In the wee morning hours I live vicariously through the Barone’s. I often see my life portrayed in the flicker of the neon tube.
This morning, I found myself laughing and crying simultaneously.
The opening scene, all too familiar. A Valentines dinner date, topic of conversation, bread. Once the proverbial blood was squeezed from the loaf, Ray and Debra moved on to the density of the butter.
The scene changed to the Barone’s living room. Ray shimmied his hips and did a little dance, in hopes of getting lucky. This was to be his favorite part of Valentines Day. “The march of the silky red boxers” he playfully sang. “Are you kidding me? We barely spoke to each other during dinner and now want to have sex?!” Debra’s response if sang would have been to the tune of something of the death metal variety.
The next day, Debra observed an interaction between her in-laws, Frank and Marie. This scene resonated with me more than the Valentines Dinner away from the kids. Although, at one time that scenario would have been what captured my attention.
Marie and Frank, at the dinner table. Frank rattling ice in his empty glass. Marie getting Frank tea. Marie going to pour herself tea only to find that the pitcher was near empty. Frank , without skipping a beat, pouring some of his tea in Marie’s glass careful enough to make sure that each glass had equal amounts. No words spoken, just this dance.
As Debra and Ray watched the seasoned dance partners in lockstep, she told Ray how sweet she thought is was. Ray, “they aren’t even talking.” Debra, “they don’t have to they seem so in-tuned.”
Married couples in the throws of child rearing crave silence.
Empty Nesters, view the silence as terrifying at times.
For seasoned married couples, the silence is welcomed and even embraced.
I remember the days when Corey and Casey were younger. I wished for a quiet evening. A quiet evening either alone or with Stuart. Those moments seem like yesterday when in reality, they weren’t. My kids are all grown up. Empty nesting has been liberating and terrifying. .
No kids as a diversion or an excuse not to make time for each other. No excuses not to talk about things other than the kids.
Evenings after Stuart gets home consist of dinner for two. A challenge in which I have failed miserably. I have the hardest time preparing a meal for just the two of us. Stuart’s parents are often the recipient of my shortcoming or else we would be eating left overs for days.
We watch Netflix and chill, we really do chill. That’s not to say that we don’t do the “other kind of chilling” but that is a blog topic all in itself. One that I’m not sure I’m bold enough to tackle but I know that you would get a kick out of it. Heck, most of you reading would even identify with the sentiments. Maybe one day.
We love on our fur-babies. Oh how we love our Corgis. They make us laugh, We take them everywhere. Come to think of it, we have replaced the kids with the short legged little creatures.
Ok, I’ll get back to this dance we are currently practicing, this empty nesting tango. So often I’ve thought to myself, like Debra, that Stuart and I just don’t make an effort anymore. That we are too comfortable.
Upon further contemplation, I’m ok with where we are. The dance is becoming more fluid and at times a little more like a Salsa than a Tango. Other days, it takes on more of a Waltz. Heck, who am I kidding, many days it resembles the Hokey-Pokey.
Bottom line is I’m glad that he asked for my dance card all those years ago. This May we will have been fumbling over each other’s feet and stepping on each others toes for 28 years. It doesn’t seem possible.
You young married couples, hang in there. It gets easier. No, not easy, just easier.
Empty nesters, don’t worry. You are not alone. I urge to ask yourself if you are comfortable or just figuring out the next step in your dance.