Recently, in the midst of all the busyness, all the stress, all the chaos… I told my husband, “We’re going on a double date.” His natural response was, “With who?” My response threw him for a loop as I answered, “With ourselves. Saturday I’m taking you on two dates… back to back.” It was the kind of weekend we needed just for us away from everything and everyone else to just embrace one of our huge love languages… Quality Time.
First, we dressed up. I wore a fancy twirly skirt, he wore a bow tie. Because sometimes, a bow tie is just needed, and a twirly skirt. It was killing Stephen not knowing where we were going, but I secretly love creating the suspense. We hopped in the car, and while he normally drives us everywhere, this time I took the keys and the driver’s seat. We drove across town and as we pulled onto the street of our date, I said, “I’m introducing to you what used to be a favorite past time of my childhood.” And there it was. The skating rink I circled many memories around as mini-Scarlett. I didn’t care that this skating rink was now run down and barely anyone there. For all the years I wondered as a little girl where my future husband was, I was excited to now be bringing my husband here with me. And he was actually excited to arrive with me, bow tie and all.
So for an hour or so, we held hands and circled around the rink like two teenagers in love. We might have been over dressed for the occasion but we didn’t care. I might have skated circles around Stephen, but he didn’t care. He might have kicked my butt in air hockey, but I didn’t care. All that mattered was that we left our worries and stress behind, and for those few hours, we dated each other again creating new memories together.
Date 1, done.
Time for Date 2. It was too early for Date 2 to begin, so we created a Date 1.5 and stopped and got ice cream at Bruster’s, where we sat outside their outdoor hut embracing the summer breeze cooling off with the ice cream. Stephen got peanut butter chocolate, I got strawberry shortcake. And our recent gym obsessed personalities didn’t care what the calorie count was.
Then it was time for Date 2. We went cosmic bowling! Of all the things we’ve done together, bowling is something we’ve never done together. I can’t even remember the last time I went bowling, but I took him to the last place I remember bowling as a child. We walked into a dance party with hit songs and videos playing over the lanes, smoke machines and lazer lights waiting to guide our bowling balls down the lane. I naturally picked a hot pink ball, and he picked blue. Though I had no idea what I was doing, he quickly taught me the rules of the game and where to aim for. Though he got a lot more strikes than I did and a higher score, my competitive side didn’t care. We were spending time together acting like teenagers in love for the second time that day, and that’s all that mattered.
It was a day we didn’t Instagram, or Facebook, or Twitter or feel the need to tell the world about. It was simply our day together that didn’t need to involve everyone else in our social networks. And as addicted as we are to our social networks and our iPhones to stay connected, the biggest lesson we’ve been learning the past few years of being married is that, not everything in life has to be Facebooked. Sometimes the best memories are the ones that only you remember, not the ones that everyone else knows about. And while yes, I’m blogging about it today, I’m blogging about it about a month after this date happened, rather than pulling out my phone and sharing it with the world in the midst of when it’s happening.
My challenge for you today is…. to stop updating the world on the memories you are creating in the moment and instead embrace the memories you are creating with loved ones right then and there. I almost feel like in this day and age, our memories are becoming like that story of the tree in the woods. If a tree falls and no one hears it, does it make a sound? If our memories happen, and we don’t put it on Facebook, does the memory happen? My answer is yes, as I learned on our double date. And even better are the memories you get to create when your nose isn’t stuck in a phone updating the world.