friendship

The importance of Date Night for parents.

An excerpt from Reservoir Dad.

‘I don’t feel like we’ve really connected this week.’  ~ Tania, 10 March, 11.30 pm

‘Hey? Hang on . . . shit, Tyson’s awake.’ ~ Reservoir Dad, 10 March, 11.31 pm

Even before Tyson wakes me again, as usual, at five-thirty, I am startled from sleep by a disturbing realisation: I have not sent one ‘sexy but subtle’ text to Tania this entire week. And just as I accept that horrendous fact I am seized upon by something even more startling: Tania has not yet made a leering comment about an aspect of my physical appearance – her trademark move. The walls move in around me as I fight off a rising panic – we are less than thirty-six hours away from Date Night and I remain sexually un-harassed. I need to turn The Pheromony on.

Tyson wakes and as I collect him from his cot and head downstairs I tell myself that even though there is a reason for the temporary physical and emotional distance between us, there really is no excuse. This week has been full-on furious and fast but for the first time in a long time I know that I have not made the effort to connect with Tania in a manner that makes the marital bed shake with fear.

If you love this excerpt, you'll love the rest of the book.

Corrections need to be made, and they need to be made quickly. I serve up Tyson’s breakfast and begin on Archie’s and Lewis’s lunches for the day, remembering a tweet I received in late 2010 that linked to a study that found upper body movement was the key to dancing in a way that makes you irresistible to women (lower body movement has nothing to do with it), and suddenly I am certain of the path I must take.

Archie and Lewis appear, and ninety minutes of readying them for school and kindergarten + doing dishes + cleaning up spilled food + breaking up fights = time to formulate my plan. I will use my superior cunning, innovative dance skills and a well-chosen 80s classic to reconnect with Tania and prevent Date Night from becoming a passionless sham.

With the boys enjoying their twenty minutes of TV in the lounge room, I complete the final tasks of the morning routine and do some intense static stretches, focussing mostly on the muscles of the upper body – such as the latissimus dorsi and pectoralis major – as these are the areas that will be stressed most by the choreographed routine I have in mind.

I place a CD of recently downloaded 80s dance hits in the kitchen CD player and push play just as Tania appears at the bottom of the stairs, looking hot in her corporate get-up. She smiles coyly and shakes her head a little as the song I have selected begins. It’s ‘Funky Town’ by Lipps Inc. and fits the mood perfectly.

Need something to get you in the mood? Works everytime.

The scene is set, the moment is upon me and even though I feel somewhat limited by the lack of leg movement required to turn women on, I am able to adapt, as always, by using my imagination – there are a dozen underdressed women holding me by the ankles and looking up at me longingly.

Tania moves around me in a nonchalant fashion, preparing her breakfast, but I know she’s watching. My upper body jerks into action. The music overwhelms me and suddenly I have no will of my own. One eye-catching dance move follows another.

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I have a vague awareness of what I am – an almost-forty bald guy with pasty white skin who thinks humping thin air is a form of dance – but I will not allow myself to acknowledge it. Inside, I am a lion in the midst of a mane-shaking roar, and without inquiring into the truth of the matter, I imagine that Tania is into this in a big way because she’s aware of two crucial things: I am an impressive catch, yes, but I am also hard to get. At some stage she will need to fi ght her way through the dozen or more enamoured women who are calling my name and pressing their faces against my muscular thighs. The fi ght that’s required thrills her.

But even as I acknowledge this, I know the boxes still need to be ticked – her trademark comment, the sting of her ass-slap. As I continue to dance I work out an approach that will garner the needed response.

‘You know,’ I say, ‘just the other day, Chrissie Swan from The Circle said that it really is a shame the way the media has pressured women into striving for a physical shape that isn’t natural, and now it seems the same is happening to men. And I have to agree with her. I mean, broad shoulders and big pecs don’t defi ne manhood. We’re much more than that.’

Tania laughs and says, ‘What are you talking about? You’ve got a gym in the garage. You work out all the time. You’ve got big shoulders and big pecs . . .’

‘True,’ I say as I keep my feet planted, swivel my hips in circles and make each pec jump for her pleasure. ‘Still, they can always be bigger.’

She laughs again and gathers her breakfast. ‘I’m going to go sit with the boys before I head to work,’ she says as she slaps me on the bum. ‘Coming?’

Sometimes, you just need a little one on one time.

And there it is – the gratuitous comment about my body, the sweet sting of the slap. We round the corner towards Date Night with our connection and focus reaffirmed.

What can I draw from this experience to help others? Several things: 1) the world is constantly circling with its pressures but it’s simply a matter of keeping your focus clear; 2) there are no excuses for a week of passing each other by and no room for half-hearted efforts; 3) 80s music is ‘feel good’ music and can really get you out of a tough spot; 4) in times of trouble trust in an innate skill that places you above the realm of the ordinary – to quote myself, ‘I am disco incarnate.’ The Earth Is My Disco Ball. And I can dance.

How do you keep the romance alive?

Love this? Then you will love the rest of the book which is available on Amazon or Booktopia.

Want more? Try:

“Will a third child make me happier? No.”

Underwater pregnancy photos are incredibly beautiful.

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