Saturday night Matt took me out on the town. We were celebrating the fact that someone showed interest in my book query (see www.therehastobeabeginning.blogspot.com for updates on my novel and other writing).
We pretty much take advantage of any opportunity to celebrate...and have someone else cook for us. Saturday was the perfect night to head out. We had both worked hard that morning/afternoon, so some time to ourselves was well deserved.
Sometimes one of our date nights is nothing more than pizza and a movie (and I am TOTALLY okay with that!), but I wanted to get dressed up. I have this great black dress that I bought for a wedding and have never worn it (sad story - couldn't make the wedding - don't make me cry). Matt also has a tailored Ralph Lauren suit that was BEGGING to get out of the bag. Saturday was the night.
Now, Traverse City isn't that big. And finding someplace to go where we can be all dressed up and still afford it doesn't usually happen. Besides, we go to bed at 9:00 pm. All of the formal stuff doesn't even start until then. That didn't discourage me, though. We got dressed up and headed out.
We went to the casino. My sisters live in Vegas and they can't walk into a grocery store without running into a slot machine. It's not that bad here. We're about three miles away from the nearest casino, and they just opened a few months ago. Very clean, very trendy (in ten years it'll be hideous, but it works for now). It was an experience.
As soon as we walked in the door an employee greeted us. She gave us the run down on the hot spots in the casino, including the restaurants. We took one step away and another employee greeted us. All of the dealers and waitresses smiled as we walked by (note to self: Matt is not allowed in public in his suit without his wedding ring and a family member - too many women were giving him the eye). We definitely got some nice treatment.
But it wasn't hard to understand why. The rest of the patrons fell into one of three categories:
1 - 45% retired
2- 40% jeans & t-shirts, Joe Blow
3 - 5% birthday/bachelor(ette) parties
Sure, Matt & I are just Joe Blows, but we didn't look like it :) I think they figured us out, however, when we sat down at the nickle slots. We quit early and walked away $9.50 richer.
While we both wanted to eat at the fancy-pants restaurant in the casino, I just couldn't do it. Not when we could drive down the road and have a great meal for the price of one entree at the casino. (It made me wonder - why don't they have the great meal-deals my sibs can get in Vegas?? I digress...)
Anyway, we ate Mediterranean and had a great meal. Again, I had to keep a protective arm around my husband, but I think the ladies got the point. (Unfortunately, I think the busser did to, and he's a kid that I sub for...that's always awkward).
While everything seemed perfect, our favorite moment came after dinner.
We drove to the grocery store to pick up a couple of items (store brand cereal on sale for 99 cents a box, limit 3. I had picked up 3 earlier in the week - Matt wanted more. I talked him down to 9 boxes. His response? "Twelve would be better, but nine will work"). As we were wandering the store we stepped back to the pop can return area...and gasped.
They did it! They finally did it! Gone are the separate 'can-plastic-glass' machines - now our store has the high-end, easy to use 'can AND plastic' machines...YES!!! No more sorting returnables. No more running errands with cans in the back seat so you can stop at another store. Now we don't have to look any further than three blocks away. WOO HOO!!
I know...we're weird. Looked great, had great food - but it's all about the recycle machines. It was a good night.