Mandy and I had an interesting experience this past week. This weekend was Mandy’s birthday and she loves birthdays. Coming from a family with 8 kids, birthday were extra special in her family. It was the one day of the year you got to stand out from the crowd, so to speak.
My plan was perfect. Mandy loves Olive Garden, but the closest one is almost two hours away. We rarely go there, so I thought taking her on a road trip to Olive Garden, without the kids, would be awesome! I arranged for the girls to have a babysitter, and they even offered to keep the girls all night! What a fun night this was going to be. Very much like the old days: just Mandy and I on a road trip. We spent countless hours in the car together when we were younger, B.K. (Before Kids). I even planned this whole idea of leaving her notes throughout the house on Friday (the day of Olive Garden) that would reveal a little more info each time she read one. I was going to call every few hours and tell her where she could find the next one.
So, Thursday night, while Mandy was upstairs, I carefully placed the four notes around the house. We went to bed and all I told her was that I had something special planned for her starting in the morning. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”What’s that, is that Aly (the six year old) crying? It’s two in the morning!” Yep, that was her. And the poor little girl threw up. Then she did again a little while later. “Well, there went my whole plan for tomorrow I thought”.
In the morning, I gathered all my notes up and dejectedly (I might have just made up a word) put them in my drawer. I thought maybe I would try the following weekend, but wasn’t sure. When I talked to my Mom, who was going to be the babysitter, later in the morning, I told her not to worry about the babysitting. We had to cancel. But she actually said that maybe she could still watch them if Aly felt better all day Friday. The cool thing about it was, she did do much better all day.
I had to spill the beans to Mandy and tell her my plan without having her chase notes around the house. Needless to say, she was pumped. We had everything planned to leave when I got home a little after 5:00.
Then, the next two road bumps hit. First, at about 4:30, it started to snow. No big deal. Driving in the snow never really bothered me. Then, I got caught up at work and got home about 3o minutes later than I wanted. By the time we hit the highway, it had been snowing for over an hour and the roads were pretty nasty. I have to point out that ten years ago this still would not have been a big deal. But as we were driving about 45 mph down the interstate, we were discussing if we should turn around or keep going. We made the wise decision to turn around. After all, there are three little ones dependent on us still being around. I wasn’t worried about my driving in the snow (I’ve done it plenty of times), it’s the other people that scare me.
So, we turned around. We ended up going to Mandy’s favorite restaurant for dinner in town. We then went to her favorite place for desert (Applebee’s: the “Blondie”). After that, we went to the mall and just walked around for awhile. Then, we went home, put the kids to bed, and ended up getting our old Nintendo Game Cube out and played Mario Kart until 2 in the morning.
What is the point of all this? The point is that we had an amazing time. Mandy’s love language is quality time and we had plenty of that. Neither one of us let the fact that our original plans (which we thought were pretty awesome I must say) got ruined. We just went with the flow and enjoyed being with each other. It will be a night we won’t soon forget. Here is my challenge to you. How do you do when your plans get ruined? Do you let it ruin your night? Does it end up causing you to argue and pout, defeating the whole purpose of what the night was supposed to be? I can assure you a few years ago, I think Mandy and I would not have handled the situation near as well. I guess it’s a sign we’re getting old, I mean, growing up!