinner-fuckfest. Sometimes overnight (and my mother will drop the boy off usually around noon-ish, allowing us to do the abnormal-sleep in). I think date nights are invaluable. I treasure the moments over beer and cigarettes (we never smoke around the tot because...well..duh. But who drinks without smoking?) when I can look at the man I married and think that we're here because of each other, and not just because we've had a child with each other.

Wish we lived in L.A. I'd kill to go on a double date with you and Hal! You guys are awesome.

Estelle Hayes | 8:36 AM

Love this post. Can't wait to see this movie and you've reminding me of the importance of dating my dear husband, who hasn't seen much action since our baby was born (15 months ago) ooops. Thank you.

SoMo | 8:39 AM

I agree date nights are great. I sure do miss ours.

Good Luck with house. I have lived without a/c in the Deep South & it is hell.

Jeni Angel | 9:11 AM

Um, yeah. totally need to know what awesome lipstick you are wearing in that momversation.

Chris in NY | 9:20 AM

I absolutely agree with you! It's not healthy for a couple to be so consumed with parenthood that they forget how to be a couple. I often joke that we have a "date night" every single night....during the school year, my 4 children are all in bed by 7:30pm which gives the hubs and I 2 hours ALL to ourselves to do anything we wish. *wink wink* We don't have family nearby to babysit and we can't really afford to hire babysitters on a regular basis, so the early bedtime thing works best for us. We have some fantastic conversations, watch silly tv, treat ourselves to some ice cream, and just enjoy each other.

Paulina | 9:41 AM

I just started reading your blog not long ago, and holy smokies, there has been some good stuff! In particular, this post is wonderful! I literally laughed out loud at the "fondling each others privates" at the beginning of the post. I love the honesty of your writing.

Thanks for the great reads (and music too!)

Sarah | 9:48 AM

How lucky you are. Lucky that you've been through such hard times with your husband and came out on the other side stronger and more sure of your self and yourself with him.

I've never commented on your blog before but have been reading for over a year. You are such an inspiration. Please don't ever stop saying exactly what is on your mind, even if its in an elevator at target.

Anonymous | 10:15 AM

Dude. Hal does opera? Damn. He is a keeper.

Coming from a girl fresh from divorce, I couldn't agree with you more. Date night is key.

duck | 10:35 AM

I totally agree with you call to Opera big wigs/people of import. Husband and I have seasons tickets and find ourselves often surrounded by those who are 3 times our age... Anyway I checked out Paper Hearts Web site. Wow. I am very, very excited to see that movie. Thanks for the tip.

Rebecca Faulkner | 11:26 AM

Your mod look is lovely, but you in retro red lipstick is divine! I'd like to see it more often!

Unknown | 11:45 AM

I am definitely for date night! I am lucky in that my husband and work together, so we get all day to remember why we love each other.


Thanks! The lipstick is Delilah by Stila!

Kerry | 12:30 PM

LMAO at expressing over the toilet while on the date. Ah, the things us boobie mommies do...

Angie | 1:30 PM

You know, everyone told my hubby and I to go on date nights, even starting in the first month after our daughter was born, and we never did. We are quickly approaching 9 months and we are JUST NOW planning our first date night and I am so excited about it. No idea what we are doing yet, but I know I want to dress up and SHAVE MY LEGS! lol. That movie looks great, I'm bookmarking that site as a reminder to GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Thanks!

Renee | 1:44 PM

There are few things in life that make you feel more like a wild mammal than milking yourself, in a public restroom no less.

Anonymous | 1:45 PM

Ah...yes. The date night lactate. Been there. Nothing, NOTHING, is more fun that having to excuse your leaking self from the festivities to hand pump yourself dry in a filthy bathroom while the person in the stall next to you reverses her chili platter and 5 tequila shots. days...

em | 3:30 PM

Ah, the Elliott Smith mural. Were you Malo-ing perchance? Dude, I hear you on the A/C - more room front. No A/C in Hollywood 1 bedroom + 2 adults + 2 year old + dog + turtle = HELL. I have even contemplated going in for a Scientology Personality Test just to beat the heat. Selling my soul to L.Ron might be worth it.....


Um, yeah. I hear that. We did the 1 bedroom until Archer was 6 months old with two dogs, too. That was one brutal summer. And indeed we were at Malo. Hadn't been there in years. Almost forgot how amazing their enchiladas are.

Ray | 6:56 PM

A date night to the red carpet premiere of “Paper Hearts?” How cool is that?! I just recently heard about the movie and now that you say it’s “five stars good” I just have to see it.

