Date Night with the Greatsbys

Posted on January 27, 2012


The Fonz and Optimist Prime spent the evening at a dinner party with some of their friends. Actually, the party was described as a movie night, but I prefer to think this was a cover for their higher-brow plans to discuss this month’s New Yorker and the finer points of tying a cravat. Hopefully once The Fonz masters tying a cravat, tying his shoes will shortly follow.

Free from the children, Mrs. Good Greatsby and I hit the town to have dinner and to discuss all the people we don’t like but usually can’t mention because of the children’s incessant eavesdropping. We would usually come up with a date activity more exciting than dinner–like an interactive performance art piece–but the plan to go out came at the last second and it was too late to ask my assistant Ken to plan something spontaneous.

My wife and I spend plenty of time together, but it seems rare we go out by ourselves. We’ve been trying to avoid being alone together as part of a strategy to spend less money–I have the ATM cards but only she knows the codes. When I mentioned I was going to write about our evening, she made a point to get dressed up. This meant she changed into her best ball gown and changed out of the second-rate ball gown she wears around the house, even though I insisted readers wouldn’t be able to see her ball gown or the prom queen tiara she kept begging me to write she was wearing.

A lot of our date nights are spent daring each other to do embarrassing things. As we walked along the strip of restaurants near our home, we noticed through a window a couple whose sons were at the same party as our kids, and we understood they were eating while they waited to pick them up. We watched the two of them through the window for a moment and because we knew we would see them later in the evening, we discussed whether we had matching clothing and debated going home and changing into those clothes so we’d be wearing the exact same things at the pick-up.

“I’ll do it if you’ll do it.”
“I’ll totally do it.”
“Great. Let’s do it.”
“There’s no question I’d do it, but…uh…what if our kids don’t recognize us and we end up taking home the wrong kids?”

I told myself if it hadn’t been raining we would have done it. We’ll save that activity for another romantic night out.

We were planning to visit a Thai restaurant but every table was occupied and we didn’t want to wait. I suggested we tell the hostess we were willing to sit outside in the courtyard (it was pouring rain outside).

“You should totally do it.”
“I’ll do it. Just as soon as she comes back over here.”
“She just came back over; why didn’t you say anything?”
“I wanted to wait until she was closer to the window so she could see it was raining. Maybe she’s been inside all day and doesn’t know it’s raining. Otherwise the joke makes no sense.”
“But we’re all wet and holding umbrellas; of course she knows it’s raining.”

The most passionate part of the evening came when we had a minor disagreement about Jennifer Aniston’s level of attractiveness. I don’t find her attractive in the least and have never understood her popularity. My wife insisted she was attractive and I countered, “I wouldn’t cross the street to sleep with Jennifer Aniston.” And my wife kept insisting that I would cross the street to sleep with Jennifer Aniston, and I kept insisting I wouldn’t cross the street, and she found it hard to believe I wouldn’t cross the street, and I finally asked her to clarify what kind of street we were talking about although I couldn’t see me crossing a six-lane intersection or even a one-lane street.

Some couples play the game of making a list of celebrity exceptions; my wife and I have a different version of the game where we list celebrities we wouldn’t give permission

Nope, you can't hold my baby.

to hold our baby. This is why I’m so surprised my wife would take Jennifer Aniston’s side because when Optimist Prime was born my wife said, “I would never let Jennifer Aniston hold my baby,” and I think that’s how the game started. I would ask, “If there were an emergency and Britney Spears, Jennifer Aniston, and Kim Kardashian all lived next door and you had to ask one of them to hold the baby while you were gone, who would it be?” The answer was always Jennifer Aniston until Kim Kardashian came along.

The Jennifer Aniston discussion must have been what got us talking about Angelina Jolie and we both complained how we couldn’t understand the plot of her movie, The Tourist, although to be fair, neither of us have seen The Tourist. Mrs. Greatsby once watched it on mute while she did research for her thesis, and I came into the room for the last five minutes and turned the sound on and she had a really hard time explaining the plot without having actually watched or heard any

I'd let Angelina Jolie hold my baby while I asked her to explain the plot of The Tourist.

of it. But we still like to complain that it was a terrible movie.

The restaurant receipt included a coupon for 50% off weekend brunch if we gave our email address. I didn’t want them to send us a bunch of emails, but Mrs. Greatsby suggested leaving The Fonz’s email address. Guess who’s paying for brunch, Fonz?

Our next night out will be much more exciting, especially if Ken is given a bit more notice.

Posted in: Family