Well, my wedding anniversary didn’t turn out as I expected. It started by the date arriving well before I expected, taking me off guard, and leaving me with no time for present shopping for my spouse one day prior to the event. And it culminated with my white-haired, elderly neighbor peering through the window to ascertain just who it might be that my husband was shacking up with. Talk about a surprising turn of events.
Back to our anniversary, though. It’s not easy trying to put something even as simple as a dinner date together when you have multiple children six years old and under. When we decided to celebrate the night by going out we had to ensure we could wrangle down a babysitter first, and since the eleven month old still responds best in her own, comfortable surroundings, choosing one who wouldn’t mind coming to our home was best.
The sitter asked while we sat together (as my spouse scrubbed himself shiny in anticipation of a rare adult-only evening) what my husband and I had planned for the evening, and really I had no clue. We had yet to have a moment of peace to discuss things like plans, and in all reality I was still kinda shell-shocked that we were getting away period. I mean, you realize the importance of date night, but somewhere in between sick kids and a full schedule time alone together falls to the wayside.
After calling several restaurants to discover they were closed on a happening Monday night, we finally found a good, local steak joint worthy of sinking our chops into, but after dinner I think we were at a loss. We drove around aimlessly for about twenty minutes, but honestly enjoyed being able to speak to one another in normal tones of voice, without competition from tiny, little voices.
So finally after riding around town, and even after going to Walmart to buy things for our children (sad, I know), I made a joke (but not really) about the idea of renting a hotel room.
Sounds kinda corny, but if you’ve ever endured a home full of little people you understand the rarity of privacy that is achieved. When you share your bed with your children, it becomes even more rare. Unheard of really. You don’t avoid intimacy by any means, it just becomes a very creative endeavor. A very sneaky, quiet, and often times interrupted endeavor. So, a hotel room sounded like the stuff dreams are made of.
Once the subject had been breeched price seemed inconsequential, and obtaining a place with a bed made for X-rated folly was on the top of the agenda. Well, besides cheesecake and coffee. I needed cheesecake and coffee.
So there I found myself, quite unexpectedly, waiting in our family minivan while my love-muffin secured a nest of debauchery to rival all prior debauchery. For the past six years anyway. As I busied myself with my phone I imagined how spectacular it would be to use my outside voice indoors if it so suited my fancy. I could scream if I wanted, and other than the room next door, I knew it wouldn’t wake anyone of consequence. Or at least anyone I would be required to rock back to sleep.
But as I sat scrolling on my phone it registered that my husband was taking an exceptionally long time, and I peered out the window to pinpoint his whereabouts. I wasn’t surprised when I saw him happily chatting away to someone beyond my view, but I was surprised when I looked up a few minutes later to see him being ushered back to our vehicle by an older, Pentecostal woman. What the what?
Turns out that our town is as small as I thought, and as my husband gave our home address for the required paperwork the woman behind the night shift desk had exclaimed, “we’re neighbors!” Seems she was so excited at our spatial proximity that she just had to meet the missus of which he had spoken, and I glimpsed her eyeing me eagerly as she approached my window.
Pleasantries were made with not as much uncomfortableness as you might expect, and as she jubilantly expressed her joy at making my acquaintance it all began to come clear. Being a kind, conscientious neighborhood watch member, my husband and I hypothesized that she wasn’t so much enthusiastic to meet me as she was anxious to ensure it was me. Bless it. I mean, how many husbands and wives shack up in the local hotel less than five minutes’ drive from their own bedroom?
We do. And we did. And might I suggest the pleasure to any of you happily married couples out there. So why do I share such a private story? I mean, other than to give you a good laugh. I share to say this. Take the time. Take the effort. Shack up, make up, make out, whatever. Go the extra mile to find time together, whatever your specific challenges may be. Get a room, get a minute, or just get a piece of paper and write an unexpected love note. Something. Fanning the flame for years, and especially in the face of everyday life, can be difficult, but you do it. You be your husband’s mistress, and shock the neighbors every chance you get.
This post originally appeared at BrieGowen.com.