I know what it is to live entirely for and with what I love best on earth.-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Mona's Musings

May 7th, 2010

Somewhere Else

“I feel that you need to go out and do things together to keep the fire going in the relationship. I mean, that’s how friendships work, so shouldn’t marriages work the same?”
(David, new husband)


I know everyone thinks I’m adventurous. And I’ll admit, I’ve done some rather bold things: things that amaze even me–knowing me as I do. Because the truth is, I’m really very much a homebody, more comfortable with routine more than with romance. But over thirty-two years, on a rather regular basis, Dale has insisted that I take off the apron and headscarf, kiss the kiddies, pack the pretties, and become HIS…

…somewhere else…

-the town, the city, the park, the beach, the canyon, the desert, the mountainside, the world.

I am grateful for this. The change of costume and character rejuvenates. Realizing that you are not irreplaceable (at home) liberates. Exclusivity as best friends and lovers revitalizes. And memories pile up like wood for winter fires.

For a night or two or three, anything is possible.

This time however, it’s more than a handful of hotel points on the line. This time, my Cinderella stamina is being stretched to the limit and I keep backing into my own little corner. Can I really do castles and coaches every day?

Some people think I’m wacky for being so skittish, so uncertain, so UN-them. Oh really? For many of the couples I know, even dating weekly is rare. Romance-on-a-stick instead of on a platter can become the order of the day, of the year, of a lifetime.

So. Shall I tell you how we walked in the rain on the beaches of Honolulu? Or about the time he kissed me in Times Square? Maybe I’ll describe cuddles in a taxi or a sky-box or a subway? No, I don’t think I will; each of those moments is too luscious, too surreptitious.

What I will tell you is that they didn’t happen when we had loads of money or time or independence (quite the opposite) and they didn’t happen in the garage, the family room, or even our bedroom. They happened, and those particular kind of moments can only happen…

…somewhere else.

Teasing you has stirred the lonely princess in me however … very therapeutic. I’m suddenly itching for escapade. So you will excuse me please, while I go pack my loveliest (if not dustiest) tiara and shine the spilled milk off my glass slippers. I’ve got just two weeks to straighten the broom closet and burn the rags. It’s time to love gorgeously…



Beautiful” performed by Jim Brickman and Wayne Brady

[youtube width=”445″ height=”364″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS9GH8XX3Ew&feature=related[/youtube]


“Dear Mona, We are going away to the beach next week. If our kids are rotten,
will you remind them how important it is for couples to nurture their relationship?? J&L”


Official London Forecast: Dale is flying home today and what a scene we will make at the airport. I promise no one will know we have been married 32 years. The next time we’re in an airport (in a little over 2 weeks) we fly across the world, TOGETHER. (pssst…check out all 18 links in this Musing….for fun!)

Don’t miss>My Hero

“Beautiful” performed by Jim Brickman and Wayne Brady

Hint of Romance

Regularly escaping together for an evening or a weekend (with nobody else but you) is fundamental to a flourishing marriage. Don’t let anyone or anything bar the door–give your get-away-romance top priority on the spreadsheet and on the calendar. Everything and everyone at home will be brighter for it.

What did you think of this musing?

Join the discussion!


  1. Bri Z says:

    I love this post! I often feel so guilty when we decline invitations to “hang out” with friends or literally turn people out of the house to get our moment of romance in. :) Weekly dates were a rule from the beginning for our marriage as advised and exampled by both sets of parents and many other couples we admire.

    I’ve been dreaming ALL winter semester long about these summer days. We have a couple get-aways planned ourselves: hiking down in Moab, staying at a hotel on the Oregon coast, and Timpanogous caves are all on our essential agenda for the summer.

    As for our date this week, often he surprises me by planning something secretly, but tonight I know we’ll be with some close life-time friends enjoying a movie on a big screen (with plenty of popcorn – you can assure Banana of that).

  2. Oh my gosh, Mona, I am so intensely excited for you (and a little jealous too!) I can’t wait to take my love to England and show him the places I lived and loved and miss daily.

    Right now in this season of our lives it is hard to get out every week, so we are aiming for at least once a month. (We actually COULD go out weekly, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving Toby with anyone other than family, so we have to wait till they are available to watch him.) I am planning on sending Toby to my mom’s house for a weekend over the summer so that we can have a fun night away, even if we just end up staying home and not going anywhere exotic :)

    Meanwhile, Bri, your talk of Moab makes me drool. I want to go… especially now, because it’s probably warm there!