I think it’s great that you do date night with Hal because I think it’s of utter importance. Especially when you become parents. Always good to remember that before the kids, “you loved each other” and that “you had frequent dates.” ;o)

Take, care.

krista | 7:34 PM

when the baby was first born, my mom used to come up and force my man and i out of the house, sans baby. the first time, we drove to a used bookstore and then got coffee and sat in silence, not knowing what to do with ourselves.
now, it's mandatory. dates. sometimes it's just coffee. but it's nice to remember that we loved way before we fell in love with our little one. and then to reflect on how far we've come. and that we still love.
(we haven't quite gotten to the opera level yet!)

anita tedaldi | 7:43 PM

What a great testament to your love for your hubby - sometimes I feel like that too and some other times I feel like we are world apart - me with the five kids him always deployed
Your post cheered me up though :)
Thank you !

sam | 5:32 AM

you look foxy in that red lipstick! :)

Caity | 9:38 AM

Hey, thanks for your awesome and lovely blog! And THANKS for going to the opera :)! I'm ALWAYS the youngest- I'm a professional violist so I figure that love of opera comes with the territory, but jeeze, do we need more young'ins to go!

I know that was the side-point of the post, really, I just wanted to say "thanks". For your blog. Yes, it might be weird to post fan mail on the comments. *sigh*

DCUrbanDad | 10:24 AM

It makes me sad when I see couples who forget that they are couple first and foremost. These are the folks that when the kids are off at college they get divorced cuz they forgot what it was like to be together.

Thanks for the inspiration.

frequentanonperson | 11:29 AM

Ugh! I so wish we had family near us. I don't know why but I feel weird asking friends to babysit...could be because I don't have many friends and then they are all guys!

Confession: Son is 2 and 1/4 and has never had a sitter. Luckily he's early to bed so I get lots of good time with hubs, but the thought of dressing up and going out is so alluring. So is the thought of going to a bar and playing pool. I think we need to catch our spark on fire again.

Jen | 11:35 AM

Girl, I can can SO relate to you 'releasing' the boobs! I've done it too and what's funny, when I was doing it (at work, on a conference call no less), it was no biggie. Very funny, but not a big deal. At first I thought, why do I think this is normal?! The things we do for our kiddos (smile) Good to know you had the same attitude about it!

cd | 3:37 PM

I TOTALLY agree with your opera endorsement! An early date (test?) for my now-husband was a casual "I have opera tickets, do you want to go?" He passed when he said yes, sincerely.

Also making him worthy of marriage - he loves to dress up. Tux and all. We were dismayed at the range of what passes at the Opera these days. And then we went home to soak our dentures. No, but really, the music won't change based on wardrobe, but your memory of how special the night is just might.

em | 5:54 PM

Malo happy hour is pretty baby friendly...and our 2 year old has made it to bar time on occasion (her 6 month birthday fete and a few others, ahem). Just bring ear muffs for the juke box. Good luck saving the pennies, at least today was not sooo hot....

spicylikeginger | 10:57 PM

I'm a big fan of the date night! My folks would go out often and get us kids a sitter, and they even when on week long vacations and left us with the grandparents. So I grew up with the idea of date night! Yes!

And good for you two for out-dressing the old folks!

Kendra | 9:48 AM

I just have to say, I'm so glad I'm not the only one ever to have "expressed" over the toilet! I remember one terrible day at work (did I forget my pump? I have no idea how it happened), feeling like a jersey cow shooting milk into the toilet. Proud mama moment!

Good for you for remembering the importance of your relationship with each other, not just your kids. Even if it is all lactate-y!

Elizabeth @claritychaos | 9:26 AM

for a very long time, we couldn't afford babysitters so we started doing 'date night in'. Get the kids to bed, even if that means baby tucked into our big bed in the bedroom (alone). Then there's no computer, no tv (unless we got a movie). We'd have a nice dinner alone, talk, watch a movie, or just head up to the spare bed (aka the sex bed) in the office. Date nights in were alot cheaper than date nights out, and where can you find a sex bed in a restaurant or movie theater, right?

amie | 8:22 AM

I love (and miss) the LA Opera. Dylan and I used to go there regularly thanks to our brilliant friend who was the costume production designer and would frequently give us tics.

We haven't had a date night since Nola was born---almost a year! So, I am a little jealous.

3StinkyBoysAndMe | 9:42 PM

I'm so blessed to have an amazing mother-in-law who begs us to babysit our two toddlers. I LOVE date night. You're right! It is such a great reminder that you're a couple, not just a mom and dad. Thanks for the post.