Marriage Madness: 5 Ways to Have an Enjoyable Evening

I told John I needed to come up with an interesting blog post, and he suggested I write “5 Ways to Have an Enjoyable Evening.”

Sounded like a good idea. “Sure,” I said. “What do you think the top five ways are?” I grabbed a pen.

MV5BMTMzMzY0MTQ3NF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODU4OTAzMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR10,0,214,317_John tapped his first finger. “Good food.”

I agreed. We’d just had the best re-warmed leftovers – skirt steak, sweet potato, barbecued chicken breast, and some brown rice and lentils. I wrote down “Food.”

He tapped his second finger. “Good TV shows.”

We were watching “The West Wing” on Netflix at the time. Not what I expected him to say, but then, this is what we do most nights. Apparently, we do think good TV shows are part of what make an enjoyable evening.

“Okay, what’s next?” I asked, pen poised.

“Alcohol,” he said.

I laughed. “I can’t write ‘Drink alcohol’ on my blog. What if a recovering alcoholic or a teenager is reading it?”

“But we just had margaritas,” he argued, “and we love our wine club wines and-”

“I can’t say that alcohol is one of the top five ways to have a good evening!”

“Okay, chocolate,” he said.

“Done!” I wrote it down. We’d just finished our very first chocolate chip topped strawberry shortcake. Delicious! A margarita-inspired brainstorm, but I said I wouldn’t suggest that alcohol is necessary for a fun night.

“What else?” I waited.

John stared at me. His mouth moved a few times, but nothing came out. “Um…dessert?”

“We already-”

“Wrote down chocolate, I know.” He paused again. “Um…” He stared at the ceiling. “Oh! Wine!”

“John,” I chuckled some more, “I just said-”

“Oh yeah, I forgot.”

“You forgot because we’re drinking and eating too much and can’t think of what we did last night when we weren’t drinking!” I giggled.

John laughed with me. “Well, what else do we do?”

There was a very long pause.

“Stimulating conversation?” he asked in a I-can’t-believe-I’m-suggesting-this kind of voice.

I just looked at him. John loses interest after three sentences from me if it isn’t a topic he wants to talk about. I’ve learned not to be angry. Apparently, this is a guy thing. Or at least a husband thing. I’ve got that from very reliable sources. Including the secretaries on “The West Wing.”

“You would like to have stimulating conversation with me?” I asked dubiously.

He tried to look serious as he started to say “yes,” but as I raised my eyebrows he chuckled and turned it into a “no, not really.”

I shook my head at him and tried to hide my grin. “That’s what I thought.” I looked at my list. “That’s three. What are the other two things that make up an enjoyable evening?”

“Dessert,” he said.

“We already have chocolate.”

“Sex?” he asked with a smile.

“John! My blog is kind of PG-13. I don’t know that I should be talking about sex or alcohol.” It occurred to me that I should try to find out if any of my readers would even care if I talked about sex or alcohol.

(In fact, does the very fact that I typed that word three times in two paragraphs mean this post will be banned by some search engines? I really need to learn more about SEO and other blogosphere-type issues. But not on Saturday night.)

We looked at each other. We looked at the list. We looked at each other again and laughed.

“So I should change the title to ‘3 Ways to Have an Enjoyable Evening After 40’?”

“Nah,” he waved his hand, “leave off the ‘after 40’ part. Do we have any more chocolate?”