  3. Heidi says:

    Oh, I do enjoy listening to Jim Brickman play the piano. (And I like Wayne Brady singing, too!) Loved the tiara and glass slipper references. :-)

    I don’t think mine really counts, but I do have a getaway planned. I scheduled my monthly temple trip for tomorrow and will be able to fit in a visit with my brother and his family (probably the last before they move). My best friend is coming along, too, and I love any time I can spend with him (which isn’t often any more). Plus, HE is driving–which makes the whole situation ideal since I’m not the biggest fan of driving in general, but especially long distances.

    So my getaway will be a chance to relax, visit with loved ones, and serve the Lord and my dearly departed. Couldn’t ask for a better getaway for my single (yet happy) self. Enjoy your somewhere else–it will be so wonderful for you and you both deserve it.

  4. Marzee says:

    My husband and I are going to see our dear friend sealed in the temple this weekend. His first marriage ended in temple divorce and our heartbroken friend has been searching for 7 years to find the lady, the princess he’s being sealed to this Saturday. We’re so happy for him. What better way to remember how important eternal love is than to revisit the promises we made to each other in the temple?

    Do I win the ice cream? ;)

  5. Rebecca Webb says:

    When I think of all the excuses for why regular dating can’t work, I find the greatest excuses AREN’T time or money, they are your own man-(or woman)-made mental blocks. We are stubborn animals sometimes! It’s HARD to change, but if you can, IT’S WORTH IT!! : )

  6. Marcie says:

    This week we had two dates, but they were both at home. I hope they count. We do try to go out once a week, but with our new addition it’s been a little difficult. However, when my sister was here to help she watched the kids and we went out twice before Kaitlyn was even a week old. Since then we’ve only done home dates, but I think we have a real getaway planned for next week, seeing as it’s my birthday. Anyway, this week after the kids were asleep we popped popcorn and ate it with Hershey Miniatures and V8 Fusion juice while we read conference talks from the Ensign. Last year our bishop asked us to spend a couple nights a week doing this and it has strengthened our relationship just like he said it would. It’s so much fun and it assures us we still get a date in even on the weeks we don’t hire a sitter and go out. I love sitting on the couch munching away while I listen to his sweet voice read. The talks bring the Spirit into our home and I love discussing it with him afterward. Furthermore, I know he’s mine for the whole evening so I really look forward to these nights.

  7. Grant Z says:

    I’ve loved everyone’s thoughts so far! Dates, whether away or at home, have acted like a cleanser for me in a way. Sometimes when we’re busy with classes and work and stuff life seems so heavy and everything we talk about has an overtone of “If we don’t do this just right, life is going to fall on our head!” Maybe that’s just Bri and my personalities, but it can cause stress and make marriage feel so different at times than the care-free romance you felt when you were dating. However, we have always taken the time to date and laugh and forget about it all and it’s rejuvenating and cleansing. This summer has been especially wonderful for us because it feel like a date everyday since we’re not taking classes right now. We know that will change with children, but the dates will never end, I’m dedicated to that.

  8. Rob Archibald says:

    I’m going to have to think about this one a little. Jacki and I have consistently had our date nights every Friday night for the last 12 years. After having kids, dates have primarily been games, movies and other activities from home. I wouldn’t trade it for the world and I’m grateful we started the habit and have kept it up. Only recently, since our oldest is now old enough to babysit, have we started occasionally going “somewhere else” for our date. For me it doesn’t make much of a difference, but looking back, it seems that maybe getting out is more important for Jacki… perhaps because she’s been stuck inside all day with the kids. In any case, time will tell and I’ll consider the possibility more thanks to this post. Keep up the great work.

  9. Sue Simper says:

    Our date last night (a complete surprise to me!) was WAY out of the ordinary for us! The Hummer Limo picked us up at home while Hannah Z (Thanks Hannah!!!!!!!) watched the kiddos. Then we went to Portland City Grill and a Laser Light Show at OMSI. It was a group thing, since several guys wanted to do something cool for us for mother’s day, but that’s what made it so un-us. We would never have experienced these things on our own (just give us the Burgerville menu!)but others can help mix it up a little and give new ideas.

    My favorite part of this post was about “piling up memories like wood for winter fires.”

