Our perfect date night

by moniguzman on August 30, 2014

My mom made fun of me when I told her what Jason and I wanted to do for date night last night: settle in somewhere cozy and read to each other from a hardcover of Dan Simmons’ “Abominable.”

Some context.

1) “Abominable” is a fantastic book. Rich with detail and lots of description. It’s about a fictional 1925 expedition to Mt. Everest and is written by one of our favorite authors ever. Dan Simmons wrote the “Hyperion” series, my favorite science fiction series of all time. Jason’s family has a vacation home in the Colorado town where Simmons lives, so we entertain this fantasy every now and then of meeting him in some way that’s so clever that we become fast friends and he teachers us all he knows.

2) Every Friday is date night. I know; it’s amazing. We have a two-year-old and another baby due in eight weeks and the fact that my parents a) moved here from Boston last year to be closer to their grandkids and b) offered to watch our son every single Friday so Jason and I could have regular “us” time has made a lot of difficult things easy. I love my parents to pieces. They have so much personality and we don’t bullshit each other, ever.

3) Mom makes fun of lots of our date nights. It’s a fun little joke now. Jason and I will come home from a night out at 9 or 9:30 and find Mom looking at us incredulously from the downstairs sofa, where she browses Facebook on her iPhone after our son is in bed. “What are you doing here?” she’ll say in Spanish. “Get back in the car and go!” We’re tired, we explain. We’re parents and we work. We got up at some ungodly hour and we’re not exactly clubbing with friends. Besides, bars aren’t so fun when you’re pregnant. Well, Mom will say, that didn’t stop her and dad back when they had toddlers. I’ll give her a look. Congratulations. And we’ll laugh.

After we dropped Julian off at my parents’ place, Jason and I had bad Chinese food from the food court of the Crossroads mall in Bellevue. We browsed used records at Half Price Books and Silver Platters, settling on Sting’s “Dream of Blue Turtles” (listening to track 2 as I write this), Frank Sinatra’s Greatest Hits and a record by some guy Jason listened to as a kid he tells me is kind of like Weird Al Yankovic. I asked if the cardboard cutout of Star Trek’s Commander Riker I saw in the back was for sale. No luck. While Jason finished up, I sat on the old green chairs outside Silver Platters and watched the clouds move through a bit of glass ceiling above.

In the parking lot, we ran into our friends Dan and Leslie Shapiro, who parked their van in the spot directly across from us and commented on how huge my belly had gotten since we last hung out as a group with our kids at the zoo. Their kids — boy and girl twins — had held Julian’s hands from exhibit to exhibit, and are how we try to explain to our son that he’s about to have a sibling.

We checked the movie theater, just in case, but almost all the movies we hadn’t seen had “rotten” ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, including “The Giver,” which was probably the only movie that would have pulled me away from “Abominable” story time.

Then we drove to Kirkland. I paid special attention to the manicured trees and waterfront condos since I’d reclined the passenger seat to ease some seriously sore ribs. We got a great spot next to Hector’s — some football game was on, but not the Seahawks — walked a couple blocks to the Kirkland Zoka, got me an Aztec mocha and a dessert bar, settled into cozy chairs under TV screens scrolling through photos of flowers and birds and things and found the spot in “Abominable” where we’d left off.

When the pretty long blond-haired barista with the wispy pants and hipster glasses gave us a couple looks like, “Do they know we’re closing?” we got up, pulled our chairs back apart and left.

On the way home, we thought about how things would change when the baby is born in a couple months. We talked about Jason’s conference in March and some of the people who’d shown interest in speaking. We debated economics — I’d just finished reading “The Second Machine Age,” a book by a couple economists about how they think tech is shifting our society, and had their ideas on my mind. And we talked about time. How long 10 years really is. How much changes. How much easier that change can be to see in general fashion and culture than in your own city, in your own life.

At home I stretched my belly on our miracle Eames chair, handed down from Jason’s grandfather, while Jason got me my multivitamin, dimmed the lights, lit a couple candles by the sofa and opened “Abominable” again. I looked at the candle flames while he read about bitter cold, malfunctioning stoves and frostbite on Everest camps above 20,000 feet.

Seattle’s just had its warmest summer in decades. It’s been awesome. I’ve enjoyed my job, my husband, my family, I’ve hung out with friends, had great conversations and have actually worked on some of those ideas that get in your head and won’t leave. All the while this baby’s been kicking like crazy. The biggest project of all.

Mom and dad will arrive with Julian at 11 a.m. and I’ll give them all big hugs.

Last night was perfect.

  • Eugenio Garza Rios

    You would love to play dungeons & dragons then

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