Yesterday the Hubs and I went on a much-needed anniversary date. Usually we’ll either go out for a simple dinner or stay home with the kids and cook something nice. But this year we decided to take it up a notch and go to dinner, out for drinks in a swanky bar/restaurant, and then out to see live music.
It was honestly one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time.
I was overcome with so many feelings, sensations, observations, vodkas, and knew I had to get something down in writing. So here are my Friday evening, out-on-the-town musings.
1. Some of the greatest pleasures are so simple. Life is busy. There is logically only so much time in one’s day to do all the myriad things that “need” to get done. I think we often believe we’re being selfless and honorable by sacrificing things that bring us pleasure and happiness in order to maintain family function and calm. But I really think we’re being incredibly stupid. Denying yourself that which makes you happy is not living to a higher standard. It’s not making you a better person. It’s not getting you closer to whatever deity you may revere. It’s killing you. Anyone who routinely puts others’ needs over their own time and again without consideration for what they’re taking away from themselves is slowly making their life miserable.
Hear me out. I’m not saying that we all need to be selfish pricks who only consider their own desires. But to always think that what you want is less important than what others want or need is in fact harmful. Because even if we don’t want to admit it even to ourselves, there is a little voice in the back of your head asking, “When is it our turn?” Listen to that voice. Give it what it wants every now and then. Want that $5 bar of chocolate and to not share it with anyone? Buy it, hide it. You want to enjoy a nice meal without distraction? Find someone to watch the kids, or the dog, or do whatever it is that would keep you from quiet and peace.
Whatever it is that gives you pleasure in life, whether it is a fancy meal that costs more than my day’s salary; or, simply five minutes to belt out your favorite song in the shower or car without shame; whatever it is, do it.
Last night we didn’t worry about money. We ordered what we wanted. Had an amazing, delicious, sensuous meal. Worth it. Went and had several $10 cocktails. The drinks were delicious, the presentation and concocting of said drinks by the bartenders was a show in itself. Fucking worth it. And then we sang and moved to the music amongst many others doing the same in a small, dingy club. So. Worth. It. My hangover right now? Totally worth it.
2. Speaking of those bartenders who put on a good show… Maybe it was the sake I’d already consumed. Maybe it was the jitters of excitement from being in a nice place and without worry of getting home on time; but, once I walked into that drinkery, I was moved. Everything about that place radiated excitement and sexiness. It felt like bygone times. It felt like you stepped out of wherever you were before you walked through the doors, and found yourself in another world. Soft lighting; vibrant artwork; sleek, simple decor; sultry woods; and the best aroma: man. That probably sounds gross, but for me it was perfect.
As I looked around and took everything in, I said to Hubs that this place feels like a return to a time when men weren’t afraid to groom themselves. All the bartenders had nice kept beards. Their hair was styled. They had on dress shirts underneath their smooth leather aprons. They had chosen pieces of jewelry. They smelled like cologne or aftershave or both. Nothing that overwhelmed your sense of smell. Just enough to remind you that they were there. As I watched them swell their biceps shaking those cocktail shakers, I thought, “This is a man. And men are fucking amazing.” And then I looked next to me and saw exactly the same thing. And I thought about how lucky I am that I have the exact type of man I find most irresistible. Had he gone around the bar and started mixing cocktails too, I might have had to take advantage of him right then and there.
I know I’m just as bad as most when it comes to being lazy about my appearance. I love yoga pants. There are my fair share of weekend days when no makeup touches my face. But I do have a deep appreciation for a time in our history when you wouldn’t step out in public in pajama pants and Uggs. Men would be ashamed of themselves for having their pants anywhere below their hips, let alone showing off their underwear. I appreciate that time period, and am happy to see it still thriving in some contexts. Because there’s really nothing sexier, to me at least, as a big, reasonably muscular man with facial hair and a good scent. Go to Vera Pizzeria if you are like me and want to instantly swoon.
