I spend a lot of time scrolling through Facebook. Call it voyeurism. Call it window shopping for other people’s lives. Call it no better escape than sequestering myself in the shower 99-cent bottle of Suave and an amusingly ambitious version of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” (I’m no Sinead).

Minutes go by, hours pass, white hairs sprout on my head and populate like rabbits in springtime. I swear, I don’t know how we all lived before our devices, how we functioned without our phones or our Facebook or our fear of missing out.

But there it was, fear, toothy and wide-eyed, staring back at me with all the pomp and circumstance of two prize-winning Holland Lops. I hardly knew these people, a distant cousin, further removed from me than Sinead herself, and her handsomely debonair husband of indiscriminate ethnic background sitting at a cafe by the water, doe-eyed and dreamy, doing the date night thing, baiting me with their Bacardi and balayage beach waves.

It was all too much, I almost broke a tooth looking at them.

“We need to get out of here,” I whispered to Jon later, grabbing him by the arm. “It’s like a hostage situation.”

But I didn’t need to remind him. Between my eldest negotiating for a ride into town, my middle strategizing for back-allowance that had been accruing since birth that she insisted was due, and baby boy climbing out of his playpen and up the walls, our captors had become so captivatingly conspiring, one might question whether the Baudelaire Children themselves had left blueprints for their browsing.

I wanted that date night. I needed that date night and I was more than willing to negotiate a ride into town and some back allowance in order to afford it or climb out of a playpen if that’s what it came to.

Other couples were having date nights. My second cousin, twice removed who I couldn’t pick out of a lineup if my life depended on it and her Fabio husband were having date night. Never mind that they were decades younger and childless and had the breeding and bone structure of something Grecian and chiseled from Gibraltar. There was Bacardi to be had and balayage beach waves to (never mind, there’s no way in hell I was ever going to pull that off) and water to sit by.

I was building it up in my head. It had been seven hours and 15 days since the plotted hostage escape, (I wasn’t counting or anything). Not that I was wagering the entire viability of our relationship on this victory lap that was already leaving me breathless after the numerous phone calls I’d placed to secure something both outdoor and waterfront, affordable and appealing, with gluten- and dairy-free options, of course. I pride myself on being flexible.

We finally settled on someplace local, Red Rooster, and we were extremely lucky they even had a table. You wouldn’t think the Norwalk River could hold a candle to all that Bacardi and beach waves but it did, enough to see our food at least, enough to feel like the longest year of our almost 11-year marriage, (while not leaving us doe-eyed and dreamy), was all worth it and did it matter, really. that we paid dearly for it later? Did it matter that by the time we got home the Baudelaire Children had all but tied up my in-laws, leaving them with a ransom note and more than enough motive to never want to babysit again, like ever, for anyone?

But I suppose in the grand scheme of things, intergenerational relationships take time to cultivate (and rope burn… really survivable!) and we connected and maybe not in a toothy, balayage kinda way but in a, I-took-the-night-off-from-my-Samsung-and-he-took-the-night-off-from-his…arugula way. We ate, we drank, we were merry, until the bill came and by the time we got home, we were both so exhausted, we fell into bed.

Sleep, (not that we’re getting much of that) is the new sex, apparently. Darth masked up, we made a loose pact to do the date night thing again, sometime in the future, before the baby goes to college. Perhaps this was ambitious on my part or just mildly amusing or perhaps I was feeling victorious to be able to lap up my food without someone asking me to play chauffeur or furnish a trust fund or help them escape from a playpen.

“We’ll always have Red Rooster,” I whispered, but he was fast asleep. Date Night. Nothing compares.

Columnist Lesley Kirschner grew up quiet, in the woods, and devoid of siblings so her hobbies quickly became reading, writing, and talking to inanimate objects. She also spent a considerable amount of time doing voice-overs for her dolls and watching too much daytime television–channel 3, sometimes channel 8, if the weather was good and the antenna wasn’t acting up. She was in attendance at school, graduated from a very much not notable college not worth mentioning, and was transplanted to Wilton with her husband, Ambler Farm‘s Farmer Jonathan and their (baby makes) three children almost a decade ago. Although she never quite found her calling in life, other than perhaps the doll voice-overs, which in hindsight were eerily convincing, she’s happy to try her hand at writing and is thankful for the support and community she found on Facebook’s Buy Nothing Wilton. Lesley realizes while this is all very exciting, she’s not winning a Pulitzer so she’ll wrap it up and be quiet. She’s had a lot of practice.