Once a month, Ryan and I are able to go out on a date thanks to a group of friends who take turn watching everyone else’s kids. If there were ever a time I wish grandparents lived nearby, it’d be now. But they don’t, so we circle the date on the calendar several times with a red marker and stare at it longingly through the mound of poopy diapers and incessant whining.
It finally came around this past weekend and as we all walked to the building, Annie kept asking “Happy? Happy?” Why yes, Annie… You must’ve seen my grin from three blocks down. I swear I love ya, but go on now. Play with your friends for FOUR HOURS. Yes!!!
As soon as neither were looking, we snuck out the door, raced to the van and headed to a nearby town for a little bike ride. A tandem bike ride. And for some reason, my mind immediately went to the word tantric whenever I said tandem. But I justified it and thought, hey if Sting has the stamina for 7 hours surely I can also ride for an hour.
We showed up at the bike shop, cute, in love, smiling as the guy oiled up our bike. He asked us if we needed helmets and we cackled at that silly question. Of course not, can’t you see we’re in love and riding as close to each other as humanly possible on two wheels? Only non in love people wear helmets. So he rolled the bike out and off we went.
We got this far from the building before our first full-on fight broke out.
Like growls-from-the-depth-of-your-bowels fight. If you’ve always wondered how low your voice can get while still remaining a woman, sit on the back of a tandem bike. Romance, giggling, and flirting quickly fly out the window when only one person has control of the steering wheel AND brakes. Good God! No literally, good God please save me….and we hadn’t even left the parking lot yet.
We did several circles before venturing out into the downtown area to hit up the trail. Ryan wanted to ride on the sidewalk to I guess make sure that anyone who hadn’t seen us swerve our way out of the parking lot, to have an up close and personal experience with our front wheel. I convinced him to ride on the street though because a) a bike lane is there for a reason and b) I wanted to get hit by a car.
After many hisses and screams later….from the car drivers avoiding our inability to stay within the bike lane, we finally made it to the trail. We’ve walked this trail many times and didn’t think anything of it. Until we approached the first of several hills that we’d conveniently forgotten about. You know when you’re cresting the top of a roller coaster and are powerless to stop it, all the while knowing there’s a 3% chance you’ll be the only person to eject from the seat 90 mph into the funnel cake stand? Yeah.
I took a deep breath and only quietly begged and pleaded to brake more, to not swerve, and to quit leaning so far this way or that. But with each person we passed (somehow we did remember to ring ring our little bell), my begging got louder and louder and reached it’s highest when up ahead we saw a sweet little girl on her pink bike riding towards us…and I knew. I knew she was going to crash. Ryan rang the bell, we zoomed forward like a game of chicken, he rang the bell again, she looked up and crash there she went down in our lane.
To our right was a straight shot down the hill, to our left more walkers. Mr. Oil Luber’s words came back to me “If you need to stop, you better start braking long before you need to. You’re like a semi, it’ll take a while to slow down.” At the time, I was too busy wondering if he was really calling me a semi or not, but now I got it. Holy crap girl, Mooooooooooove!!!! I yelled as Ryan started braking. Somehow, some way we managed to slow down enough to look like we were casually biking along, enough to smile at the girl’s mom and give a jolly hello before picking up too much speed right afterwards.
We swerved around several more groups and Ryan apologized for his insane bell ringing saying “Sorry, we’re barely in control here.” Nervous laughter by everyone.
But I tell you what. This was a great team building exercise, because before we got to our turnaround point, I started closing my trap and trusting that Ryan had control of us. And then I was able to look around and enjoy myself. It wasn’t entirely peaceful, but it became fun and we started laughing instead of barking.
So much so, that I wanted a pic of us on that darn bike. We stopped and waited for the man up head walking toward us. He seemed nice and I asked if he could take our picture.
He looked straight ahead and kept walking. Sure, he was wearing headphones but I know he could feel us staring at him.
Don’t worry Orangie McGee, we got that pic. A girl down the way took one. Well not exactly. Her friend said ‘yes’ and then made her take the photo. Why was everyone afraid of taking our picture?! And then we looked at the picture she took and saw the reason.
Ryan apparently took the whole tantric word misuse a little too far. He said he’s going to return those jeans, and not because they puff out in the worst places, but because the puff measurement wasn’t doing him any favors.
If I weren’t 7 months along by then, I would’ve totally made Ryan do it with me. “Bonus cards for blasting clay pigeons” ….in the middle of a bike ride. So random…Yes, please.
Afterwards we got a bite to eat. Our goal was to take as long as possible at the restaurant since we’re normally rushing and feeding other mouths and not sinking into our chairs. Ever.
Step 1 was to order our drinks without feeling pressured to also order food at the same time in fear of the two little ticking time bombs exploding. In fact, we ordered drinks, she came back with them, and we asked her for another few more minutes to look at the menu. Holla!!!!!!
We placed our order and I didn’t really notice what Ryan got. When he told me, and then said the price:
the most expensive thing on the menu. Whatever, I know those extra minutes before she came back were spent weighing pros and cons.
I remember when I turned 21 and my sisters came down to celebrate. We all got margaritas, but my oldest sister was pregnant. The bartender put lemonade in a margarita glass and sugar around the rim. So I asked our waitress to do the same. I wanted to feel sassy!!
Meh. I couldn’t tell which was the water. Sassiness fail. Luckily I had several other drink options to fall back on.
It was a fun night for sure. And no joke, I think our marriage got stronger because of that bike. Next date night though, we said we’re going to find a place and just sleep for four hours. We’re exhausted.