We thought we should make the most of this, so we went out.
Oh, that wasn't the only thing we did, of course. During the early evening I dug out some DVDs and watched The Jewel of the Nile, sitting in the loungeroom, while it was still light, while eating the kids' snackpacks of potato chips and drinking a beer. Awesome! My husband had a long sleep uninterrupted by the kids fighting over the iPad and me yelling at him to get up and help while I made dinner. Good times!
The house was eerily, enjoyably quiet. It felt odd, but, I'm not going to lie, quite nice as well. I was actually a bit teary when I kissed the kids goodbye, and YES, at one point in the evening I put some of their clothes away and I stopped in each bedroom and smelled the clothes to inhale their scent. But I got over that, and it was nice having the house to ourselves for a whole night.
We left dinner until decadently late - it was at least 8pm!
We made vegetarian omelettes and had a TimTam each for dessert. Both luxuries unavailable to us with kids around, you understand. Washing the dishes was so fast after feeding only ourselves!
At 10,30, we headed out for drinks to Oakleigh, our favourite (only) local patch of cool.
We took the going out quite seriously. We had showers, and I wore makeup that wasn't just foundation and lip gloss. I used mascara, and actual lipstick. I put on earrings! I even blew dry and brushed my hair, instead of scrunching it and hoping for the best. By the time I was done, I decided I looked pretty hot, and tried to take a couple of flattering selfies to prove it. Unfortunately I am very bad at selfies so there is no proof of my hotness last night and you will just have to take my word for it.
Although it is the middle of summer, we live in Melbourne, so last night was suddenly quite wintry. The weather may have contributed to there being fewer people out than I expected. From memory, summer evenings at Eaton Mall are packed. But then, my memories are of earlier in the evening, not the daringly night-owl hours we were now keeping!
Anyway it was still lively, and we strolled in a sophisticated manner down the mall, deciding on a place to bestow our presence. During the day and early evening when we are at Oakleigh with the kids, we go to Vanilla, which is awesome, but we wanted a different vibe for our special evening, so we tried a great-looking new bar, Risk (no link because no website), instead.
We went inside and admired the black interior, spiky ceiling sculptures, beautiful staff, gorgeous but deafeningly loud music, and... giant TV's playing the tennis (well, it is the Australian Open after all - every bar and cafe had the tennis on). We ordered drinks - actual mixed drinks, not just wine or beer for us tonight! "That will be one hundred dollars thanks," I imagined the barman saying, as I realised I had no idea at all what fancy drinks cost these days. Fortunately, it was actually eighteen dollars, and we headed to an intimate table outside.
Having not been out for a romantic evening in approximately ten years, being out dressed up with my husband brought back all the memories of our first heady years together in Santorini and Thessaloniki, where it was all great bars and cool nights, all the time. Like Proust and his madeleine bringing the rush of a book's worth of memory to him, the sensory combination of dressed-up clothes, proper shoes, kid-less company and a gin and lemon transported me back to those beautiful days and nights when we were young and in love, and it felt, for the first time in many, many years, like it was not long ago at all.
Maybe there's something to that date night thing all those other couples do...
We had a lovely evening. We enjoyed our drinks, chatted to the kids at one point when they called us, gazed at the moon while holding hands, gazed at the tennis, discussed the win of Syriza in the Greek election, and played with our drinks while pretending not to be resisting the effort to check Facebook on our phones. All the other tables were full of people smiling, laughing and talking animatedly while all unashamedly and constantly scrolling though things on their phones. Wow, I thought, people look at their phones while out with people these days! What an interesting social phenomenon! I wonder if anyone has noticed or commented on it yet?
After our drinks we strolled to Vanilla for a coffee and more tennis, then happily headed for home.
It was an excellent night.