Joe and I don’t go on many dates. I mean the kind where you have a destination, like the opera, and you spend time primping yourself and curling your hair and wear lipstick. Our dates usually consist of jumping in the car and spending time getting ready by taking a shower, if we feel like getting really crazy.
This is fine. I’m not one for exerting all that energy too often to look a certain way. I prefer my jeans and a sweatshirt while we drive around and talk. Sometimes we stop and get a coffee. Sometimes we don’t. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy a nice dinner out with friends or something, because I do. Just not every week.
This short recipe for our dates is one of my favorite parts of our week. So much time is already taken with day jobs and freelance work. With mundane things like grocery shopping and the post office. And trying to plan some elaborate date for Friday night was just not happening. So somewhere along the line, we instituted The Drive.
“Wanna go for a drive?” Joe will ask. I’ll smile and say, “Sure.” And we grab the keys and go. And for the next hour, all the things that we haven’t found time to talk about for the last few days will come tumbling out, possibly out of order, but the jumbled nature doesn’t matter. We talk. And we talk a lot while we hold hands and listen to jazz on the radio in the dark.
Last night, as we drove around all the parts of our town and never reached any burned or charred fields or scarred skeletons of where a home used to stand, I felt so incredibly lucky. So fortunate. My heart aches for all those families that have found themselves homeless and who are hoping for the best case scenario to be that they had good insurance that will actually cover the fire damage, although so many things were lost that can never be replaced. I hope along with them. And I was thankful that we had a car and a bed at home. And that the air was clear and we could roll down the windows and not choke on scorched wind while we drove around and counted neon signs that were broken and missing letters.
By the time we’re done talking, the road will bring us home and scoot us into the driveway. We’ll kiss and grab the trash and head into the house. Dating in your thirties might not be the same as dating in your twenties. There is definitely less hairspray. But I like it.