“The Original Cheap Date”
A couple of weeks ago, on October 31st, The Groom and I volunteered to be readers at our daughter’s school; the school celebrates a “Harvest of Literature” that day because to actually say the word “Halloween” would have meant that the place was run by Satan worshippers looking to inculcate the small minds into the world of Beelzebub. So “Harvest of Literature” it was (does anyone else think Scarecrows and cornstalks are every bit as evil as vampires and ghosts?).
When we received a call that we had been scheduled to read *together*, for 35 minutes, in Girl’s first grade classroom, my gut reaction was one of joy:
“Oh my gosh, we actually have a date! You and I will be doing the same thing at the same time in the same place! How romantic! Love hangs in the air! And it will just be us, one teacher, and 28 first graders–that’s so intimate! Groom, you and I are going to rekindle our flame right there in front of the weekly spelling words!”
And then I realized that my thoughts, at age 39 with two kids, of what a “date” is compared to my ideas, at, say, age 13, of what a “date” was (a rumbling Chevy idling by the curb, dinner at a steakhouse, candlelight, a little Everclear, holding hands by a bonfire, some making out on the vinyl seats of the car)…well, they’d become more modest but ever-so-much-more satisfying.
These days, give me a hard, straight-backed chair, a tote bag full of Robert Munsch books, 56 upturned eyes, a sea of hands waving in the air, and Groom next to me, and I feel like I’ve just been to Prom (theme: Lionel Richie’s “Dancing on the Ceiling”). It didn’t hurt that I had about four shots of Everclear before staggering into the classroom, either.
photo from flickr.com (KDern)