Friday night is date night.
At least that's what we say. Usually it goes like this: Me: "YAY! DATE NIIIIIIIIGHT!" Kendon: "Oh.... yeah. What do you want to do?" Me: "Uhhhhhh.... Dang it. I hadn't thought about PLANNING anything. You?" Kendon: "I'm tired. Let's read Harry Potter and snuggle."
So then date night turns into the-same-thing-we-do-every-night night, and I wake up way too early Saturday morning grumpily thinking that's it's another weekday.
But I decided tonight would be different.
So I went to the Polynesian Cultural Center after classes to buy student-rate tickets for the one and only annual WORLD FIREKNIFE COMPETITION! Shirtless greasy Polynesians spinning around giant sticks that are totally ON FIRE! It was going to be the best date night surprise.
Except for this.
I marched up to the ticket booth, debit card in hand, feeling further confident at seeing my good ol' buddy Ben at the ticket window. "Hi Ben!" said I exuberantly. Said Ben: "Hey Val. You pregnant?"
I was slightly less exuberant at this question. But in seconds I regained my composure, answered in the NOT affirmative, and said I was there to buy 2 student-rate tickets to the large greasy fire-twirling men (who perform, mind you, for a mere 10 minutes at the intermission of the regular night show).
"You have to come back tonight," said buddy Ben, looking annoyingly important with his shiny name badge and aloha shirt. "You can't buy a ticket until five o'clock."
"Oh." I was getting less excited about my surprise. I had been fantasizing about hiding the tickets somewhere romantic for Kendon to find when he came home... like in a grilled cheese sandwich. I turned to leave, then remembered one last question:
"Ben, how much are student-rate tickets?"
Ben did some important calculations in his shiny ticket-booth computer, then looked back up at me and said, "$43.16."
"No, no," said I, thinking he may be calculating my fictional unborn twins AND my husband into the pricing. "I mean for one person. A student person. It can't be more than $10 for a student person.... Right?"
"$43.16," repeated my only sort-of buddy Ben, then, "Unless you have a friend who works here. Employees get discounts."
I searched his face for a "hint-hint" grin. None came. The badge of my acquaintance Ben was way too shiny. It hurt my eyes when he puffed out his chest like that.
"What if we just poke our head in at intermission?" I asked. "We just want to see the men twirl their fiery knives! We don't care about the show." I did some math of my own without even needing an important shiny computer and said, "Surely we don't need to pay $83 just for some head-poking at an intermission....?"
"Yep. You do," said my enemy Ben.
And that is how, on this Friday date-night afternoon, I left the Polynesian Cultural Center with no tickets and a fat complex. I wonder if a Harry Potter book can fit inside a grilled cheese sandwich.