Last night Elise and I had an extended date night. My mom drove up to stay at our house and take care of the Zombie Eater for the night so Elise and I could have the night off. Elise booked a room for us at the Mansion at Judges’ Hill. We left the house around 6:30 and the original thought was to have dinner at the mansion, but we were pressed for time and probably wouldn’t have had time for dinner and a movie given that they only had a reservation available for 8:45. I suggested we go to the Domain to have dinner at North and to see the movie Inception.
By the time we found a spot to park and were less than a block from the restaurant, Elise stopped a security guard to ask where the movie theatre was. He told us that it was way off yonder in Phase II of the Domain, which was not within walking distance. He noticed that I had “We are on a dinner and a movie date” written on my forehead, so he said, “you probably won’t have time to eat and make the show. However, the movie theatre does serve food and drinks. You two could have dinner there.”
“You are a fantastic human being, Mr. Mall Security Guard Guy!”
So we walked back to the car and drove to the movie theatre. We had plenty of time, so we walked leisurely to the swanky counter to purchase our tickets. They were sold out for the 9 p.m. show. There were two seats located together for the 9:45 show. So I told the nice young lady that we’d take those two tickets. She told me my total would be $45. I told the nice young lady that I didn’t think she understood.
“You see, it’s just my wife and I that are here to see the picture show.”
“I do not have a bus full of small children that are also here to see the movie with us.”
“I understand. It’s $45.”
Actually, that’s not the way it happened at all. She told me it was $45 and I handed her my credit card. You see, if you told me that a bicycle was $15,000 because it has a derailleur, and you show me a piece of paper with the word derailleur printed on it as one of the features of that bicycle, I will pay because derailleur is a very nice, fancy word.
Elise, on the other hand, would not pay. She said something to the effect of, “OH NO YOU DIDNNNN N’T!” as she pulled off her wig and started swinging.
“What comes with a $22 movie ticket?”
The young lady explained that there are only 40 seats in the theatre, reclining chairs, fresh blankets, pillows, and a private server call button.
I asked if a foot massage was included. She told me “no.” I would’ve had no problem paying $22 for a foot massage and a movie.
So we left, drove back south and bought our movie tickets for the 9:45 show at the Alamo Drafthouse. It was 9 p.m. and Elise was starving at this point, so we walked over to Casa Garcia. They were closed. We walked across the parking lot over to Suzi’s Chinese Kitchen and had 30 minutes to spare. Elise had the seafood combo. I had the scallops. We shared the restaurant with one other table — a couple, probably 30 years our seniors, sitting at the table next to us.
It wasn’t until just now, while I was recounting the events of last night, that I thought about the relationship I have with my wife that I’m guilty of taking for granted. As trivial as making ad hoc plans for a date night, driving all around Austin, finding a place to have a late dinner and going to a movie so close to our bed time is, it reminds me of how lucky I am to have the wife that I have. When I have no problem handing over my credit card and paying $45 for a pair of movie tickets, she steps in as the frugal one. I don’t complain or question her judgement. She fills in in that part where I’m lacking. When I’m stressed and in a hurry, she grabs my hand, holds it and makes us both walk a little slower. When we have dinner at a Chinese restaurant and I invariably tell her, “if I wanted that, I would have ordered it.”, the thought never crosses her mind to reconsider sharing with me. It’s just her nature.
The movie was just okay. The night with my wife was the priceless reminder.