Romancing the Stone

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:51

    It seems that week after week spending time alone with my husband becomes more and more difficult due to our children's sports and activities and their very active social lives. As the weekend turns into Monday morning we look at each other realizing that we let yet another week go by without having that much needed "we" time. When we do snag those tiny precious moments alone, I'd like to think we still enjoy each other's company, however, there's never enough time to talk about it. Although he does not go out of his way to arrange social plans, my husband is nonetheless very easy and undemanding when it comes to the family's agenda. We work well with lists because we usually have to tag team when it comes to our children's activities. Our lives revolve around that and sometimes I feel socially stunted. So, I have decided to be swept off my feet. We are going on a date, and not the date night that many couples schedule on a weekly basis, but a "real" blind date. My husband has to plan a date with someone he's supposedly never met before. My kids are all in on the idea and strangely, the more we talk about it the more real it seems. As I browse through all the best sellers at the Sparta Book Store while my daughter looks for a schoolbook, my mind wonders … I can't imagine the stress one goes through these days, with dating, especially people my age getting back into the single scene after years of marriage. I was feeling pretty good about myself and my fantasy date until I heard that Rod Stewart recently turned 60! Now I'm feeling old and weather beaten. In the self-help section I pick up the new best seller about relationships and dating entitled "He's Just Not that Into You: the no-excuses truth to understanding guys" by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo. If I were single now, this book would be my bible. I'd read this just in case the dating world has changed drastically over the years. I'd be prepared for any possible rejection, body language or new lingo. Rejection! Listen to me. Get a grip here woman. This is not high school. I'm pretty together, independent, head screwed on straight, and I think I have something to contribute to a conversation … maybe. I'm much more comfortable being me now, than I was in my 20s. Physically I feel the same as I did at 20-something. It's when I see my reflection in the mirror that I'm often shocked at the middle age woman staring back at me. Forget Rod Stewart! I have a new bouncing and behaving hairdo. And while I was telling the stylist at K and C Salon about my date, even she mentioned how I now looked so much younger (eliminating the gray roots certainly was a factor there). While rummaging through my daughter's makeup in an attempt to get a new fresh (and yes, a little sexy) look, unlike the look I have in the morning, I realize that unless I want to have the gothic look for the evening I better get new makeup for myself. Believe it or not, I've worn the same brand of make up, applied exactly the same way for 30 years. As I gaze at the colorful sea of choices at the Sparta Pharmacy, I desperately search for the brand that will cover or reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Yeah, I'm definitely not 20 anymore. I spot some cute stuffed animals and other gifts. I choose something for my daughter who will be my designated babysitter for the evening, who at this moment is buying a caramel fat free latte over at Green Beans Café. Whatever happened to a coke? I can't even imagine what my date has planned for the evening. I certainly hope I find out ahead of time what the game plan is. I bought the most beautiful scarf at the Sunshine Beauty Supply Store and would love to create an outfit around it. I've decorated an entire room based on a picture, how hard can one scarf be to build on. If the evening calls for a more sophisticated attire I will pick up something at Talbot's, where the personal service is impeccable, I could use the help from someone other than my ‘like, ya know', daughter. Just in case we're heading out to casual and groovy … oops, I'm told by my date advisor that ‘groovy' is so out' (that, I knew, I just wanted to rattle her cage) … regardless, I'll stop in at Uptown Girl to see if they have anything I can't live without. "Now that's hot, Mom!" she assures me as we look through the racks. Yeah, hot for someone much younger, much taller with no hips, no butt, and no stretch marks, but not for me. Soon I do find something just perfect for me and yes, a little hot. Now, if this were a real blind date I'd insist on meeting him somewhere - Separate cars for a quick getaway if necessary. Even if a quick getaway was not necessary, I'd still appear cool and totally in control in my own wheels. Yeah, that's it, cool and totally in control … sure, as I pull away in my family SUV, real cool. Oh great, now I'm totally engrossed in my own fictional date. I have to admit though, this is fun. Not having been on a date in almost two decades, I find it interesting to think about the imaginary "what ifs." As my manicure dries and my pedicure begins, my head, neck and back get a much needed massage from the fabulous massage/pedicure chairs Elite Nails has in their salon. My mind starts to wander … is love really blind? I hope so. I recently described my husband to someone as thin with brown hair and realized that he's actually not so thin anymore and now has gray hair! So I do think love is blind. Good. Now I need shoes. Off to Marty's Shoe Store, my home away from home. If there's one thing I've learned over the years is that high heels are a girl's best friend. They elongate the legs and make you look like you've instantly lost five pounds. I'm always in some form of heels, even my beach shoes are high heels. At the store, I am talked into a pair of very pointy, pink shoes, by my favorite saleswoman who assures me that if I don't get stylish shoes like these, I'll look like I'm wearing my grandmother's shoes. I'm thinking these do look like my grandmothers shoes. "Mom, it's totally about the look" my daughter informs me. And this is the look she thinks I need. I'm being critiqued by someone who wears flannel pajamas around town with her hair tied up in a knot. "And Mom, whatever you do, don't make that face on the date." What face, I ask. "That face! You look like you're frowning all the time. Dad will think you're mad all night." Although I roll my eyes at her, I know exactly what she's talking about. I'm not mad though, it's just how my skin fits me these days, everything is shifting … everything. When I'm conscious of it and try to pull my face back a bit, then I look shocked, like I just walked into a surprise party. It's a losing battle. I just hope I live long enough to point out her saggy skin. As I get a facial at the International Spa and Salon, I'm hoping my "date" brings me a little something, like flowers from Sophie's Place or something unique from Tweed. That's always a nice touch. Is that asking too much? I think not. Did I mention I got pots and pans as a Christmas gift? "Good pots and pans" my husband says, defending himself, "to go with your new kitchen." Yeah, we're definitely married. And speaking of gifts. I treated myself to the greatest birthday gift. As the manager at the Sparta Coin and Jewelry store hands me the most fabulous ring ever, my daughter's mouth drops. "Wow. Mom, now that's hot, very hot" she says. With my new manicure and this ring my hand should be in a magazine ad. I sincerely hope that this guy of mine is putting even half of the effort I am into this date. I don't want to see the same clothes on him or worn shoes that I see every morning. And, a haircut, some cologne and a possible manicure, and new conversation would show good effort, the new metro man effort. As I think about this date, aside from minor surprises, unlike real blind dates, I know what prize I'm getting in the Cracker-Jack box, but if this were real, and I was actually single at this age, I know what my standards would be: Stylish: yes. Body piercing; no! Bald: no problem. Comb-over: huge problem. Financially comfortable: very good. Poor, living with mother: very bad. Old fashioned: fine. Romantic: very, very, fine. As far as that Cracker-Jack box is concerned, I think I did end up with the best prize, even after all these years.