Saturday, January 12, 2008

Lost Theatre - Sunset Found! (We're getting old)

Sometimes getting lost is a good thing. Although, there are *some* in this household who contend that we didn't get lost... the theatre was simply in a different location. (Why can't men ever ask for directions?:) But it all worked out in the end, so no worries.

Today was one of the first Saturday's in a l-o-n-g time that Nathaniel and I have been able to spend pretty much together. My only commitment was my 80 minute run. No long bike (not until tomorrow!). No double workout. Nothing except for an easy (zone 1 or 2 - yea!!!) run for me. He decided to give himself a study-free day, as he's been hitting the books, flash cards, and prepping for his pre-flight briefs quite a bit.

What does this mean? Well, it's a a recipe for disaster, I tell you... A couple who has entirely too much time on their hands with not a clue in the world of what to do.

I kid you not.

Does anybody out there have this problem?

I'm the introvert, and Nathaniel is in school. We're boring. B-O-R-I-N-G. And we go to bed early (which can't be helped... we both fall asleep early, unless I'm reading or writing - but I don't count that.)

What I mean, is that sometimes I think that Nate and I are the most boring couple on the planet. I train, he studies, I help him study, I write a lot, we read together a bunch, we'll watch football and some TV, and that's about it. We really don't go out too much, as most of his classmates are either way younger than us (and nothing says I feel old when you have 23 year-old flight students doing jello shots, and all you can think about is getting a full 8 hours of sleep), or studying just as hard as he is. My friendds dow here keep similar schedules to me, so that's no good... Yes, we'll go out a bit, but mostly on our own to Barnes & Noble, or out to dinner, or something of the sorts.

Yikes - when did this happen?

(Wait - I'll answer that. When I signed up for IM Arizona, and when he started flying.)

Okay okay, so this is self-inflicted.

But I'm okay with that. Honestly, I don't mind.

Because today we had a blast together. But it happened because we got lost...

It started earlier when we were trying to decide on which movie to go see. I'm almost through reading "Atonement" and am interested in seeing the movie, but want to wait until the book is done. Nathaniel was a great trooper, and agreed to see anything I wanted to.

"When you're happy, I'm happy," he commented.

But I heard the audible sigh of relief when I said I wasn't ready for "Atonement" the movie. So instead, we decided on "National Treasure."

Next dilemma: what time to see the movie?

"The movie is playing at 3:40, 4:00, 7:35, and 8 pm tonight. What do you think," I asked.

Nathaniel gave me a look, blushed, and replied, "I don't think I could stay awake for the evening showing...Would you mind going this afternoon?"

I laughed and replied, "Actually, I was hoping you'd say that. I have to get up early and bike tomorrow."

So it was decided: the 4 o'clock showing it was.

(OHMYGOSH - we are turning into old people! And we're still in our 20s. Have you heard? 20 is the new 80!)

While getting ready for the movie, I was flipping channels, and noticed the Green Bay/Seattle football game on. I thought they were playing tomorrow... I briefly debated telling Nathaniel, knowing full well he would opt for a Packers game over a movie-of-my-choice any day. What the heck? I like football, I might as well.

So there we were: Nathaniel on the futon, me laying on the bed (book in hand). We joked about the game, made a few predictions, watched GB win the toss, and then watched in horror as Seattle scored a touchdown in the first :20 of the game after a GB fumble.

I looked at Nathaniel. He looked at me.

If there's one thing I've learned about this man, is that he's not a happy camper when his Packers loose a game. Our Saturday was on the line, and it sadly hinged on a football game.

His expression mirrored my own, except he was probably thinking about a Packers loss, whereas I was contemplating a grumpy-husband. (For the rest of the weekend! This was, after all, a play-off game).

"Do you think we can still make the move?" He looked at me.

"Yes," I replied, without hesitation.

"Good - because I don't want to be mad for the next 3 hours if Green Bay looses."

Now my sigh of relief was audible, and together we dashed out of the house - escaping the horrors of the game's first :20.

As we drove to the movie theatre, the mood lightened considerably. We joked about random stuff, chatted away, and tried to guess what was going to happen. We pulled onto I-10, headed West, and then tried to figure out where exactly the movie theater was.

"I think it's the next exit," Nathaniel said.

"I think you're right," I replied - only half-way convinced.

(I should note, I'm trying really really really hard to not be such a back-seat driver with Nathaniel. Yes, he drives like a maniac - but he's gotten a little better. I think that being able to fly planes and helicopters has helped tremendously. He can zorch around at a few hundred miles per hour 400 feet off the ground and get his rush that way. But his led-footed tendencies still emerge, and I often find myself snapping slow down! It's 35 and you're going 50! Not all that an attractive characteristic in a spouse. But I don't want to get dead - or a ticket - or both! So snap I will. Sometimes.)

I wasn't convinced that he was right, but wasn't entirely sure myself. So I just sat back and ignored the speedometer.

Our exit came up, we got off, took a left, drove 1/2 a mile and ---

No move theatre.


The stars have finally aligned for us to spend quality time together, we actually decide to go out, and then low and behold, we loose the theatre. Wonderful.

"I think it was the last exit," he said.

"I think you're right," I replied.

We grinned at each other, and then silence. Now what?

