Irreverent Mama

Friday, May 04, 2007

"Let's do something different tonight."

Matthew's smile is coaxing. Which is funny, really, since if there have been any spontaneity-predictability tussles in our relationship, he's been firmly at the 'predictable' end of the spectrum. But we do seem to have established some pretty predictable routines for our weekly date night.

Dinner, or, if money's tight, just drinks; or, if money's flush, dinner AND drinks, at one of two local pubs/restaurants. There are some variables, but, now that his question prods me to consider a bit, not many.

If we go to the pub (Patty's), we're likely just going for a pint (Kilkenny for me; a black and tan for him). If we go to the restaurant (Mexicali Rosa's), we're probably going to eat. If we're going to eat, I will have the Mexicali salad, the one with the chicken in the tortilla bowl, and, on a particularly flush night, one of their excellent lime slushy margaritas for dessert. He will have nachos with beef and either a tonic water or, in the summer, a Corona.

We chat as we walk over, we chat as we eat and/or drink, we chat as we walk home. It's very companionable, but, excluding the hot sauce on the nachos, notably lacking in spice and excitement.

"Different? Like, a different restaurant?"

"No. This is the last week for the Mueck exhibit at the National Gallery. I thought we might do that."

Ooo. That is different. There is one Mueck piece in the gallery's permanent collection: an enormous baby head, so large it would fill my entire (admittedly small) living room. I find it a little unsettling, frankly, but it's interesting. The figure on all the posters you see everywhere throughout town show the seated nude you saw in the link. (Because you followed that link, right?) Thus, this exhibit is known locally as "the giant naked fat man exhibit". And what we all want to know is "and are his naughty bits equally huge?"

I suspect the answer to this could be even more unsettling than the giant baby head, but still - when one gets a chance to peek under the fig leaf...

We arrange that I will bus and he will bike over after work. Whoever gets there first will buy the tickets and wait for the other guy.

I get there first. Whereas normally I've been able to walk straight in, this evening there is a line extending 20 metres out the front door. Hmmm... Once in the line, I'm relieved to see that it's moving at a pretty efficient clip. It's only three or four minutes before I'm through the doors. But instead of an airy lobby with four cheerful bilingual gallery employees manning their respective lines at the ticket desk on the other side of the lobby, I see a mass of people.

A seething mass of people, an immensely long snake of people, one hairpin bend after another, filling the entire lobby area. It's unfortunate that claustrophobic me is the first to arrive, but the lovely glass walls and the steady forward motion of the line keeps panic at bay. I call Matthew and apprise him of the situation.

"Well, it's your call. I'm at the bike racks outside. Shall I lock the bike, or do you want to come out and meet me?"

I hesitate. I look to my right: there are six employees at the desk, and the line continues to hum right along. Maaaybeee... I look to my left: the long, wide, gracious ramp that slopes up to the rotunda and the galleries beyond is completely filled with people. Completely. Eight, ten, twelve abreast, all the way up the very long - lordy, how long is that thing? 100 metres? 200? - ramp. Even if we do get to the exhibit before midnight, there will be no pausing, no time to observe, consider and look some more. No obvious gawping at enormous manliness.

"I'm coming out."

"That's fine." Matthew is a flexible man. "We're in The Market. There's all manner of stuff to do here."

"Well, I'm hungry. I didn't have time for dinner, so I'll need to eat. What do you fancy?"

"How about nachos?"

Nachos. When we get to the Mexican restaurant I had in mind - nice, but a wee bit pricey for impecunious we - there, up the street is another restaurant, also Mexican, but cheaper. It wasn't there last time we were in The Market. Cool!

And when we get there, I have the Mexicali salad with a lime slushy margarita, and he has nachos and a tonic water.

And it was lovely.

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  • Sounds good to me, I love nachos.

    By Blogger john.g., at 3:55 p.m.  

  • it sounds absolutely perfect.

    By Blogger jen, at 9:19 p.m.  

  • Sometimes, it's just the idea of spontaneity that makes the night better. We did that one when my dh had a weekday off. He wanted to go to a local hot spring spa, but realized they don't allow sunscreen (he's pasty-pale). After hemming and hawing, we spent the day just goofing around sans-child at home, and it was glorious.

    By Blogger Alli, at 4:15 p.m.  

  • John - Me, too. And it's harder than you might think to get decent ones. I loathe soggy nachos.

    Jen - It WAS.

    Alli - Your child is little. How did you score a child-free day? Oh - weekday, not weekend. Never mind!


    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 7:24 p.m.  

  • Oh that exhibit looks so interesting.....

    and it sounds like your evening turned out divine, you truly earned your drink!

    By Blogger crazymumma, at 9:11 p.m.  

  • I never did get to the exhibit, but Matthew took his youngest (11 year old boy) on the Saturday. He said it was disturbing because all the figures looked uniformly miserable.

    A couple spooning in bed looked, for all the intimacy of the position, as if they were tense with the misery of being so close together. (He brought home a postcard, so I concur.) A woman who'd just given birth is not looking radiant, but rather, horrified.

    Matthew's comment: there was no range of human emotion, only the grey and miserable end of the spectrum.

    Too bad!

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 9:52 p.m.  

  • Weekday, yeah -- but we're working on building up our options for weekends, too. My mother keeps asking if we've decided on plans for Memorial weekend (end of May), because they desperately miss Maya. She even suggested (gasp), that she and my dad could keep Maya for a full day or two so dh and I could have a date. Oh...tempting.

    We did manage a weekend evening date this past weekend, probably the first real date we've had since I moved here (unless the honeymoon counts). Thank doG for my 20-something cousin who's infatuated with M, right?

    By Blogger Alli, at 6:15 p.m.  

  • Me and Mexican food, we love each other.

    By Blogger Denguy, at 9:29 p.m.  

  • Alli - Oh, take the "day or two" option! What a great gift!

    Denguy - nachos, burritos, flautas, empanadas, tostados... Yum... Rice and beans and beans and rice... chili and chocolate... love it all! What's a good place for Mexican in Toronto these days?

    By Blogger irreverentmama, at 7:38 p.m.  

  • Oh, I'd have to go with Margarita's Fiesta Room on Baldwin. It has great history for me.
    Problem for me, though, is that my wife hates Mexican food. I don't get there too often any more.

    By Blogger Denguy, at 12:02 a.m.  

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