The Way We Were

Guys. I am informed by Facebook’s On This Day feature (which is where I get all my information like kids’ birthdays and my engagement and other crap I’ve lost track of) that six years ago Buzz and I had our second date, when he invited me over to watch Pirates of the Caribbean.

So many warm fuzzy memories of that day- I got to meet my daughter for real, and she handed me Big Baby and gave me a hug goodnight and Buzz sang her Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and  I fell TOTALLY in love with her (and her father but I didn’t want to seem creepy.) Buzz had prepared lemon bars for us to snack on when we went downstairs to watch the movie after Squeaks was asleep. We had Maker’s Mark that he had made a “rum” label for to match the theme of the evening. He sat chastely on his side of the couch, but kept scootching over and then did the stretch and arm around the shoulder thing and I…sat there and did nothing because okay it wasn’t all fuzzy memories a lot of it was stomach churning nausea like when is he going to inquire about my I9 form? Am I a babysitter? Does he make lemon bars for a lot of women? Is the crying normal? WHAT IS THIS ARM THING I AM NOT EXPERIENCED AT THIS DATING AN ACTUAL ADULT MAN GAAAAHHHHH.

So yeah, we were mostly just confused that night. But still! We made an effort. I wore cute clothes (that were in a super cute size.) He baked for me and did the cute rum thing. Both of us had so much fun just sitting next to each other that we watched the whole first POTC movie. And…then the second one. Which sucked more than I remember. And the third one…which really sucked totally bad. And then I finally drove home at crack thirty in the morning happy and confused and just…happy.

We had a date night on the same night last week and things were…a little different.

First we only went out because we had a gift card. Sexy, am I right?

We argued about whether to get a reservation. I said no because we literally have never needed one before. He said yes to be safe. We had to wait twenty minutes. Score one for Buzz.

I wore my very nicest leggings. And shoes with toes and a heel. So that’s pretty enticing, am I right? Buzz put on cologne and changed his t-shirt. ROMANCE GUYS.

We had an awesome dinner where no one tried to impress the other with how little/healthy they ate, and instead we split mozzarella sticks and had burgers and it was glorious and very oniony.

We talked about work and the kids and how I’m excited about my writing future and how Squeaks wants to wear a scapular now. I asked him if he thought I was boring because I have literally nothing to talk about except other people’s excrement and how I write kind of funny things that my mom reads semi-regularly. He looked genuinely surprised and assured me that no, he finds me totally interesting and that my life is what he really cares about- it’s the kids, and me, and our family. That’s the important part.

That made me feel good.

We paid and headed home one drink and 55 minutes after we arrived. We thought about running some errands but we were too tired and the thought of going home to some free wine was more enticing.

Once at home, the grandparents were still around to play with the kids so I was able to take off my leggings and shoes and put on pajama pants. Ahhh. So much better. I had a ton of work to do organizing something for our parish, and he had some work to do…well, providing for us. So we sat on the couch and worked on our laptops on opposite ends. No one scootched. No one really felt the need to.

Slightly different than that day six years ago, Matt did not cuddle and coo and sing Squeaks to sleep. Instead we all yelled at each other (she started it) until she finally went to sleep. Ahhh.

I ate a cookie I found in the fridge from Mother’s Day. I offered one to Buzz, but he just said that horrible things were happening to him because of all the onions so he’d better not. I agreed, based on the smell.

The grandparents left and we continued with our work on the couch for a little bit. Then we said our daily rosary together, and watched an episode of Night Court before collapsing into bed.

That’s a lie. First I washed my face with super expensive old-lady soap. Then I lubed myself up with various moisturizers that are probably the same thing but whatever, they might be different for my neck skin vs my lip wrinkles. Buzz put in his mouth guard. I knocked out 50 pages of my book club book and he read his encyclopedia of oddities, occasionally commenting on one that was super interesting.

All of this was around 10 pm.

It was about as far from six years ago as you could get.

There was no impressing each other. There was no cutesy theme. No one baked for anyone else. We weren’t awkwardly trying to be close to one another. Buzz didn’t smell where my hair had rested on the back of the couch afterwards because he loved the way it smelled.

It was way, way better than that.

We aren’t unsure of each other anymore. We love each other and have yoked our entire lives and salvation to one another. We don’t need to pretend to be super crafty or baking or skinny or whatever. We’re just us. And we love each other.

We got to talk about our babies. We have babies (plural.) The fact of Buddy’s existence never ceases to amaze us and make us so thankful for each other. We had seven-year-old problems with our seven-year-old daughter. That’s awesome. She’s amazing and I’m so unbelievably lucky that I got to stick around after that day to raise her, not just think she was a pretty cute kid I met this one time. We talked about what we do to run our lives, and how wonderful (albeit pedestrian and boring) it is. We enjoyed a night to ourselves.

We worked side by side, just enjoying being with each other. We prayed together, something I never thought I’d do with my husband because it always seemed suuuuper lame, amiright? But now I can’t imagine my life without it. We relaxed and watched a stupid show that we both love and then fell asleep in our bed because we’re married and we have a life and a home together and that’s so much more exciting than first date jitters.

Romance is good. It’s wonderful. You need it in your relationship. It just sometimes looks different than it used to.