It was a date night we will not likely forget any time soon.
Having been married for almost 25 years, my wife and I still try to get out once in a while without a herd of children hovering around us.
When we were first married, this was not a problem because there were no ankle-biters to worry about. We could go on a date night whenever we wanted. But, back then, we didn't appreciate this fact. It wasn't until kids started showing up that we realized how nice it was to go out, just the two of us.
I love my kids, but separation makes the heart grow fonder, and every once in a while it is nice to enhance that fondness.
When the first born arrived, date nights were tossed out the window. Aside from being frantic first-timers, the momma was the main food supply and when she left, so did dinner for Junior.
We stuck pretty close to home.
We repeated this two more times. We were no longer rookies, but the momma was still meals to go as far as baby was concerned, so date nights were put on hold until the little ones could be fed by someone other than mom.
Faster than I expected, the babies grew to toddlers, who grew to school children, who grew to teens.
Throughout those years, date nights were held, but not with the regularity we would have liked.
The kids are now old enough that not a lot of planning is required for us to get out of the house.
"Kids, your mom and I are going out."
"OK, what's for supper?"
"Whatever you make. See ya."
That is one of the major benefits of having teenage children. There are still commitments, and being a family of five means always being busy, but we can now have our dates with less planning than we have been able to in many years.
This date night involved a movie.
We snuck away, I mean left the kids at home, and headed to a show. For once, we only had to pay for the two of us to get in. It was still not cheap, but at least I didn't have to sell a kidney just to finance the night out.
After a nice, relaxing movie, we decided to head home and end date night with a glass of wine and a dip in the hot tub.
This is where things went off the rails.
Upon arrival, Junior told us the basement was wet. In an instant, I knew date night was over and something most unpleasant was about to unfold.
With visions of the movie still dancing in my head and a relaxing hot tub sitting in the backyard beckoning me, I ventured downstairs with more than a little trepidation.
Had a pipe burst? Did someone leave a tap running and flooded the basement? Did the washing machine explode, pouring water everywhere?
I should have been so lucky.
Nope, date night would end with a backed up sewer line.
Say it with me, "Eeeeeeew, that is disgusting."
So instead of a glass of red and a bubbling tub of soothing heated water, I was ankle deep in, um, well, you know.
I spent the rest of the evening cleaning, muttering under my breath and thinking of what might have been as I dug out my trusty shop-vac to do a job I would really rather not be doing.
Once the machine had sucked up as much water and other material as possible, I knew there was nothing more I could do that evening. I also knew the mood was officially killed and the hot tub would have to sit empty while I sat on the couch and bemoaned my bad fortune.
The next morning, we got the insurance claim rolling and began the task of repairing our basement.
Like I said, it is a date night we will remember for a long time.
Darren Handschuh can be reached at
. For more of his ramblings, check out his blog at www.therudemonkey.blogspot.com.