Summer is the busiest time of year for my husband’s business. He goes in early to beat the heat of the shop or get paperwork done before his phone starts its continuous ringing. Many times he walks through the door in the afternoon only to get a phone call beckoning him back to work. Sometimes those jobs go into the early hours of the next day, yet he still gets up and goes in at the regular time the next day. Most weekends are free, but he is always on call for emergencies and usually gets at least one or two calls. He’s a hard-working man and when you own a business, work never really stops. Needless to say, his summers are exhausting and I can’t blame him for wanting to sit in his easy chair, in his air-conditioned house, and rest.
So imagine my surprise when he asked me out on a date last weekend. A “real date”, he says.
Now, I will tell you, that after 33 years of marriage, the term “date” has definitely been redefined.
As a teenager, a date would consist of me doing my hair and makeup for at least an hour (this was the era of Farrah hair and I had it going on) It didn’t matter if we were going to the lake, movie, rodeo, or bonfire- hair and makeup had to be Just. Right. Next would come clothes but, since I didn’t have that many outfits to choose from, spending a little extra time on my hair and makeup was a must to make up for my lack of fashion (which still exists to this day.) My curfew was midnight and I was never early getting home.
When our boys were young, a “date” meant we might get to sit by each other at a ballgame. Since he coached the boys baseball teams from T-ball through Senior Babe Ruth, that was rare. Football and basketball games were different since he didn’t coach these sports, and he would always buy me supper which consisted of nachos and a coke. A lot of our friends would be there and it was great hanging out with them and reliving our glory days of youth while watching our kids make their own memories. It’s the little things you know.
By the time the boys grew up and left the house, we were tired. We didn’t feel like going ‘out’ on a “date”. We could have a date right here at the house. Grill outside, sit on the back porch, watch the birds, watch the deer, pet the dog, and go to bed early. Good times.
Since we have been remodeling the lake house, we jokingly refer to a “date” as a trip to Lowes. We meander the aisles thinking of projects we need to do, should do, could do, might do, but probably won’t do. We rarely buy anything. Sometimes we hold hands and I’ll give him a shoulder bump if I’m feeling especially energetic. I tell him he’s lucky to have a woman who’s, not only beautiful and witty (shoulder bump), but also a cheap date. He agrees and then we go home. Oh how the years have changed us.
So this “real date” had me intrigued.
“Should I dress up?”, I asked knowing darn good and well I have nothing to dress up in. “Nope”, he said. This is good. One crisis diverted. “But we do need to take the truck”, he added. Oh boy! I’m thinking we ARE going to Lowes and get that new freezer I’ve been wanting. “Cool”, I say nonchalantly trying hide my pathetic excitement over a freezer.
We head to town and end up here.
I am floored. We literally have not been to this Drive In in about twenty five-thirty years. I’m sure we brought the kids a time or two, but other activities pushed this venue to the bottom of the list.
The sign is just like I remember from high school.
As was the multi-car entrance
Flashback: Back in the day, we would all meet at someone’s house (usually the person with the biggest truck), pile in the BACK of the truck and drive several miles (on the highway!) to the movie. I think we could get in for about $2 a truck load (if anyone remembers, I would love to know) and when we got there we would unload chairs, grills, and coolers and made ourselves at home.
Tonight, though, it was just the two of us and we drove around to find just the right spot. We discovered the last row seemed to have the only row with the original speakers.
Everyone else could tune in the movie on their radio, but we wanted to relish the whole retro experience. So he backed the truck in,
placed the speakers (scratchy sound included at no extra cost) on the side of the truck,
and got our chairs ready.
We did the expected selfie,
posted it on Facebook, instagram, and twitter and settled in to watch the movies.
It was going to be a blue moon that night, so we watched it come up over the trees
and settle into the sky.
We hadn’t been here in so long, we forgot they show two movies. We began to panic when we started figuring out what time the last one would be over, so we gave ourselves a pep talk which ended in the phrase, ‘we are not that old’ and needed to buck up and take one for the good ol’ ’70’s generation. Go us!
Thanks so much for the date, hon. (shoulder bump) It was fun spending the evening with you and I hope we make a habit of doing this more often. It was the best date ever.
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