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Monica Bielanko
A chronicle since 2005 of my marriage & move to Brooklyn in my twenties; becoming a mother in my thirties; moving to Pennsylvania and learning to amicably coparent after divorce in my forties while living 3 doors down from my ex-husband in a small country town.
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Wednesday
Apr272011

So I've Started Dating...

I don't think it's stretching the truth at all to inform you that there was a period after Violet was born that we didn't experience a movie in a theater (in Utah it's pronounced THEE-AID-UR) for at least a year. A year!

Serge is this very cerebral fellow who enjoys documentaries and reading books about North Korea (In Touch and Us Weekly has been the extent of my reading of late) in his spare time. I am no fan of North Korea reading and I also don't like romantic comedies (They're all the same! You can sense each turn the plot is going to take and I hate that. Kill off the lead guy halfway through the movie and you might earn my interest) so our movie tastes tend to run along the same lines. Drama, action, documentaries, indie flicks, we love 'em. We love our popcorn even more. Boy, do we love our popcorn. So it's a shame we let our movie-going fall by the wayside of parenting.

I don't think it's any coincidence that, for the longest time now, we've almost felt like domestic partners as opposed to lovers. Man, I hate that word: LOVERS. It's so gross. But I couldn't think of a better one to describe the state of affairs (or lack thereof) around these parts. I noticed Serge even changed his Facebook status to Domestic Partnership instead of married. Oh my God! He changed his Facebook status! That certainly signals the demise of our relationship, no?

It's not that we wanted to stop going out together, it's just that our schedules were totally opposite and by the time the weekend rolled around I just wanted to lounge bra-less around the house and watch Real Housewives of Any City marathons. Serge, who spent the bulk of the time home with Violet wanted to get out of the house. Of course, I prevailed, so there was a good year or more where we did a lot of staying at home.

Dude. If I can impart one word of wisdom to any soon-to-be parents it would be GET YE OUT OF THE HOUSE ONCE A WEEK. Oh, and it has to be together. Getting out alone is good too but then how is all that good marital bonding supposed to happen? Except every time Serge and I go out the world conspires against us and the bonding falls by the wayside too.

We never get into the restaurant we want. Suddenly, Salt Lake City is this happening mecca that I don't remember experiencing before giving birth, when I used to go out all the time. Restaurants are jammed up with forty-five minute waits, and twice now we've ended up eating at Applebees with the same waiter who tests Serge's patience by nearly ignoring us the entire night. Have you ever tried to have a conversation with a dude who is so preoccupied by the fact that the waiter hasn't brought the beer he ordered fifteen minutes ago that he nods in the affirmative when you tell him your vagina just fell on the floor and can he pick it up before it gets stepped on?

So we haven't exactly had these thrilling date nights, but I think you'll find that just getting in and out of the car without unstrapping a child from a car seat and making sure you have all necessary baby accoutrements on your person is as thrilling as any orgasm you'll ever have. The freedom! It's dizzying. I find myself looking forward to Friday nights now, which is cool, you know, to look forward to a date with your husband. At least I let him think that. I'm really fantasizing about all the popcorn I'm going to eat, but don't tell Serge.

Reader Comments (14)

"we've almost felt like domestic partners as opposed to lovers."

well that's not offensive or anything

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjames

Offensive to whom? Serge? He knows what I mean. I suppose you're in one of those movie marriages in which everyone is madly in love ALL the time?

April 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

He's probably offended that your statement implies that domestic partners can't be lovers. Seems a little thin-skinned on his part given the context of your post.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

Domestic partners as related to gay couples? I see. Except why would I be comparing our relationship to gay couplings? I meant domestic partnership as in doing our respective jobs as mom and dad and not much else. Isn't that pretty obvious?

April 28, 2011 | Registered CommenterMonicaBielanko

I thought it was obvious.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

James...relax, honey. Not every use of "domestic partnership" coming out of Utah is a shot across the bow, ifyougetmydrift.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Ghost of Paul Lynde

My godsister and her husband make the time for themselves - usually when the kids are in daycare, but she is very insistent on it. I think it's smart.
So, GO YOU and Serge!! :D

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNoelle

I can't figure out how to enjoy being out. The few times we've gone out (our son is almost 1), I just miss my son and would honestly rather be home with him. I'm sure that signals the loss of something, for sure, but it is what it is. I would rather spend time w/my son than my friends or out on a date night. I love movies, but spend the whole movie w/my phone in my hand, hoping the babysitter doesn't call with a problem. I need to relax, I guess - which I would do by going out more?? LOL It's a circular problem.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandice

We have been doing the opposite schedule thingy, like you two, for waaayyyy too long & our time alone together suffers because of it. Add to our stress raising one child with Aspergers and sometimes we don't even have the energy to talk to each other at the end of the day.

So we have "the talk" every couple of months, where we promise to get a regular babysitter, carve out more couple time, change my work schedule once Andrew is doing better etc. We are better for awhile, then get back into our old tired, lazy patterns. I wish I had a good solution, because I miss how we used to be.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrissyD

God, i didn't mean to come off so "poor me" whiny...

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChrissyD

A date night is the worlds best idea. We go out on Thursday nights because the restaurants don't have waits and our babysitter is available. It's nice. It really helps us feel like a couple instead of just exhausted parents.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaty E.

i have two close together. domestic partnership... it happens, when you have a toddler and a newborn. and i too miss how we used to be-- crazy in love, soulmates, the whole shebang.

recently we had a big, big blowup. and since then, we've had a ton more sex and a lot more date nights, not to mention just being NICE to eachother in between. our son, the baby, is almost 2. it sure didn't happen until now.

newborn year is just... survival year. but look each other in the eyes and promise to sort it out later. divorce sucks.

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentera.

Wow I really love the last sentence of this last comment! (a.)

April 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGaby B

Hey monica, if I hadn't been reading your blogs for quite a while now I'd be really worried about that domestic partnership comment. Does come across as quite a bit homophobic because it implies domestic partnership is something less than a marriage. (Which it is in the sense of rights given but that's another topic.) It's an unlucky choice of words because domestic partnerships are associated with gay marriage and not with "being domestic". I was taken aback as well :/

Now, if changing one's relationship status on FB is to show support for domestic partnerships/civil unions - then I'm all for it :)

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermccutcheon

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