Last night Elise and I went on date #1 of our Ten Great Dates, a program that Elise signed us up for through her church. Like all functions, programs, standing, kneeling, sitting, tithing, kneeling, standing, sitting and standing that are sanctioned by the church, I went in to this experience with an open mind.
Our class started with all 39 couples sitting in the church’s little auditorium. After our program leader put away the levitating serpents, we watched a short film starring the fine couple, David and Claudia Arp, who, together, started the Marriage Alive program back in the early 70’s when the free love movement was nearing its end and being replaced by things like capitalism, disco and monounsaturated trans fats. In this film we were told that with the help of mild sedatives and Sade’s 1984 hit album “Diamond Life”, we could re-energize our marriage.
Our first class was quick and it allowed us to rip out not one, but two perforated pages from our “10 Great Dates” owner’s manual. These pages were our respective “Date One Exercise” worksheets – one for him and one for her. On these pages were the series of the same 11 questions. We hopped into our love wagon and drove over to the local interior Mexican restaurant for dinner, and to see if we could score some sedatives from the bus boy.
As we waited for our dinner, we filled out our respective worksheets. We wrote down our memories of things such as:
- First time I saw my mate
- First date
- First kiss
- Favorite dates
- First time we talked about getting married
- Wedding day
- First home
- First anniversary
- Most romantic moments
- Happiest memories
Elise reflected and reminisced in detail in most of her answers, while most of my answers consisted of a simple “yes” or “beer!”
The best part of the date was just being able to get away and focus on rekindling our relationship while knowing that our only offspring was safe, handling mosquitos the size of Labradoodles, under close supervision during a summer twilight in Texas.
It was fun to remind each other of important and exciting events that we’d experienced, arm in arm, in the past. For example, Elise reminded me that we were married in “SEPTEMBER!”
Three Pepsis and an hour later, we found ourselves back in the church parking lot along with the other parents who also didn’t know what to do with one another for an entire two hours.
So we loaded up the child, drove home and prank called the David and Claudia Arp house until 1 a.m. Elise blames it on the Pepsi. I blame it on the re-energizing.