Let me start with the bare facts: Warren and I don't do date nights. Oh, we are out a lot, but with rare exception our evenings out are related to the Symphony, Warren's playing, or his passion for percussion.
So that may explain why the other evening, I kept turning to look at Warren with wonder in my eyes. We were out on a Friday evening, listening to a lounge act in a Worthington area inn.
Okay, truth be told, there was an underlying Symphony reason for our being there listening to this singer. He may be performing with the Symphony next season and Warren wanted a chance to hear him live.
And, in the spirit of full disclosure, we had come straight from the Symphony office First Friday that evening, so it really was a Symphony evening after all.
But that didn't matter, once we arrived and sat down. This was live music: not a battery of percussionists, but the crooner and his backup trio (bass, keyboardist, drummer). Low conversations at nearby tables. Soft lights. An appreciative audience. A stand-up bass player who exuded the passion a performer can bring to his craft. The clink of glassware in the bar.
And Warren beside me, listening, watching, smiling at me.
Could that be my husband of three and a half years? Could that be my friend of forty years?
When you are on a date, the person you thought you knew better than anyone else takes on a special glow.
We ordered and shared a dessert: a frozen lemon concoction that we ate slowly. I let every spoonful dissolve in my mouth.
When the group ended their final set, Warren went up and talked to the singer. Of course, he also knew the bass player. And the drummer was an old acquaintance. I wasn't a bit surprised.
The Passover moon hung full in the sky as we left. I linked my arm through Warren's as we walked to our car and said, "We should do this a little more often."
Our marriage will likely never settle into a "routine" because there is nothing routine about Warren's life. Any life which involved hauling (or building) a truckload of percussion at the drop of the hat, while negotiating with next season's soloists, will never be routine. All the same, stepping outside of our comfort zone (well, outside of Warren's world for the most part) from time to time does us good.
As I write the draft of this post, I am sitting in the auditorium of the Renaissance Theater while Warren sets up for a rehearsal with the Mansfield Symphony. Other musicians are starting to drift in. It will be a long evening because we came up early; it will be a late night because home is an hour away. Friday night is another rehearsal. Saturday is dress rehearsal and the concert.
This is not a date night. This is not a date weekend. This is a working night and a working weekend at the end of a long work week. Warren and I always run the danger of circumscribing our lives with being overextended. If I am not careful, I will get worn down and worn out by the late hours, the nonstop Symphony demands, the percussion immersion. I know: I live in the percussion universe and I am married to the Symphony.
But sometimes I need a night that is not those things. Sometimes I need an exotic dessert. Sometimes I need to look at Warren with fresh eyes.
Sometimes I need a date.