I'm at the White Chocolate Grill. I haven't been here since I came with Robb. For a moment I thought I was sitting in the same table, but I think that's only because I can so easily imagine him across from me.
That doesn't happen very much anymore. That sweet ache of an almost vivid memory.
It's Gabrielle Monday: the boys' weekly date with our babysitter, the neighborhood boys' weekly delight as the prettiest girl in the history of testosterone arrives with all her charm and maternal instincts to grant me my night off. (Is there a chorus in your head right now? There is in mine. Always with those words: night off.)
I have challenged myself to eat somewhere different each time. But I'm not sure what difference it makes since I'm always likely to order something with fresh avocado, a wedge salad, an aged balsamic, and preferably bread and soft butter. But I pretend I am bold.
The boys have been watching an episode of Full House, on repeat. Well, they've watched it twice. But they haven't deleted it from the dVR line up. It's the one where Danny goes on his first date after his wife has died.
Joey and Jesse are so excited for him to enter the dating scene. Danny is nervous as hell, and he does all those stupid, goofy Danny Tanner things that are quirky and unrealistic. The girl he is taking out is the Hive Mother of Stephanie's Busy Bees Club. She's skinny, and she never takes off her Busy Bee Antennae. Danny tells his daughters he's going on a first date, and then he woffles back and forth - should he go, should he not - by cancelling and then affirming his date with Linda over and over again.
The thing is, in part, they've got it right. Nervous as hell. Stupid quirky things that I can't believe could be realistic.
DJ is most offended by the idea of a new date, a new woman in Danny's life. Stephanie is her most charming life stage and doesn't really know what's going on.
(Sidenote: - It's really a bummer for child actors who piqued at age 4 when they were hired.
Lucky find: Michelle Tanner. Unlucky find: Rudy Huxtable. It's a gamble.)
Anyway, DJ does all kinds of things to guilt her dad into abandoning his date with Linda. She believes the date will mean Linda is her new mom. She believes that even though the date might make her dad happy, her mom will be very sad somewhere.
Finally, Danny sits down with all three girls. He explains that a date doesn't mean marriage, which is something I remind myself often. Danny says something wise and important, although I have to confess I haven't listened directly, in part because I don't really want to think too hard about the words, and in part because I want the boys to believe they have happened on to this insider scoop on their very own, that they have elite, unauthorized information on the life of a single parent.
So, Danny says (something like),
Girls, I'll always love your mom.
She was the love of my life. She and I made three little miracles together, and I will always love her. That will always be true, even if I marry someone else someday.
I know what your mom would want for me, because she and I talked about it before you were born. We decided that we wanted you girls to be taken care of, and we wanted each other to be happy, not lonely.
And the music rises, and he hugs each of his children, and they all agree he should go on the date with Linda instead of staying home to eat ice cream with the girls. He pretends he doesn't want DJ to call Linda, and yet he knows the number by memory. The typical 555- of sitcoms.
And then Danny decides what to wear, and Joey and Jesse become his fashion coaches. And the whole thing gets very distracting because I really want Joey to wear a belt with his Z Cavariccis.
The episode ties its neat and tidy bow as Danny and Linda are heading out the door. Thank the heavens above that she has ditched the antennae.
I just kind of want to know about the date, though. There's something so sweet and innocuous about Full House. Corny or not, I know it would go well and be over in 26 minutes.
The boys have watched this episode the last three nights before bed. Today, while I was doing dishes (read: cleaning up Tyler's science experiment when he couldn't clean up any longer because of his gag reflex), Tyler asked me if I feel lonely because Daddy is gone. And I didn't have to wonder where the question was born.
I think the writers of Full House should have invested more in Danny's life in the later years, instead of all that nonsense with Jesse and Rebecca and Nicky and Alex. But I get it: John Stamos is exponentially more handsome than Bob Saget. Ratings.
Anyway. My guacamole is here. With a side of wedge salad.