Out and About

Date Night

For the first time in months, Darren and I decided to venture out in seek of refuge from our daily, winter routines. We were going out on a date.

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Months ago, my hubby had surprised me with tickets to see one of our favorite comics, Jim Jeffries. His was the first show we attended together, shortly after we were married.  Going to see him at this point in time was again significant because I just received my legal permit to work here in Canada. Another new beginning!

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So, after getting all dolled up, out into the bone-chilling, night air we went. There is just something about the Winnipeg air, when it drops to a certain temperature, that polishes every surface of the city to a point of crystalline clarity. On a clear night, that lucidity rises up to the heavens and out into infinity. It is quite a sight to behold. As long as your eyelids don’t freeze shut.

If you ever come to visit our fair city, regardless of season, you’ll notice that parking downtown is at a premium. Luckily, we found a decent lot across from the Manitoba Museum on Rupert Avenue, which is open to the public, but like parking downtown in any major North-American city, one needs to be prepared for the steep toll.

We then huddled together for warmth as we strolled down the few blocks toward our destination. We arrived just in time to ward off the icicles that began to grow on Darren’s beard.

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Tonight’s romantic interlude was brought to us by the historic Winnipeg Pantages Playhouse on Market Street. A prestigious plaque marks this theater’s long history of playing host to some of North America’s greatest performers. Vaudeville acts li ke Buster Keaton and Laurel and Hardy embedded the essence of their talents into the floorboards of the stage. The structure of the playhouse itself is alive with the reminiscence of music from some of the greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie. Every light fixture could tell a story for they have seen it all since 1914.

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In the mid-1990s,  the cost of upkeep on this now historic sight was deemed impractical by the presiding city council and the sight was considered for demolition. In an effort to keep such a monument to the creative prowess of Winnipeg intact, the Performing Arts Consortium of Winnipeg was formed by the leaders of several local performing arts organizations who assumed fiscal and physical responsibility for the playhouse in 1998.

Over the past two decades, the consortium has lovingly restored this temple of talent to its original appearance while upgrading it with modern technical components. The best of the past and the present in one beautiful structure.

Naturally, Jim Jefferies did not disappoint. His take on current American politics provided some much needed comic relief to the very serious business at hand allowing Darren and I to enjoy ourselves without a care, if only for one night.

My advice to all those partners out there is to make “Date Night” sacred and required. A chance to look into each other’s eyes and really see each other. Remember each other. In partnering, our joined lives branch out in many different directions, (ie. children, grandchildren, careers, life goals..) yet we must remain aware that all those beautiful branches will have nothing to bind and stabilize them if the trunk of the tree is not strong.

I’m very romantic, I’m extremely romantic. I date my wife.  – Alice Cooper

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