It was too early for dinner, we were far away from Barnes and Noble, we had made the effort to get away from the disastrous football game and out of the house, only to discover that the movie theatre was really in a different location. Simply fantastic.

And then something wonderful happened: Nathaniel casually suggested that we drive out to Perdido Key, and I accepted. Nothing like a little drive on a Saturday afternoon.

As we drove, I looked out the window, silenced with my thoughts. I thought about training and my upcoming season. What would it hold? How would I do? Could I really handle my first IM? I watched the trees thin out as we neared the beach, many of them destroyed in Hurricanes Ivan and Dennis. The only reminder of their presence were the upright standing trunks, branchless and lifeless. I saw hints of the white sand, gleaming through the underbrush, and watched the high clouds skirting across the sky. I wondered about Nathaniel's training. Would he get through his course work? Would he get the helicopter of his choice? How soon will we have to move again?

I became consumed in my thoughts, and the mood of the car became grim. Nathaniel was focused on the "slow" drivers ahead ("Bloody Hell!"), wondering about his Packers (":20 seconds, :20 seconds!"), while I was trying to figure out what was going to happen for the next year or two of our lives. (For me, the moving-to-a-new-location/state/country is the toughest...making the change and leaving all of my friends, my life, my job, everything behind...but I married him knowing full well that this was in store. And besides, once I get settled, good things have always happened, so it's not really that bad. The initial change is hard, though).

Wow - that sounds awful! If you haven't already noticed, sometimes I'll compound my worries. So a wrong turn can become "catastrophized" at any minute. But Nathaniel is great at recognizing this, and was able to snap me out of it.

"Look - a coffee shop!"

'Atta Boy!

I perked up immediately at the thought of a wonderful drink keeping me warm on the water's edge. It sounded great.

We parked and walked into a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop that had a huge assortment of flavor shots, espresso machines, coffee grinders, coffee machines, a big steamer, chalk boards filled with brightly-colored drink selections, lots of goodies - muffins, pastries, left over Christmas treats - and a TV that was broadcasting the Packer's game.

Tied 20-20, beginning of the 2nd.

There was hope...

I ordered a Chai tea while Nathaniel went for the cappuccino and a pastry. We watched, mesmerized by the snow and football on the screen until our order was ready. After paying and tipping the barista (can you call a non-Starbucks coffee maker a barista?) we were on our way, cruising over the Inter-Coastal-Waterway Bridge to Perdido Key.

We drove into the State Beach, parked the car, and walked hand-in-hand down the silky white sand to the water's edge.

Our timing was impeccable. We had about 20 minutes until sunset, and it was beautiful.

What we weren't able to say in the car came out in torrents on the beach. We talked about his school, my training, my writing, our lives together, where we'll be going next, our future together. It was wonderful. And it wasn't all serious, but just fun. Our conversation flowed, and I felt like we were the only two people in the world, together on this beautiful beach. The lapping of waves on the edge of the shore was relaxing, and we watched in fascination as little finches (birds) ran up and down the sand in chase of food.

"That would be a treat for Tabbitha," Nathaniel commented, his eyes crinkling up in the corners.

We sipped our drinks, sat together on the beach, and watched the sun sink slowly below the horizon. The colors were beautiful - first bright and golden with the sun, but slowly turning to orange and then red as the sun made its last hurrah before dipping behind the water. Rays of light reflected off the high clouds, and the vibrant pink slowly mixed with blue to form a light purple. The colors reflected beautifully off the water, and even the white sand seemed more vibrant as a result.

We joked, we laughed, we were a bit cold - the breeze off the Gulf was chilly, and we hadn't prepared for "outside" stuff. Remember - the movie theatre "moved". Ahem.

But I'll forever remember this afternoon, more so than had we actually made it to the move. And it never would have happened unless the movie theatre had been where it was supposed to be. I guess that sometimes you just need to get a little lost before you can find yourself in the exact right spot. And a beautiful beach, warm drink, and colorful sunset with that special someone always helps.

PS - Even better with a Green Bay Victory. The day was complete!


Mel said...

AWWWWW....I felt like I just read a romance novel...a really good one :)

Beth said...

"Have you heard? 20 is the new 80!" This is my new favorite line!!! I was laughing hard at this one...but my husband and I are the exact same way! I fall asleep at 8 pm sometimes!! Our "night life" is going to dinner at 5 (to avoid waiting for a table for an hour) and then coming home for tv!! :)

Regardless, I'm glad your night turned out wonderfully with Nathaniel. Sometimes life is funny like that...

Hope your long ride went well today!

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

Thanks guys! Sometimes serendipity works wonders. Nathaniel wanted me to mention that "the only reason he falls asleep at 8 (or earlier) is that he routinely gets up at 3:40 or 4:00 am for his flights and stuff". Otherwise he'd be able to stay up until at least 9, maybe 10. Beth - had to laugh at the 5 pm dinner. Because we're the same. Thanks for the comments!

Anonymous said...

HA! I got lost in your post...daydreaming of a wonderful Saturday like that! Glad you had a nice Saturday, Marit!!! We are the exact same way....but at least I am a decade older! Jen H.

Train-This said...

Serendipity .... that's perfect! And a perfect day, thank YOU for sharing!

:-) Mary