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  • The Date Night Narrative
  • Annie Froehlich, J.D.
    Annie Froehlich, J.D.
  • Relationships

The Date Night Narrative

Date Night Narrative

Like most lawyers, I bill clients for my time. In my case, I bill in six minute increments. After nearly ten years, accounting for my days in this fashion has become automatic. So when the elusive date night rolls around, this is how the events “bill out” in my mind:

Visualize (7.8 hours)

  • Plot to sneak out of the office during my lunch hour to purchase en vogue date night attire.  Envision new outfit that will restore hotness levels circa spring break ’06. Reminisce about discernible tricep muscles and Hollywood tan. Regret that said tan is now costing thousands in corrective skincare. (1.3)
  • Just before launching my mission, receive “time-sensitive” assignment from boss. Abandon Operation Trophy Wife. (.1)
  • While tackling project, mentally catalogue potential date night-worthy options in existing wardrobe. Grow increasingly sartorially anxious. (2.4)
  • Realize no time to eat an actual lunch so piece together spare change from desk drawers and diaper bag. Head to vending machine. Consider whole grain granola bar. “Accidentally” select Cheddar Supreme Doritos. (.4)
  • Return to office. Assemble breast pump parts. Wipe nacho cheese from parts. Continue work assignment. Wipe nacho cheese from keyboard. (3.6)

Prepare (3.4 hours)

  • Receive text from babysitter offering “friendly reminder” that her rates have increased and she may be a few minutes late. Make unplanned detour to ATM for more cash. Mutter expletive after running over own foot while navigating Mack-sized double stroller through secured door. Scold son for repeating bad language. (.4)
  • Pick up pizza for kids. Pretend to be flattered by teen cashier’s observation re: the frequency of my patronage. Applaud myself for supporting local business. (.3)
  • At home, unpack children from stroller. Offer TV as distraction during pumping session. Surf to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Obey order to switch to The Lion Guard. And then back to Mickey.  And then back to The Lion Guard. And then… lie and say remote is broken. (.3)
  • Snag sleeve of Oreos. Assemble breast pump parts. Wipe chocolate dust from parts. Respond to work emails on Blackberry. Wipe chocolate dust from device. (.7)
  • Greet husband and task him with children. Start shower. Shave one leg and hear child crying.  Grab towel and dash towards commotion. (.2)
  • Find husband supine on couch watching ESPN. Inquire what happened. Bite tongue in response to “Just a bump. He’s fine. He has to learn.”  Mentally question “learn what?”  Bite tongue harder. Contemplate returning to shower to shave other leg, but admit it probably won’t matter later. Commend myself for effort. Spray dry shampoo on roots. (.3)
  • Rifle through closet for something attractive. After a number of strikes, settle on mixed fabric no-name-label LBD. Ignore fact that it’s a maternity dress. Adorn with sale rack H&M costume jewelry. Make mental note to go shopping this weekend. (.5)
  • Welcome babysitter. Decide crying baby is hungry. Excuse myself to bedroom. Remove maternity-wear and fake bling. Nurse baby. Re-dress and re-adorn. (.7)

Execute (4.3 hours)

  • En route to restaurant, wonder if the kids miss me. Worry that they do. Worry that they don’t. (.3)
  • When seated, immediately place phone on table in case sitter calls. Observe that husband does the same, in case of emergency sports updates. Seize phone proximity opportunity to scroll through pictures of the kids. Discuss with husband how beautiful and perfect they are. Miss them. Wonder again if they miss me. (.4)
  • Order cocktails. Have two sips and feel buzz set in. Smile. (Finally) engage in adult conversation (“Donald Trump can’t be the next president. Right?” “Did you pay the cable bill?” “Aren’t the kids so cute?”). Look at more pictures. Order more cocktails. (.5)
  • Carry adult conversation to mind-blowing levels (“Oh. My. God. What if Trump is the next president?” “Is Rob K’s make-out sesh with Blac Chyna the ultimate betrayal?” “Seriously, these kids!!! Damn.”). Look at more pictures. (.6)
  • Inhale food that for the first time in weeks (months?) is not mac n’ cheese, Yummy Dino Buddies, or plain ketchup. Remark to husband that restaurant is so trendy, it probably doesn’t even have ketchup. To make point, ask waiter for ketchup. (.4)
  • Receive call from sitter. Confirm house rules against lollipops in bed. Yes, same for iPads. (.1)
  • Head to the movies. Purchase snacks. Receive text from sitter wondering where TV remote may be. Suggest looking under couch cushions, in box of Magna-Tiles, or possibly in fridge. (.4)
  • Settle into chair with snacks. Shortly thereafter, fall asleep. Awake when phone vibrates. Learn that sitter has found remote (“Magna-Tiles!”). Try to piece together plot. Eat more snacks. Fall back asleep. (1.3)
  • Awake to credits. Finish snacks. (.3)

Conclude (2.2 hours)

  • Pay babysitter and order her Uber. Refuse to disclose her rates to husband. (.2)
  • Check on kids. Confirm no evidence of lollipops or iPad in bed. (.2)
  • See red blinking light on Blackberry. Momentarily resist temptation to check messages. Cave. Find urgent response to boss required. Utter more expletives. (.1)
  • Remove date night ensemble with one hand while drafting e-mail with the other. Notice missing rhinestone. Worry baby will eat it. Put Blackberry on dresser to hunt for choking hazard. Look for it everywhere, even Magna-Tiles. Fail. Worry baby has already eaten it. Contemplate calling pediatrician. Ask husband whether I should. Find him supine on couch, ESPN blaring, asleep. (.4)
  • Snatch slice of cold pizza. Question why I was knocking kid food earlier; so good. Assemble pump parts. Wipe sauce from pump parts. Respond to e-mail. Wipe sauce from mousepad. (.5)
  • Limp into bed. Worry some more about missing rhinestone. Wonder if kids know I’m home. Wonder if they’re happy about it. Hope they are happy, always. Pass out. Awake to crying baby. Decide he’s hungry. (.4)
  • Succumb to tendency to internally tally time from evening into six minute increments. Concede that the measurement of time is mathematical, absolute. Counter that the value of time is not.  On mental invoice, underscore every precious increment spent in love – a .2 with my husband here, a .5 with my children there…  Wish there were more. Acknowledge that these moments, though measurable, are invaluable. Cherish them.  (.4)
  • Soak in sweet music of baby sucking. Blissfully drift away to peaceful rhythm of his sleepy breathing.  In… out… in… out… in… out…  Love. (N/A)

  • Annie Froehlich, J.D.
    Annie Froehlich, J.D.
  • Relationships

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