October 20, 2002

date night

We went to see Formula 51 last night, the latest Samuel Jackson flick that was pretty great, made greater by the fact that we hadn't been to an R rated move in almost two years. Lilo and Stitch can't really match action packed drug dealing, murder and mayhem. Not just a little blood and guts, but worth it. Hint: Bring your umbrella.

My sister kept Jenna over night for the first time in a couple of years. Wow. You parents know what I mean. Wow. So we didn't have to rush home. We actually got onto our street before we looked at one another and said, "Hey, we don't even really have to go home." George turned the car around and we drove to the bar in one of the plazas up the street for a nightcap. Neither of us had ever been to the place before.

And wouldn't you know it was kareokee night, with all the regulars, some very scary-to-me, way-wasted 50-somethings, the guys with polo shirts and a turtleneck sweater or two(L.L. Bean ribbed cotton maybe?), their ladies with big hair, layered makeup, and too-fake smiles. They would have been friendly enough, and they were, but it was that kind of DRUNK FRIENDLY--you know what I mean? I could have passed any one of them in the grocery store the next day and they wouldn't have remembered my face. But last night, they were so glad to have met us, leaning on our shoulders, one burly old fucker trying to massage George's shoulders after making off with his lighter, translated in the language of Wasted as, "I'm Sorry," which, if you knew George, you would know one thing--don't touch his neck.

So burly drunk guy, who apparently is a physical therapist, although I can't imagine, got a little miffed that his massage wasn't appreciated, and showed his displeasure by favoring a lean our way when his drunken sway shifted into full gear. You know, "the lean," the "I can't stand up straight so can I lean on you?" lean. Luckily, this guy had a hard time standing or sitting still, so he left us alone every ten minutes or so to check on his wife.

Mike, the official bar greeter, made sure to stop by and say hello, tell us that the place is a regular hangout for the area, that Friday nights they start early, Saturday a little later, that it's always the same people, that they love one another, swear at one another, sometimes borrow from one another--some swap wives, not Mike of course, but some, he said.

I sipped my rum and coke and wondered about their lives.

Did I mention there was kareoke?

It wasn't really the people or the lame DJ that left me with that shifted feeling. It was realizing that I'm so in between. Gone are the pre-kid days of clubs and hanging out til 3 a.m. and talking with friends over drinks after a gig. My friends are at home doing the same thing I'm usually doing: taking care of the kid, the house, the bills, the cars. that's one side of being in between. The other side of being in between is not yet being a 50-something like most of the free birds at the bar last night were. You could tell, their nests were empty; they were looking for something new, something more, some taste of something they'd lost along the way. Instead, they settle for familiar faces, vodka or gin, and someone else's husband, someone else's wife.

In other words, the movie was better than the bar.

Being able to spend the evening eye to eye with my husband, laughing and holding hands, without the constant interjection that is our love personified, Jenna, was a true gift. A regular baby sitter may just be in our future....

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