Beware: having children is hazardous to your social life, free time, finances, marriage and sanity. Seriously. I'm surprised someone has not sued Mother Nature for failing to include a disclaimer. It would have fit perfectly on the placenta.
Dan and I had not been on a "date" for longer than we could remember. We did recognize the fact that we needed to reconnect, so we scheduled one. We normally work opposite days, so he pulled some strings to get me off of work on Saturday so we could enjoy ourselves and spend a day away.
Kelly and Jon babysat our brood for our day of freedom. We dropped the girls off around 11 am and hit the road westward to Columbus.Dan and I chose to spend our "date" tailgating for the biggest football game of the year. We arrived on campus near 1 pm. We parked in a yard of a building close to a mile away from the stadium. We trekked on railroad tracks, through mud and muck, toting a cooler the entire way. It took nearly a half hour on foot to get to the tailgate. It was so worth it.
Many of my closest college friends had collected back on campus to cheer on the Buckeyes. Many of them I had not seen in years. It was so comforting to be with friends again. It felt like home. I miss Columbus.
Many of us have children, so we passed pictures and shared stories of their antics. At times it was strange to be surrounded by so many people I miss and love, like time and our lives had not progressed since college. We all tried drinking beer like we did a decade ago. We all acted a bit crazy. I'm sure we all paid the price the next day as well. With age, our bodies become less forgiving of folly and debauchery. I learned that lesson the hard way.
We huddled in a small tent in front of a monster tv. Our canvas folding chairs mimicked stadium seating. We passed beer and food up and down the rows, so no one had to miss a play. We cheered and celebrated each score, high fiving any scarlet clad body within arms reach. Our micro-stadium even had a visitor's section, populated by five or six good natured Wolverines. We had a good time heckling each other.It wasn't a five hundred dollar seat inside the concrete football Mecca. It was better. I got to hold hands with my husband in comfortable seats. I drank cold beer when I chose. I chatted with my closest, dearest friends and watched my alma mater defeat our archrival and step closer to a national championship. We concluded our night, dining with friends and reliving the game as we headed home to sleep in our beds. It was the best date for which a girl could ask.