3. Sexy underwear are an essential, so treat yourself. Partly see #1 above. For the longest time I have worn bras and underwear that were essentially utilitarian. I don’t have an easy body frame to dress. My ass is of epic proportions, my shoulders and thighs are wide, my waist cinches in to make finding jeans nearly impossible, and my boobs have decided to maintain their inflated child-birthing size. So I’ve been choosing undergarments that can fit my ass comfortably without giving me an all-day wedgie. And it’s incredibly difficult to find sexy, reasonably priced bras in DD size. But yesterday I went on a mission. Even though Josh claims my grannie panties are sexy, and he would likely have sex with me no matter what I was wearing, I thought some nicer negligee would be a sweet treat for him. I hadn’t anticipated how much of a treat it would be for me.
I’ve had two fucking enormous kids on my 5’2″, short torsoed frame. My stomach will likely never be what it was before. There is some extra skin. There are some light stretch marks. Such is life. My hips have widened and are marked with what look like claw marks of deep stretch marks. My thighs definitely jiggle and could use some squats. But you know what, when I put on those new lacy underthings, I didn’t see any of that. I saw that despite not having a svelte physique, I was still fucking sexy. I’ve got curves and contours, and not as much jiggly disgusting bits as I thought. My ass looked amazing even though half of it was peeking out from the bottom. My tits, though huge, are at least standing at attention. You’d have to be crazy to not want to fuck me.
That right there set off my mood for the whole night. It’s amazing what a little confidence and reassurance can do for you. And it didn’t bother me that I felt like a had a permanent wedgie. Because I knew what was under my clothes and what it would do to Josh later. Genius.
4. So as if staring at Josh’s lovely bearded face at Vera wasn’t enough, off we went to see a 90’s rock cover band. 90’s rock is the soundtrack to my falling in love with Josh. It’s the music of my youth, my teenagehood. And this show made my year. No matter what awesome stuff happens this year, this show will seriously still be a highlight.
Firstly, this music brought me back to my adolescence. Of course when you’re in the middle of all the confusion, it’s hard to see the bright side. But all these years later, I totally get it. And I couldn’t help having so much fun. Even though I’m normally pretty reserved in public, I felt compelled to sing along and, at the very least, bop around to the tunes. The crowd was going nuts during each song, but there were definite times when you could notice this collective movement. Everyone anticipated certain notes, rhythms, and lyrics, and responded in exactly the same way. There were songs when everyone was singing their hearts out. Not just in the sense of singing loudly, but to sing their hearts out to the world, to share their hearts, to share their vulnerability.
You could tell that we all had this bond, even though most of us were strangers to each other. We had this bond because we came together to celebrate our youth. To feel once again what it was like to be one of those teens. To feel the pain, anger, elation, and everything being a teenager in the 90’s meant. And it didn’t matter what we are all individually doing in our lives right now, we were all the same last night. We were all back there, in our wide-legged jeans, flannel shirts, chain wallets, jewel-hued hairs, rocking out to songs of rage and silliness and love and yearning and everything in between. Rocking out to our anthems.
How could these songs not immediately take us back there? I’m deeply affected by music and scents. A certain song or a particular waft of something will instantly take me back to an event or moment or feeling that occurred when that song was in my playlist or when that scent was something that was with me a lot. And so it was last night.
Holding Josh’s hand as he guided me through the crowds, hearing Weezer play loud enough to reverberate through my bones, it made me 15 again. It made me so grateful for that time and how it affected me, how it grew me into who I am now. It made me have a deeper appreciation for what I had and have now. It made me feel hopeful again. Like anything was possible.
Just watching the singer belt out these tunes remarkably well, and knowing that this man–who is now a professional musician with another very successful band–was once an English teacher, but chose to follow his dream instead, gives me pause. If he can do it, if anyone can do it, why can’t I? Why be trapped in a life that doesn’t feel genuine? Why just move through the motions when it’s so possible to do what you really love? You can have it all if you want to.
Maybe it was the vodka. Maybe it was the music. Maybe it was the smell of cheap, spilled beer and the feel of a sticky floor. Maybe it was the old memories coming back. Maybe it was his face. Maybe it was his tight grip on my hand moving through the crowd. Maybe it was him kissing me in the middle of the crowds. Maybe it was looking into his eyes without looking away or moving on. Maybe it was finally losing inhibitions. Maybe it was all of this and so much more.
Whatever it was, I think I fell in love with my husband all over again last night.