#1,603 Come Here Often?
by Erin Napier
There’s a surprisingly great date night thing we do every once in a while that I can’t remember if I’ve ever written about here. Sometimes when I meet people who read Make Something Good Today, they tell me it seems like everything is always so wonderful and perfect around here—and I promise they’re not. There are days when I’m so insanely cranky (Ben, Mal and Jim can vouch for me) and misanthropic that I hardly offer more than blunt one-word conversation at dinner, and days when everything just feels all messed up and I don’t know why (hormones) and I feel like crying about it, and days when the 1971 headlights won’t work and the internet won’t either, but I don’t talk about that stuff. Everyone has that stuff. Too much of it. Then some people ask if our marriage is always all sunshine and daisies like it seems, and honestly, most days it really is. And I credit that to this one thing we’re both particularly good at—seeing ourselves through someone else’s eyes, or the way we did when we were brand new.
Today was one of those actually great days where it felt like everything did go right. And you know those days—they’re like… One in a thousand. I had to work late but I didn’t mind because business is great and means staying in the shop past 6. That’s a BIG good thing. Around 7 we had to run an errand to Ellisville and figured, might as well drive 15 more miles and make it a Tabella date night.
And this is where the surprising thing comes in—when we got to the restaurant, we just began, without saying so, to pretend we were on a first date.
And it’s crazy what happens when you try it. You ask questions like, “do you love this restaurant?” or “how was work today?” or “what’s your favorite band?” or “what were your past relationships like?” and if you listen to your spouse answer thoughtfully, just as if you won’t know the answer, and if you answer as if you’re on your very best first date behavior, you’ll probably find yourself thinking what an interesting (and handsome and tall and funny and endearing) person you’re on a date with. I liked when I would ask him something and predict his response to be one thing, and be surprised to find I was wrong when he answered. Like even though I know him better than anyone in the world, there are still parts of his history and ideas I’ve not learned.
It makes me feel giddy when this happens once in a blue moon, when I realize what an incredible person I’m actually with. How if this were a real first date, I’d be crazy about this guy. It would be so obvious that we’re meant to be together. We do this on some level every day, and it keeps us from focusing too much on what irritates us about one another, keeps us from arguing. It’s hard to fight with the guy you’ve had a crazy crush on for 10 years.
I just had to share because I wonder if anyone else does this? And if not, would you?
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!