Time Together

The time I have to share with my husband is fleeting. While many people work Monday through Friday, 9-5, we have an incredibly erratic schedule. It changes weekly and usually consists of Vin working 6-4 and me working a couple of evenings 5-9. One of his days off is the only day I work a full 8 hour shift at the library. Finding one day of the week that we both have off is rare. Two in a row is impossible.

We’ve worked in the service industry long enough to be used to this. But that doesn’t mean that we like it. Most weeks, our version of “quality time” is in the time between picking him up at work and dropping me off. We attempt to talk over the kids singing along to “The Muppets” soundtrack and screaming at each other and generally interrupting every sentence we’re foolish enough to begin.

So, last night, when my wonderful mother-in-law sent us out to dinner without the kids so we could celebrate Vin’s birthday, I was completely elated. It’s funny since I live with the guy, but I really miss my husband. He is the most hard working, innovative, encouraging person ever. He has been knocked down time after time and just keeps getting up. He gets up over and over and over again and pulls me up right along with him. He’s absurdly talented, one of those people who is good at pretty much anything he tries. He’s passionate, loving, and funny. And I miss him desperately when we’re not together. An evening to ourselves was like winning the lottery. I literally bounced out the door to the car, I was so excited!

Y’all, we walked out of two restaurants last night. That’s something we have never done in the entire history of being together. It just always seems so rude and we’re the type who is more likely to make the best of a situation than just leave. But last night we left.

The first place was this new German restaurant in town that actually looks like it’d be a ton of fun. It’s bright and beautiful and there’s a fantastic band that plays authentic German music and there’s lederhosen out the wazoo. But we had to share a table with strangers and the music was so loud we were yelling to hear one another. It just wasn’t the intimate night we were hoping for, so we ditched.

The second restaurant was just a chain Mongolian barbecue place, so our expectations weren’t super high. But, when it took fifteen minutes for someone to take our drink order and we discovered that the salad bar consisted of brown iceberg lettuce, we just felt very blaah. And for a few minutes, we thought about just toughing it out and trying to make the best of it. And then we simultaneously agreed that no. No we were not going to make the best of it. So we left.

Because, here’s the thing. Our time is a treasure and we deserve to be picky. Our time together is so rare that it’s absurd to think of spending it in a place where we’d be disappointed and end up cranky. Our time is such a gift, it’s worth it to us to look like jerks, to appear to be rude in the eyes of others. I just don’t care about that at all because what I care about happened at restaurant number three where we ate greasy onion rings and giant sandwiches and watched football and drank beer. What I care about is having a booth to myself in the back corner of a sports bar and laughing at stupid jokes with my best friend.

There are defining moments in all relationships. For us there’s the time that we watched The Muppet Movie and Vin kissed me for the first time as “Rainbow Connection” played and the credits rolled. There’s the moment we found out I was pregnant with Maggie. We were cleaning our friends’ house while they were away on their honeymoon and I took the test right there in their bathroom and we laughed and freaked out all at the same time. There’s the time we packed up our lives and moved across the country to start over after a gamble didn’t work out the way we had expected.

And there’s that time we walked out of two different restaurants on the same night because quality time together deserves to be quality time. We walked out of two restaurants because our time together is a treasure and we have every right to be just as picky as we want to be.

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