    • mona says:

      Sue: Hannah’s pleasure and MINE for volunteering her!
      Rob: Have you asked her? I know I was going CRAZY by Friday night when the kids were young….
      Grant: “Cleanser” is such a good description – that’s exactly what it is…and worth dropping everything for.
      Marcie: Happy Birthday! Hope you really WHOOP it up! I love what you say…’I know he’s mine for the whole evening.” You’ve been sharing him all through medical school and with all those little one and the church and and and….never surrender your date night. It’s a lifeline to a happy future together.
      Rebecca: Verrrrry interesting….dating as a married couple takes commitment which, like all good and healthy things, gets easier and easier as you see the fruits.
      Marzee: You should win the ice cream for the most spiritual response.
      Heidi: I LOVE your participating in every Musing!!! I just can’t wait for them each week. Your insights are so profound and full of such hope. Thank you! And YES! Your night out counts as a date.
      Amanda: You can do it! Let Mom help – this is one of the greatest things a mom can do for her grown children: make their dating and get-aways possible! I’ll be thinking of you in England, my dear, you can be sure.
      Bri Colorful: Toss the guilt! If you do not have time for a date alone — then you do not have time to socialize with others. One on one together comes first absolutely. Your plans for the summer sound spectacular!

  10. Trina says:

    The time we’ve set aside for ourselves is Friday evenings. That’s getting harder and harder with 5 teenagers, an 11 yr. old and a developmentally disabled adult who we care for- it’s not easy to find an adult-sitter. My husband grabbed a DVD (Avatar) from his parents and we watched that alone in our bedroom. It would have been nice to get away, for a while we were in a different land with big blue people. When life changes, we’ll be out havening fun again. Until then….we’ll have to pretend we’re somewhere else.

    • mona says:

      Trina, I love that you say “pretend to be somewhere else”. Bravo! For years, we had a tradition of donuts and sparking apple cider and an old move in our bedroom. Sparkling apple cider goes a long way toward fantastic pretending.

  11. Kira says:

    Yesterday we got back from Park City. Just the two of for three days. It was the first time in nearly ten years. Best date ever, I think.

  12. Mattye says:

    I have been planning weekend getaways a couple times a year since we got married. It’s fun to plan and look forward to our special time. I love bed and breakfasts. We have gone to the beach, spent the day taking the Mt. Hood train, gone to Corvallis to see football spring training for the Beavers, spent the weekend in Troy’s small hometown where he grew up, spent an afternoon on the Portland Spirit. I always look for nice bed and breakfasts where we get spoiled and it’s just the two of us. So much fun. This last weekend we went to Bellevue with our business. I loved the car ride, the eating out, the nights in a hotel. We also went out to lunch at Baja Fresh for Cinco De Mayo just for fun. We are eternal companions and that means we need to be diligent about strengthening our relationship by enjoying our time together.

    • mona says:

      WOW! Hold that vision – of Troy and Mattye – young marrieds — see what you have to look forward to when the kids are grown!…AS LONG AS you’ve been nurturing that one-on-one fun all along.

  13. Colleen Tolva says:

    Twenty years of marriage to Danial has brought with it hours and hours of music, art, laughter, and fun. We don’t go on what you would call ” a heavy date”. We go on lots of day trips or just around beautiful Vancouver, spontaneously, sometimes down by the river and park the car in the sun. The classical radio station is playing Haydn, Mozart, or perhaps Mendlessohn’s beautiful Midsummer Nights Dream. We delight in the pure joy of music. Sometimes I lay my head on his shoulder and we both fall asleep feeling secure and happy sharing our love of music and nature.
    Romance isn’t always moonlight and candles for us as Danial is legally blind; but one night last fall we sat around a camp fire eating hotdogs and enjoying the glories of the heavens. That night the stars were so bright and so big that even Danial could see them. We huddled close and through the stillness of the night could hear fish leaping from the water in the nearby river. The moonlight glistened on the water. As the fire crackled and popped and the glow of it shone on our faces we delighted in one another and in whispered voices sang a sweet song of love.

    • mona says:

      Oh Coleen! That IS “loving GORGEOUSLY”. And music takes us “someplace else” doesn’t it??? Your description of the moment under the stars is so beautiful and inspiring. THANK YOU for sharing such an intimate moment as an example to all of us.

  14. Emily says:

    Yesterday we got back from Park City. Just the two of for three days. It was the first time in nearly ten years. Best date ever, I think.

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