Rocky imported a top-of-the-line pair of babysitters last weekend so we could celebrate Valentine’s Day in style. They came all the way from New York City (New York City!?!). It was the first time we’ve gone on a proper date without the barnacle err, baby, since I don’t know, September? [I have chosen to ignore the fact that Rocky and I went to his company Christmas party in September sans Bennett for three reasons. First, he was left in the capable hands of my sister, both family and a professional. Second, I was way too nervous to be able to relax and enjoy myself. Finally, since I was way too nervous to relax and enjoy myself, Rocky decided to stay out way past my bedtime and I went home alone. That my friends, does not a date make.]
In our attempt to “do it up,” we traveled a whole seven minutes from our house, for a fancy… lunch. But I got dressed up in pants without an elastic waistband, and Rocky did open the door for me, TWICE! That hasn’t happened since we got married.
In our exhaustive search to observe the most sacred of all Hallmark Holidays at noon on a Saturday, we found ourselves at Lyon Hall in Arlington. We figured the French menu would remind us of our carefree childless days, or more specifically our first afternoon in Paris. It was a delightful day worth recreating. We had ducked into a quiet little bistro on a rainy day and enjoyed a meat and cheese platter with a fine French Bordeaux. Fine holiday fun!
Despite the fact that we would beat an ambulance home should the need arise, we resolved not to mention the barnacle. Yet, as luck would have it, there was a wee bébé at a table across the room. There was also a six year old seated at the table next to me reading a Star Wars picture book, kicking my seat. And at one point there was a giant screaming raucous. Huzzah! The woman at the bar announced her pregnancy. I suppose you can take the mom and dad off the quickly sinking ship of fun, but you’re still likely to find your life preserver stuck with plenty of barnacles.
Making merry at lunchtime rather than bedtime had a few more drawbacks. Both the charcuterie and dessert menus were not available at brunch. The audacity! Hearts were broken, barnacles were cursed. We decided to drown our sorrows in other calorie-heavy delights. Rocky ordered a flight of Belgian beer and I enjoyed a nice Kir Royale. The Rocky I knew when we first met would have been hugely impressed (and demanded an introduction) by the Rocky sitting across from me. The man ordered oysters. Maybe they reminded him of the barnacle at home?
Wishing I could be similarly adventurous, I played it safe and ordered the French Onion Soup with Short Ribs. It was like slurping beef gravy with some cheese on top. Rocky frowns upon this sort of behavior at home, so it felt like I was breaking all the rules.
The rest of meal was lovely. We discussed politics, purses and Paris over frites and frisée. We settled for the profiteroles while wishing we were splitting an almond pot du crème or a fig claufouti. Settling the bill and wishing we could come back, we plotted how to hoodwink another set of imported babysitters.
In real living on the edge fashion, we ended our hot date by making a trip to the grocery store. Shopping without a baby felt almost as decadent as the noontime champagne. We came home to a still breathing Bennett and the babysitters were close enough to still standing. I’d have to call it a success!