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2009-09-03 digital edition

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2009-09-03 / Community News

Lunch Date Season Has Returned

The kids are back in school. That signals the end of a long summer and the beginning of Lunch Date Season. About once or twice a week the stars align themselves in such a way that allows my husband and me to have lunch together - alone.

It never happens in the summer, though, because, of course, the rug rats are home and there is some kind of law that says I have to feed them too. If I left them alone for half an hour while I went out for lunch with my husband, chances are that there would only be one of something that they all wanted to eat for lunch and instead of flipping a coin, arm wrestling, or some other civilized tie-breaker, they would choose to do physical harm to one another.which means I'd come home to a few less children.and I know I'd miss them.eventually. It's not worth it.

We could take them with us and suffer the consequences. The problem with children is that they are born with firecrackers in their backsides, which results in the fa- miliar phenomenon of them never being able to sit in a chair for more than 5 seconds. To alleviate the continual bouncing, we would choose a booth.

A booth has its own drawbacks, though, because although the children stay seated in the booth longer, so does their food. This is a particular challenge in the summer when I'm wearing shorts. The bits of bread, chips and pickle spears eventually find their way to the lowest part of the booth which happens to be under my rather largish behind. When the meal is over, we have to spend ten minutes digging the child's meal out of my cellulite-ridden thighs. They look like a moonscape, only its craters are filled with garbage.

The issue of munchkin food and its subsequent challenges are a given. But the conversations with our children at lunchtime are always so stimulating as well. The topics are random, and I swear, meant to throw their parents off the scent of sensible discourse. We are asked to answer absurd questions such as: "Why are an octopus' legs called tentacles?"

"Well, why not? Maybe because "salt shaker" was already taken?"

"No. Shouldn't they be called eight-acles?"

"Good question. Why don't you ask an octopus?"

With such exhilarating (read exhausting) subjects to discuss, is it any wonder that we'd rather not go on a lunch date than bring the children with us?

However, our lunch dates are more important than you think. I have found that if I don't set up a lunch date with my husband, sometimes I don't eat right.and he doesn't eat at all.

"What did you have for lunch today?"

"A spoonful of peanut butter, a grape popsicle, and the crumbs in the bottom of the Dorito bag. What did you have?"

"A great, big, steaming bowl of squat."

So, yeah, we kind of need our lunch dates. But summer is over and we can finally have an occasional lunch that does not include a happy meal, a request for quarters for the gum machine, or a bazillion trips to the restroom.

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