We made bets on how long before Billy Idol blasted through the speakers and made us spit Leprechauns out our noses. It seemed inevitable. I mean, hell, we paid the cover for what we thought was a hot band, instead found ourselves lost in 80′s technoville watching 55-year-old women paired with 20-something drunk law students – hands waiving overhead. They had to start shouting “Hey, hey what, get laid get f$*#ed” like we had never left the eighth grade. That’s how time machines work.
This classic moment made Ken and me feel rather frighteningly secure that we are, indeed, old – and that getting all excited about Mony Mony at a bar in which you stuck to the seats just long enough to reminisce about every bar you’d ever stuck to the seats at (damn, a lot of bars that is), means we need to leave the house together more than once every…god, I don’t even know how long it has been since we had a date.
This oddly delicious, romantic trip in the $6 time machine last Saturday night took us back to a place where speaking in complete sentences about nearly anything that didn’t involve small children seemed – well – normal. My hot black boots even made a few new friends.
Our journey to the land beyond began with the simple act of actually remembering that it was our ninth anniversary. Three feet under with our own work projects that are beautiful, fun, creative, full of awesome – but the usual level of all-consuming that Ken and I roll at – remembering our names had been a real treat the last couple of weeks.
So, when that sweet hunk of a man phoned me and said he’d found us a trustworthy soul to take care of our delightfully full-of-spirit children, I knew he still loved me.
We giggle, but really the end of the world could have been near and nothing would have detoured the two of us from our mission of dinner eating and bar hopping as a pair for the first time since we arrived in rowdy, party-happy Halifax early this summer. Ken had called me a few times at Midnight, out with his work buddies, wishing we could somehow find a babysitter in a town where everyone is a stranger so I could be having all kinds of adult sort of fun too.
Finally, we scored a smart, sweet teenager who had the patience of Job.
We ran for the door as soon as she arrived, made the ferry with seconds to spare and didn’t talk about anything even remotely related to diapers and grade school angst for what must have been like six hours. Unbelievable.
We hit Fid Resto – a place near Dalhousie University that Ken had been dying to take me for like two years (he worked for Halifax Film long before we moved here). Finally, we sat across from each other, soaked from the damp, sticky, foggy romantic walk up the hill from the ferry. I nearly passed out from there simply being a cocktail in front of me and no one screaming about not having juice.
Purposefully, we began to eat with no where to go. Every bite got tasted. Every bit of the gorgeous plates and lovely shmears of dips and dressings got tried.
I ate food no young child would even consider eating (roasted chicken with gnocchi and chanterelles, oh my). I had no idea food still tasted so good. The lobster poutine alone made us both understand the joy that is adult-only dining. After cocktail #3 for each of us, we looked longingly across the table at each other and giggled like two kids who had just met online and knew it was love. I was…32 again.
Walking off 2.5 hours of dinner, we made our way to Argyle Street and promptly ran into the cool crowd. I thought my boots and sweeping red cape were awesome. I felt awesome. Ken even gave me that “You, you are awesome” glinty sort of look as he took my hand and we wandered in and out of sorted bars and cafes.
Of course, we settled in at the hot Irish pub, which promptly lost power. We figured it was the universe shocked at seeing us in a pub at 10 p.m. together that forced a short in the electrical for the whole block. Halifax simply could not handle such grandness.:)
We played with our phones, made our drinks glow, paid and hit the pavement unwittingly in the direction of our $6 time machine.
Adorning super hawt plastic wristbands, we entered Dublin, or someplace reminiscent of Ireland – sticky seats, beer-stained floors and all, slid into a booth and ordered up another round before our buddy Mr. Idol took us to another century with his awesomeness.
The evening, up until then, may have been just dinner out. Now, we had rekindled our youth.
As we glided past bars full of wine drinkers, queens, tough guys and trendy people we wished we weren’t too full of Leprechauns to meet, Billy, a little Michael Jackson and even Gloria Estefan got a little air time from us in the form of a hum and a skip and even a little smooch under the street lights.
With 10,000 Maniacs “These Are The Days” over the loud speaker at the ferry dock (I kid you not. It was surreal), we strolled back onto the boat wondering if we’d return home without a moment having passed.
The best $6 time machine ride ever.