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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Friday Night Date

Friday night is date night in our house.  Sometimes Brandon and I go out and sometimes we stay in for pizza and a movie.  But whatever we do, Friday night is date night.  If the children complain about never ever getting to watch a movie with us, I point out that Saturday night is family movie night.  Then we all pick a movie (half of the time Princess Bride), crowd on the couch in front of the computer and watch a movie together.  As a family.  But Friday night, that belongs to mommy and daddy, not mommy and daddy and children.  So go to bed and stop complaining.

This past Friday, however, Brandon was 'invited' to an official reception.  Sometimes the invitations include my name, but most of the times they just have Brandon's and then I offer sympathy for having to be stuck talking to other diplomats about diplomatic things.  Somehow movies seem to make it look glamorous, but really it's just boring.  Really boring.  Much less exciting than eating pizza, drinking ice cold root beer, and watching a movie in your pajamas.  It just shows you that you should never believe movies.

Usually when Brandon has these things to attend, I feed the children dinner early, send them upstairs to watch a movie ("If I hear any fighting about which movie, I'll just send you to bed instead") and work on one of the twenty sewing projects waiting patiently in my bin.  I'll listen to an audiobook, ignoring the yells coming from upstairs (if there's blood, someone will come get me), and revel in having whole hours to devote to a project without anyone interrupting me.  It's funny how motherhood helps you appreciate the rare luxury of uninterrupted time, something that once was just a thing to get bored with.  

But last Friday, I just didn't feel like sewing.  I've been sewing a lot lately, finishing Kathleen's summer wardrobe, making a doll for Sophia's birthday, and thinking up clothes for myself that I'll never have the time to make.  I really enjoy having a project to think about, see the progress on, and having done something that will last when I'm finished.  It think that all women enjoy making things.  It brings us all a little bit of sanity.

But for whatever reason, that didn't appeal.  I thought of something else useful I could do - write a blog post, cook something, catch up on some informational reading.  After all, three- or four- hour blocks of uninterrupted time aren't that common, and they should be put to good use.  There's always something that needs doing.

After trying to figure out how to make best use of my time, I decided to give up on productivity and just enjoy my Friday date night by myself.

So I went and found a birthday present from Brandon that I hadn't read yet and a bar of chocolate remaining from my Christmas stocking.  I arranged all of the throw pillows into maximum-comfort reading position, made sure the lamp was pointed for good illumination, covered up with a blanket, and started my completely useless fiction book.

The children finished their movie after awhile, came down to kiss me goodnight, and put themselves to bed.  I ate chocolate.  And read.  It was fantastic.

I spend most of my time being productive.  With four children to watch, three to school, meals to cook, and a husband to take care of, I have to be.  And I like it that way.  I like feeling that my day was well-spent with useful things that I feel pleased about.  I like being able to check off a list of things I've done by the end of the day and count up my accomplishments.  We all have our neuroses, I suppose.

But sometimes, every now and then, I throw productivity to the wind.  Forget lists, children, projects, meals (and even sometimes my husband).  Every now and then it's fun to get lost in a really good book, the kind of lost where you look up and the night has fallen in a matter of five minutes.  Children cease to be a cause for concern.  Food is something for other people.  Schedules tatter to pieces.  All that exists is me, the couch, and a book.  I suppose it's cheaper than a vacation to a deserted beach in warm place.

But now, of course, I have a major problem: a 900-page book that is just started (and half of a chocolate bar calling my name).  And not only is it just started, it's a really good book, the kind that only ends up in pancakes and macaroni and cheese for dinner, with children tearing the house down around my ears while I finish just one more chapter until it's done.  I always start out with the most perfect of intentions - read only when I have time, without neglecting the children and having delicious meals waiting for Brandon when he walks in the door.  But it never ends up that way.  Ever.  So if you don't hear from me in the next few weeks, you'll know why.  Maybe you could drop off some dinner if you live close by?


Jen said...

Great Book. The kids will survive on cereal and the apples you left in a bowl on the table. They are resilient. The book can't wait.

PaulaJean said...

You seemed to survive my apparent neglect now and then. Enjoy the book.

Rebecca said...

Hello there! I just put your blog on my feed and the first thing I see is Anathem. Good stuff...although i think it took me a month to read with zero children:-)