In order to keep our romance alive, my wife and I attempted to engage in a ritual we had heard about from “friends who knew friends who knew someone who did this”. I’m speaking of course about the mythical “Date Night” wherein a married couple picks one night a week to enjoy an evening together without the children and their joyous screams of “wipe my bum”! Date night is to take place once a week without fail and, according to legend, you and your significant other will be transformed into starry-eyed lovers like when you were twenty, except with less hair.
While there are many obstacles to rekindling the old flame the most challenging is the babysitter. Sure there are plenty of aptly aged youths for the job but only a few who make it through my wife’s screening (she has been recruited to interrogate the Taliban). I.Q. tests and SAT scores of the potential sitter and her parents are faxed in advance for review and the only the most promising candidates are selected. We then bring them all into our boardroom (the kitchen) and eliminate them until there is one left and my wife says “You’re hired”.
Once selection is made it is my job to negotiate payment. I am a big believer in overpaying for these services so I incorporate combat pay into the hourly rate in hopes that the future senator will cancel any previous commitments and go for the big bucks. (This might be considered a Capitol internship) Unfortunately, there are other fathers practicing the same politics and now we must bid for our baby sitter’s time on E Bay.
Finally, after the stress of finding a babysitter and getting the kids ready, alerting the police and fire departments and confirming payments on your life insurance policy we are now ready to go…...to bed. Yes, it’s quite tiring preparing to recapture your romance. But this is Date Night. So we kiss the kids and get in the car and realize “We don’t have any plans”. This begins a wonderful debate on what to do that evening. After much discussion and a long volley of “whatever you want to do” followed up with “No, whatever you want to do” it is decided that you will pull back in to the driveway and do nothing. Which inevitably leads to the question “how much do we pay the babysitter for 8 ½ minutes?” And the answer is of course $60, to avoid scandal.
We pay the babysitter and in the spirit of date night ask if she is available again next week. She accepts and inquires if we have any relatives that may need baby sitting services. I begin to wonder if date night was a scam concocted by an evil babysitter. I offer to drive the sitter home and she declines with a polite “No thanks. The Millers next door have date night tonight and I’m sitting from 7:30pm to 7:45pm.”