How Pete Wilgoren and his wife stopped going through the motions of married life.
Somewhere along the line, “us” became “all of us”. Somewhere along the line, two became four.
Somewhere along the line, “date night” went MIA and our couple status was lost.
And then one night Stella got his groove back.
I’m Stella in this case. Or maybe the wife and I are both Stella. From this point forth, Stella will be the code word for our couple status. We are Stella and we went in search of our lost groove.
I won’t lie. This has been a particularly brutal week. We made trips back and forth to San Francisco after a death in the family. We had a small car accident to deal with. Both our jobs are crazy right now. The holidays are here. And Stella’s groove had long ago been stalled by repeated viewings of Disney’s “Frozen” and heated discussions about which family activity to do on any given day.
We’ve been going through the motions of being parents, caregivers, workers, volunteers, oh and somewhere down the list, husband and wife.
And then Stella got his groove back.
I had actually suggested the wife and I should go out for drinks with some friends. This was a big first step. We got a babysitter. We left it open ended with the kids and the babysitter when we’d return. This was a big second step. The kids are master manipulaters of pouring on the guilt when we’re going out without them, but Stella put his foot down tonight. Sorry kids, enjoy Netflix and takeout and know mom and dad love you.
The wife dressed to the nines in a hot little black number. Can I say smokin’ hot? She was. The husband dressed slightly better than normal.
The night didn’t even start till after 9pm… already a Stella record of sorts.
We started out at a rum and cigar lounge. We spent time with friends. We shared drinks with each other including a few we’ve never had before. We even shared a cigar, the aptly named “Romeo and Juliet” and lived it up big.
Midnight approached but we weren’t ready to call it a night. Stella was just getting started.
One couple called it quits. They don’t have kids yet so whatever… Lightweights.
We weren’t ready. We grabbed the other couple and went bar hopping like college kids. By 2am, we were loaded into LA’s greasy spoon diner called The Pantry enjoying an early morning breakfast with everyone else who was either nocturnal or drunk or looking to hide their sorrows in a side of hash and a heaping helping of toast.
Not us. Stella was getting his groove back.
We had more good conversation and some couple canoodling. We slipped home after about three in the morning and said goodnight to the babysitter (a family member who didn’t mind staying late and getting little or no pay in return).
One kid leapt out of bed. We cut her off at the pass … screech… and gave her a goodnight kiss and a one way trip right back to her room.
We quietly shut the door, we snuck into bed like new lovers, and Stella got his groove back. Stelllaaaaaa! I don’t need to describe what happened next. Suffice it to say, it was 90-seconds of pure heaven (actual times may vary).
Somewhere along the line the wife and I have forgotten what it means to be a couple. I admit it. Stella had lost the groove. On one Saturday night in the middle of rum, cigars, hash and eggs we made a new commitment to each other to try and get at least two date nights a month. Stella is back baby! Now I need to keep him back.
The alarm rang at 7 am and the kids came racing into our room. It was the best and sweetest and worst and most tiring wake up call ever.
We’ll do the zombie walk of shame today and probably crash by 7 tonight but who cares?
Stella’s got his groove back.
Featured Photo: Ben Seidelman/Flickr
Cigar and Rum Photo: Olivier Thereaux/Flickr
Originally published on Dadmissions