After a brief morning shift at work I was left with the strange realisation of having two days off back-to-back. This is an occurrence most rare, so rare that even Taylor Swift has had more back-to-back days single. Knowing my manager reads this blog (thoroughly) and is responsible for the hours I work has me weary about saying too much, so much so that I won’t mention how it would be nice to have a whole weekend off once in a while, like every weekend would be good.

When I got home this Tuesday afternoon It was with a huge sigh of relief. Falling onto the sofa while our daughter dreamt away the day during her afternoon nap, my wife Informed me that she was taking me out for date night. A babysitter had already been organised and the night ahead was fully planned. It was a romantic and thoughtful gesture from my wife, had she gone one step further and laid out a dress and matching shoes for me to wear that evening, then my waterproof mascara may have been put to the test.

Once the little monster had been put down for the night, the evening’s preparations were put into motion. Because apparently I can’t wear the clothes I’ve been wearing for the past few days, it was time to look “presentable.” While my wife occupied the bathroom I casually paraded about the kitchen for any last minute snacks, deciding to kill two birds with one stone and get dressed on the move. For those unfamiliar with the various steps that occur whilst putting on a pair of skinny jeans, it’s like trying to feed toothpaste back into its tube, there’s no dignity to be had. There is much pulling and tugging, rummaging and adjusting and no lack of jumping and thrusting. If the group of youths outside the kitchen window weren’t familiar with the process, then by now the image has been burned onto their eyeballs. Giving myself the once over to make sure my outfit was “on point” my wife and I concurred that I should never use that phrase again.

The moments before leaving the house are the most nervous. The longer the wait, the longer my wife has to doubt her outfit. She looks at her clothes and sighs, throwing a glance my way to get my opinion. At this point I only have three thoughts running through my mind. How the Arsenal game is coming along, how I’m going to destroy her at bowling and how absolutely beautiful she looks. With one quick photo to commemorate this rare occasion on Instagram, because I do that now, we were set for the night ahead.

Approximately 20 yards from our apartment we realised we’d made a huge mistake, people don’t go on dates during the winter. We struggled through the bitter cold wind at a pace appropriate for my wife’s footwear, a pair of shoes we refer to as her “Hooker boots” a high class hooker though, the kind you’d pay top dollar for. Reaching the local bowling alley we took up our lane and were ready for the battle to commence. I’d carefully selected some balls that she could lift with ease, and because I wanted to make it a fair competition I decided to use the same ones. For no other reason.

The game was close and tense. My wife took an early lead in the event, offering me support during my turns that I couldn’t help feel were less than sincere. While I on the other hand was completely sincere, every time I told her to choke. Come my last two balls the score read 95-87 in her favour. It all came down to this final turn, score a 9 or higher and victory would be mine. Deciding I’d taken it easy on her for far too long, I rolled the perfect strike. Strutting back from the lane like a majestic peacock the game had been won. Performing another spare with my bonus balls the air became thick with the stench of victory, the final score reading a satisfactory 95-117.

Retiring to the bar I offered to drown her sorrows, proceeding to rest our weary heads in a secluded booth. The remainder of the evening we were to bath in each other’s company, filling the vacant bar with conversation and laughter, and I was on my best behaviour not to rub my victory in her face too often. Spending quality time with my wife away from material things is always a breath of fresh air. Relaxing with one another away from a toy strewn living room is always a pleasure, even more so when it’s unexpected. I am a man of simple pleasures who loves nothing more than relaxing to a good movie in the pitch black of night, however, away from the light of the tv screen and our mobile phones, I got to enjoy an even greater pleasure in my wife’s company and undivided attention. Now that’s something that can’t be beaten.

It was with regret that the evening had to come to an end. Gazing upon my wife under the light of a lit archway, I realised I could never get tired of dating this woman. Like a true gentleman I walked my wife to her door and after a brief moment she would invite me in to spend the night. Who ever said this dating business was hard?