Andrew had a half day of school last Thursday because of report card conferences so I took him out to lunch, something I try to do several times a year. Andrew has always enjoyed these dates, although I am no longer allowed to refer to it as a “date” in front of his friends. He gets to choose the restaurant and we take the rare opportunity to spend some time—just the two of us.
I was thinking about it last week because it had been David’s turn for conferences and I would like to have the same tradition with him, but this type of “date” with David would not be fun for either of us. David really does not enjoy restaurants. He does not like the food, or the noise, or all of the other people. He simply wants to amuse himself by opening and closing the doors—any doors—like the entry doors, the swinging doors going in and out of the kitchen or, in a pinch, even the doors on the big buffet that they use to hold extra silverware.
It has taken me a long time to realize that I cannot impose my idea of fun on David. That fact still sometimes makes me melancholy. I now understand, however, that I cannot be disappointed thinking that David is missing out. He makes his own fun wherever he goes. My grief is for the shared experiences that I wanted—places or activities that I used to like as a child that I will never enjoy with David, things that Andrew and I have done together that I wish David liked to do, too.
Well, I persevered and David and I did have our big “date.” We started the day with breakfast in the Burger King parking lot, having driven through for Cini-Minis and hash browns--incidentally both items on the dollar menu. When you add in the milk that David drank, I think I spent a whopping $3.52. Talk about a cheap date.
We listened to music as we ate, and made sure that the car windows were adequately exercised. There may have even been some unnecessary wiping of the windshield thrown in just for kicks.
Then, we made a trip to the bank, where David got to watch the pneumatic tubes travel in and out of the bank. Our last stop was the gas station. David watched as I pumped gas, we took a minute to inspect the car wash to make sure that it was sporting the favored blue brushes and even drove past the stop sign with numbers on the way home.
It really was a nice morning and I am already looking forward to our next date. Having been married for 14 years, I have been out of the dating scene for quite some time. I have heard of “speed dating,” but I think David may have just invented “drive-through dating.”