It has been a while since I have had a date with my husband.
Which is sad because after 21 years of marriage, I’m still kind of crushing on the guy. He is cute, smart, and kind. He still makes me laugh harder than anyone else can. Spending one-on-one time with my guy is one of my favorite things in the world.
But right now it just ain’t happening.
There are a lot of reasons for this. His work is demanding. We have two teenagers with active lives and no driver’s license. We have aging parents whom we want to spend quality time with while we still can.
My husband and I are fortunate our lives are full right now with mostly good things. But sometimes our life together is too full enjoy time with just the two of us.
And in the end I know this is not okay.
Our marriage is the foundation that supports our entire family, so if our marital ties starts to get weak, everything else will weaken as well.
So when my husband, Jason, told me he needed to run to the grocery store Saturday morning, I asked if he wanted me to tag along.
Not because I wanted to go to the grocery store. Not because there wasn’t anything else I needed to be doing.
I tagged along because I realized if I went with him to the store we would at least have an hour in each other’s presence, even if it was doing something as mundane as grocery shopping.
And so began our grocery run date.
J and I took time to catch up with each other during the car ride. He asked what had been my favorite substitute teaching assignment so far. I asked how his mindfulness class was going. They were simple questions, but answering them without interruption made them feel more important. The time in the car more luxurious.
When we got to the grocery store Jason remembered they were giving flu shots. We decided to head over to the little clinic inside the store and get one together. “This is so romantic.” I said. “You know, getting our flu shots together.” J looked at me like I was a little crazy.
I bought a few non-perishable items while Jason signed us up for our shots. He texted me when it was our turn.
Sitting in the shot room I got out my camera to Instagram the moment. The nurse looked at me like I was a little crazy. “Oh, I am just recording this moment in our grocery store date. Don’t you think it is romantic we are getting our flu shots together?” The nurse raised her eyebrow even higher. ” Just how long exactly have you been married?” she asked.
After the nurse gave us our shots she encouraged us to find something a little more exciting to do together than just get flu shots as a date. “Great idea!” I said. “We’ll stop by the Starbucks kiosk on the way out!” Her eyebrow twitched a little more.
When we had finished with our shots and were walking through the store my husband was chuckling at my interactions with the nurse (Fortunately, I still make him laugh too). He grinned at me and said, “Yeah, only you would find joint flu shots romantic.”
I looked at him and told him about something Emily Freeman had written regarding her faith life when she was a new mom.
When I don’t have time for a quiet time, I have to learn to quiet my time.
I told him I thought it was the same for marriages.
When you don’t have time for the big romantic moments, you have to infuse moments of romance in your ordinary time.
Sure I would have rather been at a nice restaurant with my husband instead of a Kroger. Even better, I would rather have been tucked away with him in a cabin in the woods.
But since the big romantic moment wasn’t happening, we took a small ordinary moment and injected it with a bit of romance.
Because even getting stuck in the arm with a needle is better when I do it with the love of my life by my side. Because if I don’t take whatever time I have with my husband and use it as a moment to show him I love and cherish him, I am wasting my time.
Have you ever had a grocery run date? Or taken a mundane moment with someone you love and turned it into something special? Feel free to share!