March 15, 2012

I love Bikinis

It’s 6:30 PM. The girls have just finished up not eating dinner and returned to their regularly scheduled running-around-like-crazed-lemurs while Jack tromps about in Silvia's sparkly Cinderella shoes. As always, it’s loud. Kurt has just returned from a long business trip and we're both tired.

I sit down at the counter with a sigh, dishes ignored for the moment, and gently cradle my wine glass as I turn to smile at Kurt, who’s relaxing next to me with a matching glass. This is the first time all day we've had the hint of an uninterrupted moment.

“So Bob took me to this new restaurant at lunch today,” he begins, head lowered and eyes casting about for a place to look, anywhere but my face.

“Okay.” I’m a little bit puzzled because of the suddenly confessional air coming off him in waves. Uh-oh, I think. $100 bottle of wine? The best fish and chips in town and he went without me? Kurt has a developed a habit of sampling Dallas's diverse restaurant offerings during the week while I'm left at home to snack on the kids' leftover PB&J's. "Where'd you go?"

“Well… it’s called Bikinis.” He looks up, a sheepish grin on his face. My 43-year-old husband is BLUSHING. “It’s kind of a theme restaurant.”

The theme is, you guessed it, scantily clad young waitresses in bikini tops. They finish off the outfit with a pair of cut-off shorts than take “short” to a whole new level of cheek. Imagining my basically introverted husband there brings a grin to my face.

“Interesting! How was the food?”

“It was okay. Nothing special.”

Kurt finally catches my eye and we both start to laugh. He said he had a lot of trouble just looking up from the menu, especially since the waitress seemed hell-bent on hanging around, chatting and bending over the table. The whole time he kept thinking about how these girls were practically the same age as our babysitters. He kept thinking about me. Not so much that I need to be running about in my unmentionables tossing french fries (though I’m sure he wouldn’t complain), but just that as a married man he shouldn’t be there. A strip-club-party-with-the-guys kinda man he is NOT.

“I have a confession of my own, actually,” I start. “I took the kids to Chik-fil-a for lunch and to play. I just needed an easy distraction and said what the hell.”

And that right there is my marriage. He confesses about lunch with boobies, I confess about lazy fast food parenting. He thinks about the big picture (see the picture below), more intangible (the waitresses are all look, no touch) actions that could impact our relationship. I fret about little day to day things that might get on his nerves. The fun part is the only reason we’re bringing it up at all is each of us feels guilty personally, not because we actually think the other would be upset. A long-standing tenet of our union is mild self-imposed castigation.

In fact, Kurt felt so bad after the experience that yesterday he offered his support to another co-worker who wanted to try the place out, too. Yes, despite his discomfort, my husband went to the half-naked restaurant not once, but TWICE. In the name of office solidarity, of course. He’s noble like that.

I’m not above taking full advantage of his shame. I left him with the kids on a moment's notice last night and went out by myself for a quiet night of writing, coffee and frittering away a few bucks to wander aimlessly around Barnes and Noble.

Without a shred of guilt. Thank you, Bikinis. Feel free to mortify my husband any day of the week.

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