Apparently I’ve Taken up Speed Dating


My husband and I recently went out for a real, live, honest-to-goodness date night. Can you say “gift card”?Our dates have changed a lot from our early years together. These days we’re just happy to eat “fancy food” and leave the dishes for someone else to wash. Having evolved past the need to entertain or impress each other, we don’t feel the need to talk much. We prefer to linger over our dinner, enjoying the peace and quiet.

Well, my husband lingers.
My entire entrée is gone before he’s even done with his salad.
He will take a few bites. Put down his fork. Take a drink. Put down his glass. Maybe check his phone or ask me a question about my day.
I’m more of a shop-vac eater myself. Set a plate down in front of me, and everything within a 12-inch radius will be sucked into the vortex.
What can I say?


Twenty-five years of having kids does things to a person. For twenty-five years, I’ve had to inhale my food before anyone else started asking for seconds. I have been conditioned to hurry and finish my meal before rushing off to to start bath water, run dish water, or switch a load of laundry. (The laundry struggle is very real at our house – once you put a load in the washer, you need to be ready to grab the clothes as soon as the spin cycle is finished. Otherwise, the leak in our second-hand washing machine will get everything soaked again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.)

Twenty-five years.
There was an ever-so-brief stretch of time that constituted my life before children, but that was long ago and far away. Now that period of my life closely resembles the batch of sunflower seeds I recently planted. They started out so fresh and green and full of potential, but then rabbits came along during the night and ate all the leaves before they could get strong enough to survive.
Poor things didn’t stand a chance.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Being a mother has truly been my greatest joy and my highest calling. I’m just saying it has taken its toll on my sense of decorum.

Now I sleep in things I used to work out in, and I go out in public in things I sleep in. My idea of a manicure is a good pair of fingernail clippers, and my purse has become big enough to smuggle value-sized bags of candy into the movies (if I were so inclined).

Things have definitely changed since our lives were overrun by the half dozen human beings that share our name and our DNA. Our home is always in some stage of disorder, and we are daily being stretched to become better people so we can stay one step ahead of the plebeians.

So this is what I have become.

If you see me out and about, be forewarned. I may be in sweats, I may have forgotten what day it is, and I will most assuredly be running late.

I may even be trying to squeeze in a date with my husband; in which case, you might want to respect that 12-inch radius.

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