My marriage isn't like normal marriages. No, we don't have an "open" marriage, no matter how many times I've suggested it to my wife. I mean my marriage isn't normal because my wife works nights. The traditional dinner ritual doesn't exist in our house. I am accustomed to eating dinner alone either at home or in a restaurant (I've never understood that "I can't eat alone in a restaurant" hang-up), but figuring out what to do on popular date nights still gives me a little trouble. It seems like time passes slowly alone on a Saturday night.
For one thing, I don't like going out for dinner when places are crowded. I could get something delivered, but that always feels a little decadent when I'm by myself. Ditto for preparing a meal -- why do all that work for one person to eat? -- so I usually just throw something in the microwave. Unfortunately, that doesn't take much time at all.
Being cable-less and dish-less, I'm stuck with network television. But because so many people go out, the networks have practically given up on Saturday nights. Heck, CBS shows reruns. So people like me who aren't out on dates are left with nothing worth watching.
I could read a book, but I read best with endless refills of Coca-Cola in front of me in a restaurant. When I read at home at night, I tend to fall asleep. That does pass the time, but then I won't be tired when my wife comes home and wants to go to sleep.
I could work on one of the many projects around the house, but even though I haven't worked full-time in a while I still feel like I should be "off" on the weekend. It just seems wrong to caulk windows or wash clothes on a Saturday night.
I could walk the dogs... but I never really want to walk the dogs, especially when it's cold outside.
I could exercise since I know I should exercise, but of course I don't.
It's easy to pass the time online, of course. During the fall I might read up on the latest Chicago Bears news before Sunday's game. I could be productive and pare down my backlog of e-mail messages or update my websites, but I'm more likely to play games at partybingo.com. Yeah, that'll work. My wife will be home in just a few hours...
* The title demands the obvious question, What would Tom Waits do on a Saturday night? Whatever it is, I'm sure his life is more interesting than mine.