Tonight is the night we all lock our kids in a closet, slide a frozen pizza under the door and tell them we'll be back "soon." Tonight we are going out with our friends and leaving our children behind. It will be a Monkey Convergence without the monkeys. This happens almost...never. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever spent any significant amount of time with these people without kids around, without having to stop a conversation every three minutes to answer a question, tend to a scraped knee or hurt feeling, or take someone to the bathroom. This will be the chance to see if any of us can still hold up our end of an adult conversation. Instead of discussing sleep schedules, daycare or Elmo, we have the opportunity to talk about grown-up things - North Korea, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the Tennessee Senatorial race (I hope we don't talk about any of those things). It will also give me the chance to find out the punchline to this joke: An archaeologist, music professor and tobacconist walk into a bar...
The dinner itself should be nice as well. We're going to Dish in Cooper-Young and, if everything goes right, there will be no chicken fingers on the table, or Styrofoam cups with lids, or Crayons. I'm not sure what Dish serves, and I don't care, but I know we'll have our appetizers and our highballs of Manhattans and Tom Collinses, perhaps a martini. The line-up includes Kristy and me, and the captains of Team Greenberg-Oster as well as Andria and The Admiral. The roster is not random as these people either all have birthdays in October or, like me, are married to someone with a birthday in October. And we all have the strongest locks on our closets.
It all seems very decadent, though it's simply a night out for dinner and drinks. Nevertheless, I plan on scanning the papers and internet today for adult conversational topics, showering after work, shaving above the knee and putting on clean socks for these people. At the end of the night we should all be refreshed, our batteries recharged and ready to face the reality of family again. There will be talk about how we should do this more often - once a month, even, and we'll make plans for it, though it probably won't happen regularly. We all, without doubt, have too much going on in our day-to-day lives.
As much as we all love our children, it's just normal to want to get away. And that's what we all want and we all need, just a few hours away to be completely, selfishly, adults again. So tonight I'll raise my glass to all of the parents out there who are getting away for a spell. Enjoy yourselves, forget yourselves, everything and everyone will be there for us when we get home at the end of the night. I just hope I don't have to take any of these people to the bathroom tonight.