Tags: Food & Home
We have therapist-mandated date nights in our family. I am embarrassed to think that my therapist thought my kids were driving me to insanity, so she requires me to take a break every now and then.
It has nothing to do with my husband—but honestly he is the one who is insane, and I’ll prove it in a minute. I know the mandate has nothing to do with my husband because my therapist has never met my husband. But if she had, she would know.
So it was date night.
I am boring (which means not insane at all), so when I pick the restaurant, we always end up going to the same place we always go: Coconut Joe’s. Which is where we went this particular night. It’s always where we go with the kids, too, so the first thing Julissa said to us was, “Hi, Darren! Hi, Julie! Where are the girls? With Grandma?” See? Totally predictable.
But there were two unpredictable things about this particular night. And neither one of them had anything to do with me. For one thing, the place was packed. We asked why. Fish Friday. Lent. Ah, yes.
The other thing was my husband. He had brought his own spicy pickle.
Now, I get it. I’m boring. I don’t use Tabasco or Tapatio or even ketchup. But seriously, a spicy pickle?
Have you ever seen one of these things? It came in a plastic wrapped container. The pickle was enormous, about the size of a really fat banana. He opened it up and sliced it onto his salad and enjoyed the entire spicy pickle with his dinner. And commented on his spicy pickle, giving me a play-by-play of the flavors as he ate the thing, like it was fine wine or coffee or something. “Oh, this spicy pickle is really juicy. And spicy, with just a hint of vinegar that is not too sour.….”
I said, “It must be a guy thing. You need to enjoy that in your man cave with a bunch of guys and a case of beer.”
Then he said, “Hey, they should sell these pickles here. The juice would taste good over fish. They could get even more business on Fish Fridays.”
Which then led to a discussion of All Things Pickle. The highlight of which was a friendly argument as to whether or not they make a pickle-scented candle. (They do. You can find them on Etsy.)
As ridiculously fun as this all was, I had to admit that there was a part of me that was missing the million interruptions that would have by now taken place had our children been with us. How many forks would have landed on the floor? How many times would someone have had to get up to refill a drink or show me what was playing on the television? How many, “Mom!”s would I have had to answer? How many times would I have had to remind someone to “take a bite”? How much chaos? How much love? How much insanity?
A family with a baby walked in. They didn’t order fish. And they didn’t bring a spicy pickle. Except for the fact that their baby was quiet… and happy… and cooperative… and happy… and quiet… and happy… they reminded me of us before I needed therapy.
As we left, Julissa said, “Tell the girls we missed them!”
So did we, Julissa, so did we.