In 2018 one of my goals is to write more frequently. One of the details that holds me back from blogging more often is that I want all my posts to seem thoughtful and well-constructed. However, I’ve started dozens of blog posts in the past year or so only to have a couple actually end up getting published. So I refuse to do that this year. I plan on writing more in general. And it will be fairly raw and unedited. More like a journal in many ways. This is something I’ve said I’ve desired to do in the past, but I’ve never really followed through with it. So here is my first post of the new year. It will be what it will be. But anything is better than nothing. And hey, maybe I’ll get better at writing simply because I’m willing to actually just do it and hit the publish button.

Sarah and I don’t get out together very often sans kids. With Micah and Ezra being the ages they are, and the amount of attention they require, we are completely reliant on kind people like my mom and aunt to help us be able to make a date night a reality. Thankfully my mom offered to take the boys for the evening so that Sarah and I could have a rare date night out.

After some quick debate with myself about what movie to go to, I decided that we would go see “The Shape of Water.” It was a tough decision to make because first of all, there are a decent amount of good films out right now, and secondly I am someone who has a zero-tolerance policy on any amount of spoilers. So trying to decide which critically acclaimed movie to watch was tough to do while attempting to avoid any and all spoilers.

But I think I chose well though. There’s no doubt we’ll eventually see Lady Bird or Three Billboards on my Apple TV when they come out.

Sarah knew literally nothing about the movie besides it being directed by the same guy who did Pan’s Labyrinth. So that made it fun for me, too. The last time we went this blind into a movie together was Moonlight, and that ended up being a fairly incredible experience for us both.

The Shape of Water asks you to suspend your disbelief. I like that. In fact for me, that is pretty much the main purpose of going to a movie theater on a date. Not to completely escape the world, but to take a few moments to forget exactly where we are and what’s going on, and to be present together in those moments. It creates a shared experience.

The movie had a lot going for it for the two of us in particular. In many ways the overall feel of the film reminded us a lot of the movie Amelie, both through the cinematography and the musical composition. Perhaps especially by the portrayal of the main character in the film who had a sort of feisty innocence about her. Not a naiveté, but a curiosity. It made me buy into the film as being endearing fairly immediately, even with its moments of the risqué.

Almost all the characters in the film were interesting and full-bodied. This was refreshing because I have found most movies recently struggling to accomplish this. This perhaps feels like its the case more than ever now that we live in our TV binge-watching times where we feel like we grow to know the characters after hours and hours of their development.

The movie was definitely weird. But a good weird. And I’d recommend it.

I felt like I was in a bit of a trance as I left, still lost in a world not my own. But when I opened the exit doors of the theater, the cold air whooshed up around us and shocked me back into reality.

It’s still extremely cold outside. I live in Nebraska. Trump is still president. I forgot where I parked. 

But even after the shock of the wind, the remnants of being lost in the world from the movie caused me to be more receptive and responsive to various details around me. As I drove to dinner with Sarah everything seemed a bit more beautiful, magical, poetic. Even sitting at the table at the steakhouse watching the other customers felt dreamlike and like I was living within a slow-moving novel of some sort. A glance and a laugh of a daughter talking with her mother at the table across from us made me smile. The lighting, the smells, and of course the taste of my meal (ribeye and lobster tail – my favorite meal on this earth) and I felt like I was experiencing their pleasures more deeply than would be typical.

So either I need to get out more, or that was a good movie. (Probably both!) I feel like that’s what a trip to the movie theater should be like. It should be a fantastical journey that stays with you for a while. A good movie messes with your sense of reality.

It was particularly nice just being with my wife. We talked about the movie. We discussed all sorts of tangents that came out of that conversation. Whatever our minds happened to go. We weren’t interrupted by little busy boys. We had were able to complete sentences, have meaningful conversations, and share deep thoughts. It was pretty amazing.

We also talked about each other. We reflected about each other and how our personalities fit together, both how they compliment as well as how they conflict. But overall, Sarah and I were reminded that we know each other better than anyone else on this earth know us. And we attempt our best to rest in that and remember not to take it for granted.

After our dinner we visited Barnes and Noble and looked through various books throughout the store. So much to read. So much to learn. So much to be inspired by.

We got a couple books for ourselves.

That’s what is called “two people showing restraint.”

We concluded the evening by going to a local eatery and having a couple drinks together. We then continued our conversation with each other. I think moments like these remind us of our infatuation for each other, even after all these years. It’s rejuvenating and comforting. We reflected on how much we’ve changed and grown over the years. We acknowledged the times where grace filled the gaps in our lives.

It was restful. It was, for me anyway, shalom.

I love Sarah. I love the life we have together. And today I am thankful for the moments where we get to pause and remember this fully.

One thought on “The Shape of Date Night

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