Think I’ll go pick up a stripper and show her the wonder that is Fred, my mind finished. "How about we go out to dinner?" he finished. I’m not sure what happened next. I believe I blacked out. When I came to some time later, Miz Poo was sniffing in a semi-concerned manner at my eyeballs, and Spanky was rubbing his ears on my feet. Fred glared down at me from his computer chair. "Har har," he said. "Verrrry funny." You have to understand, people; this is the man whom I have not been able to drag to a restaurant more than, maybe, twice a year in the last four years. And every one of those times, it was my suggestion, my insistence, and my getting on my knees and begging that led us to actually leave the house and eat somewhere other than our own kitchen table. Since it was so early yet, he wanted to do something and then go out to eat. He didn’t know what he wanted to do, and I didn’t have a clue, we went upstairs to loll about on the bed and discuss our options. We spent so long discussing them that by the time we decided to haul our asses out of bed and get ready to go, it was almost dinnertime. "So, are you going to get all gussied up?" he asked with a smile. I shrugged and nodded. "Really?" he said with an even bigger smile. "You’re going to wear makeup?" I nodded again. "Really?" "YES," I said, a tad irritated. "What’s up with the makeup obsession?" "I don’t know," he said. "You just look prettier with makeup on." The instant the last word was out of his mouth, he got a stricken holy god in heaven, what the fuck have I said??? look on his face. I gave him a hard time, so y’all don’t need to email him and tell him what an ass he is; I’ve got it covered. So he hopped into the shower, and I went into the closet and stared at my thirty-five oversized t-shirts, and tried to decide what, exactly, "gussied up" might entail. Since my usual method of dressing up consists of putting on underwear and a bra underneath my sweatpants and t-shirt before leaving the house, I was a tad stymied. With a little help, I decided on a sweater and black pants. I put on some makeup – mascara, liner, blush – and tried to tame my hair, failing miserably. Maybe fifteen minutes after beginning to get ready to go, we were out the door. The spud was more dressed up than either of us, as she was wearing a long red cotton dress. We had no idea where we were going for dinner. What we did know is that we didn’t want to eat anywhere in Huntsville, so we headed for Decatur and points beyond, figuring we’d stop when we saw a decent-looking restaurant. An hour later, after having passed every possible fast food restaurant and sixteen chinese restaurants, we turned around and headed back into Decatur. Fred used the cellphone to make a quick call to his mother, who lives in Decatur, and asked for suggestions. She suggested a restaurant, and then went on to tell Fred about all the chicken dishes they served. When he hung up, we made a joke out of it, imitating Bubba from Forrest Gump: "Blackened chicken, marinated chicken, barbequed chicken, chicken and rice, chicken and beans…" Another ten or fifteen minutes of driving – Fred loathes Applebees, Ruby Tuesday’s, and O’Charley’s, so those weren’t options, just so you know – we turned around again and stopped at a little Mexican place we’d passed at one point or another. La Cabana, it was called, and it had a couple of Survivor-type torches by the front entrance. The inside did not scream of elegance, but we were so starved we didn’t much notice. Between the three of us, we polished off the basket of chips and salsa, and they were goooood. I almost immediately baptised my sweater with a big chipful of salsa, which I dribbled clumsily down the front. I ordered a frozen margarita and then realized I like sweeter frozen drinks, like dacquiris or pina coladas. This did not stop me from sucking down the margarita, until the alcohol went to work on me (I’m a bit of a lightweight, believe it or not), and my face turned a glowing red and my eyes glazed over. The food was excellent. We took a detour on the way home so that Fred could show me a dead armadillo by the side of the road (he was surprised that there would be one this far north). We stopped by the movie store, and more than three hours after we left the house we were home again, home again, jiggity jig. I sent out feelers on the way home (get your mind out of the gutter, people): "So, will we be doing this every Friday, going out to eat? Kind of like a date night, only the spud along?" He was non-committal, shrugging and smiling and telling me we’d have to see next Friday. It was a lovely evening out, and very enjoyable. I can only hope it happens again (hint, hint, Fred). —–]]>