Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Grand Night Out

Other than weekly trips to the grocery store, children in tow, home is where I spend my time.  For five years, my husband and I have searched for a willing babysitter.  There are a few to choose from in the area, but none willing to take on the responsibility of twins.  None, except the little girl next door who expressed an interest in growing up to be a kindergarten teacher and is adored by Ty and Erin.  Ever since, hubby and I have been anticipating the time when she would be old enough to baby-sit.   

That time has come.

Last night was her second time at the helm.  She is awesome.  Once the kids are washed, brushed, emptied of fluids and dressed in their jams, she takes over... 

...and for a few hours, we are free!

Erik and I have a history of starting out with good intentions and coming back with tales of strange and humourous happenings.  Our honeymoon plans included a week in seclusion aboard a houseboat along the Trent Severn system of lakes and locks.  What should have been a self-guided romantic cruise turned into a comedy of errors and mishaps that include taking on water as we left the dock, and a malfunction of our second craft's ship wheel during a lock transfer.  We were able to regain steering by shoving salvageable parts of the wheel into grooves in the support column.  Add in the many near collisions with several poorly placed yachts (which would be anywhere near us) and that unfortunate episode with the zodiac.  It's no wonder we aren't the sea-faring types.

Fast forward ten years and we are headed out to dinner.  After pondering a list of delicious suggestions, we opt to stay close to home and take in the fare offered by The Keg.  Our greeter explained that a table for two would not be available for 45 minutes.  The restaurant was crowded, noisy.  Just like home on any ordinary weekday.  I wanted a less stimulating environment so we headed off to Shoeless Joe's in nearby Georgetown.

The restaurant is quiet, virtually empty save for a few groups seated in the bar.  We are seated in a booth by the front window.  The seating is comfy, except for the blast of air conditioning on my right shoulder.  It's 7 (C) degrees outside.  I take shelter in my coat until we have a chance to tell the waitress.

"Oh, I noticed it's quite a bit cooler over here.  I'll take care of that right away.  What can I bring you to drink?"

We order beverages and it's not long before the blast of arctic air on my shoulder disappears.  Our drinks arrive and we order appetizers and entrees.  Nachos with jalapenos on the side, please.  Hubby's tummy doesn't do spicy.

Nachos arrive with jalapenos mixed in AND a bowl of extra on the side.  Um.... close. 

They're big enough to pick out so we accept it with our waitress' apologies.  We nibble and chat until our entrees of ribs and chicken wings arrive at the table.  Caesar salad for hubby, garden for me.

"Enjoy your meal."

We had just enough time to figure out what to devour first when the lights dimmed in the dining area to darkness.  I could just barely make out where my plate was as I felt around blindly for my food.

"How is everything over here?"


"I don't know what happened there, but I'll get that fixed right away."  Our waitress disappears.  Lights brighten over an already well lit area around the bar, and another area far from us.  TVs lose their signal and finally, the light over our table brightens to an ambiance appropriate level.

The founding basis for many relationships include things like truth, honesty, integrity.  For Erik and I, it's ribs.  We had been dating for a few weeks when he had his first taste of my signature ribs.  After reveling in the flavour of the sauce, sweet and tang infused into the tender meat that slid effortlessly off the bone, he knew.  This girl is a keeper.   

I notice Erik's plate still has half of his rib order.  Something is terribly wrong.  Is he ill?  He must have devastating news for me!  He hands me a little piece of meat off the bone to try.  The taste is unusual, somewhat salty.  Familiar.


Erik's baby back beef ribs taste like canned, packed-in-water tuna. Apparently that's how it's supposed to taste.   The last time I noticed a fishy smell coming from beef, it was well past the time to throw it away.  To each their own.

Perhaps this is why we don't go out much.   The food was mediocre and the restaurant, uniquely and unintentionally entertaining.  More importantly we shared a evening laughing at our luck for misadventure and a mutual lack of knowledge on the rules of rugby. 

It's good to know that after ten years of marriage and almost fourteen years together, a night out still includes a little adventure.