You might be asking (although, probably not) how Frank and Emily keep the love alive after nearly 8 years of wedded bliss. Although, you are more likely asking yourself what is for lunch, dinner or when the next season of Mad Men will start (sometime in 2012, sorry folks). While I can only answer one of your other pressing questions, and I can suggest a myriad of restaurants and delicious recipes for your first two questions, I am able to give you a glimpse into a romantic interlude between my Romeo (Frank) and me.
First, let’s describe the setting. While many of you are probably used to having dates that take place in the fading light of a romantic sunset (read: best lighting for making everyone look attractive), Frank and I enjoy seeing each other in the stark, raw honesty of late morning sunshine. We scoff at all of you who fight for reservations to a hot restaurant on a Friday or Saturday night. Fools! You can get any table you please on a Thursday morning, as long as your desired restaurant serves breakfast items.
Surrounded by men in business suits having important breakfast meetings, catty middle-aged women gossiping about their non-present friends and elderly couples, Frank and I feel that the mood is ripe for romance. And, oh, is it! In between bites of hash browns smothered in onions and cheese and over-sized egg-beater omelettes stuffed with jalapeño peppers, we both come to terms with the fact that our food selections suggest that there will be a pious good-bye kiss at the front door.
But it is between being seated and paying the bill that the real magic happens. Dates are not just about having delicious food and wearing clothes sans spit up stains. Dates are about the meaningful heart-to-heart conversations that, deep down, we all desire.
Me: So, yeah. Not such a bad night with the girls, right? I think this acid reflux thing is behind us.
Frank: Yeah, I think so too. Thank goodness, I was tired of wearing a rain coat during feedings.
Me: So. There’s that. Hey, did you hear about the new animal that was born that is like half giraffe and half zebra? It’s called an okopi.
Frank: Really? (Gets out his cell phone to verify that I am not pulling his chain. We have a long history of telling each other things that aren’t true, just to see if the other one repeats it.) Well, how about that.
Me: Yeah, it even has the tongue of a giraffe, which is blue. And super long.
Frank: A giraffe’s tongue is blue?
Me: Yep! See? (Now my cell phone is out and I’m showing him pictures of giraffe tongues. He is impressed.)
If you really want to get hot and bothered, keep reading because our discussions about the logistics of taking care of twins are practically rated PG-13.
Me: OK, so you’re going to go running at 11 and then I’ll pick up the girls at the sitters and then I’ll go running and then you’ll watch the girls and then you’ll go up to the airport for work and then I’ll watch the girls. But I need $30 (conveniently, I know that is all the cash that Frank has in his wallet at the moment).
Frank: That’s all the cash I have at the moment.
Me: I know. (Sly smile)
(Ten minutes later Frank tries to hand me the $10)
Me: Um, you’re about $20 short. Wait, why are you giving me the money? Aren’t you picking up the girls?
Frank: No, you’re picking up the girls.
Me: I am?
Me: Oh, yes, you’re right. You’re still $20 short.
And lastly, because every moment can become a fun game that annoys your partner to no end, I use these tactics (among many others) to keep our marriage fresh and exciting. But, brace yourself, we’re getting into NC-17 territory
Scene: Getting ready for a mid-morning nap sans kiddos after our hot brunch date.
Me: … and so then in my dream last night the hotel wasn’t really a hotel after all, it was the house I grew up in and then there was…
Frank: uh huh…..
Me: (not missing a beat) a big picnic set up in the backyard but it wasn’t really a picnic because there wasn’t food there were PICTURES of food and my first grade teacher was there, or, at least I think it was my first grade teacher but she looked like my 7th grade English teacher with shorter hair. You know, a pixie-type cut but a little shaggier in the back – kind of like a mullet, but not. So yeah, my first grade teacher was there and she was like, “Um, Emily, you still didn’t turn in your homework. You can’t graduate from college.” And then I was like, “What?” and then my mom was there and she was mad and my sister pulled my homework out of her MOUTH…
Frank: uh huh… are we almost done? I really wanted to take a nap.
Me: Oh, OK. Fine.
Frank: Great. Shhhh. Sleepies.
Me: (waiting a few seconds) sh.
Frank: (waiting a few more seconds) sh.
Me: (very, very quietly) sh.
Frank: (trying to be even quieter) sh.
Me: (even quieter than Frank) sh.
Frank: (laughing) OK! C’mon! Sleepies!
Me: (giggling) OK… (waiting a few seconds) Shhh.
Me: And then my DAD was in my dream yelling at my sister for eating my homework. But it wasn’t my sister any more, it was Gwenyth Paltrow…
Frank: I can’t win.
So yeah, in a nutshell, that’s how you keep the love alive.