Monday, July 6, 2009

The Mercy Date

Hello everyone.

I'm sorry if this post is somewhat incoherent, but I am soooo tired coming off the holiday weekend, I can't even think straight.

But the best thing happened this weekend . . . Hubby and I got to go on a real DATE!!!


I couldn't believe it.

We were granted what I like to call a Mercy Date. Here's the scenario: You go to visit family or friends for a few days. You go, go, go for a couple of days until the kids are sacked out on the couch, barely able to keep their eyes open to watch a movie, and you and your spouse look like something the cat hocked-up in the yard.

Then someone you're staying with says the magic words, "Hey, why don't you two go grab dinner alone and I'll watch the kids for a couple of hours."


You run out the door, keys in hand, laughing like loons as you start the car and lay down rubber driving away.

Well, in our case, we actually had a thirty minute window to shower and change before we left the house. I even talked my mom into giving us extra time to watch a movie, too.

So, Rule Number One of a Mercy Date: Go with What You Know.

Don't waste precious time trying to decide what restaurant to go to or which movie to see. Do you want to try something different? Didn't someone tell you about a new restaurant that was supposed to be fabulous? Which movie should you see? No, no, no. Don't fall for that. Go with your favorite eatery in the area, and a show or other activity you know you both like.

For us, the restaurant was a great Chinese food place with low prices and HUGE amounts of food. And Hubby was content to watch a romantic comedy with me (of course, what else would I choose?). And if you want to get adventurous in the restaurant, do so sparingly. We got appetizers we love, and then I went with my standard Chicken Chow Mein, while Hubby tried a new dish, Mongolian Beef. It was a little spicy, but had great flavor, and we both really enjoyed it.

Which leads me to Rule Number Two: Take Your Time.

This is a golden opportunity, so don't rush through it or waste it. This was very hard for us. When you've got three kids going in three different directions most of the time, the luxury of slowing down to enjoy your surroundings, your spouse, or even a simple meal can be taken for granted.

When Hubby and I got our appetizers, we ploughed through them like the waitress was going to take them away if we didn't eat fast enough. It's just a symptom of eating as fast as we can when the kids are around because if we don't, we don't usually get to eat.

So we had to remind each other, repeatedly, to slow down and savor the meal. And when we did, it was wonderful. We had a chance to taste the food and talk in a normal voice . . . no griping at kids to sit still or be quiet, and we could actually hear each other. We didn't have to guess at what we thought the other said.

And my final Rule of a Mercy Date: Be Sure to Thank Your Sitters.

We finished at the restaurant, went to see a really funny romantic comedy (The Proposal), and took our time on the drive home. When we got back, we said "THANK YOU" about a thousand times, and I think my mother was tired of getting spontaneous hugs every time I passed her in the hall.

But it was such a fabulous time, and we were so thankful for the opportunity to be together. So thank them, and let them know how much their gift of a few hours meant to you.

I hope you all have a great week.



  1. You have a very sweet mommy, Denice!

    We loved The Proposal too. Fun movie, great scenery, and knock-out dialogue. Glad you two got a night out.

  2. She is sweet. And so were you, watching the kids on my birthday so we could go eat and go ice skating. THANK YOU!!! as well!!!

    Scott and I both loved the movie. We laughed until we cried, or at least I did. But Scott thought it was good. And yes, the dialogue was hilarious, witty, just great.