I was bored, bored, bored. I didn't want to spend another date night with my husband, Dennis, watching a movie and eating popcorn.
We needed pizzazz. I've always enjoyed spy thrillers, so I decided to live the adventure rather than just watch one. I'd plan the date to beat all dates. I could already imagine it …
Dennis steps out of the house dressed in a tux, looking like James Bond, and saunters to his silver Aston Martin with black leather seats. As he pulls away, he pushes a gadget and blows up his black Chevy truck—with all his hunting gear inside. He's on his way to a rendezvous with his beautiful wife …
Inspired, I called my friend Dawn to join me in creating a mission impossible date with our husbands.
"I'm in," she agreed. "I'm tired of always doing the same things on our dates."
"Great!" I had a partner in crime.
"We need a plan," Dawn pointed out.
I closed my eyes, conjuring the image of me as imperiled heroine ….
"We will catch you," the evil Russian mafia agent says with a diabolical laugh. "You will not get away." "No," I say bravely. "Dennis will save me …"
"Let's be international jewel thieves," I said aloud. "We're running from the Russian mafia. Our husbands' mission is to recover the stolen jewels and save us."
"Sounds intriguing," said Dawn.
Getting down to business, we analyzed possible routes and locations. We divvied up the tasks and set our next meeting for the following week.
The plot thickens
Seven days later, over mugs of hot tea in Dawn's kitchen, we outlined our plan.
"My aunt will take the kids and let us use her house to leave clues," offered Dawn.
"David and April can be Boris and Natasha, Russian mafia agents," I said, referring to my seven-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter. "Of course, they'll both need intense training."
"What about a final destination?" Dawn asked.
"How about Glen Eyrie Castle?" I suggested. "It's nearby, but it looks like an English mansion, which adds an international flair."
"Perfect," Dawn agreed.
I sipped my tea, smiling to myself ….
I struggle to loosen the ropes around my wrists while the Russian laughs wickedly. Then Dennis breaks down the door, straightens his tuxedo, smoothes his hair, and smiles rakishly at me. "Your time is up," he announces as he stalks toward the Russian …
At last the big day arrived. After synchronizing our watches, Dawn and I had arranged for our husbands to go skeet shooting at a nearby military base. Guns. Yes, that would work. Perfect for spies and thrillers and adventure—even if it was just shooting at clay discs. Earlier I'd planted an audio tape (with classified instructions)—the famous Mission: Impossible, self-destructing kind—in the glove box of my husband's truck.
I kissed my husband goodbye and instructed him not to plan anything for the rest of the day.
"Remember, I don't like surprises," he said.
"Oh, you'll like this one," I assured him and patted his face. "Here's your cell phone. Keep it with you at all times."
Dawn started setting up the clues, while I completed Boris's training. "Say it again like dis," I instructed, speaking with a heavy accent.
"Mom, can I please just go play?" whined my son.
"No, you will stay here until you get it right." I insisted. "Attention to detail is essential for mission success."
My daughter, playing Natasha, just rolled her eyes at me. I noted her insubordination. She'd never get promoted with her attitude.
After a few more practices on the accent, I dialed the phone. It was too late to turn back now—Mission Impossible Date had begun.
"Hello, dis is Boris. Check the glove box for a tape," David said with his thick almost-accent. "He told me that I'm not Boris," he whispered to me.
"Ignore him," I said.
I pictured the guys laughing at the strained accent. They had to love the taped message explaining their mission and my daughter playing the dual roles of Russian mafia and the infamous secret agent Mrs. Phelps.
"Return to headquarters immediately and discard this tape as it will self-destruct in five seconds," she instructed them.
At the first rendezvous point, the men discovered a briefcase with photos of Dawn and me dressed in eveningwear, sporting the stolen jewels. Other photos showed us being held hostage by the Russian mafia. In order to save us, the men had to take the key on the table and proceed to the next location. I reveled in the thought of their adventure …
The Russian grabs me from behind and threatens my life with a poison-tipped hypodermic needle. Dennis backs off as the agent drags me to a waiting dark Mercedes …
At the next destination, Dawn and I rushed to get the clues set up, giving our husbands a password and map to Glen Eyrie Castle.
"We'd better get this puzzle set up quickly," I said to Dawn.
"I don't think the men are far behind us."
"Do you think they can solve this and get the password?" she asked. "I'd hate to find ourselves waiting at the hotel alone because they didn't get it."
"They're both bright engineers," I said, shrugging my shoulders. "We'll just have to hope for the best."
"Did you bring the change of clothes?"
"Yup, hanging in the closet," I said. "Sport coats, no ties."
Tapping my watch, I noticed we were behind schedule. We were delayed getting the kids to the safe house. Finally, satisfied that everything was in place, we headed for the castle.
"Oh, no!" Dawn yelled. "They're on our tail!"
"What?" I said, nervously looking in the rearview mirror. Sure enough, I spotted Dennis's black truck in the distance.
"Step on it!"
The Russian driver tips his hat and grins maliciously as he pushes the pedal toward the floor. The vehicle lurches into oncoming traffic. Looking back I see Dennis hot on our tail. The screeching tires warn of the coming accident, and I scream as the car flips …
Approaching the castle's security point, a guard waved at us to stop. I eyed him suspiciously. Would he play along?
"Jewels is the password you need to get from the driver following behind us in the black truck," I instructed the guard. "We all have reservations at the hotel, and I don't have time to explain. Can you help?"
"No problem," he said.
"Cooperative, that one," I told Dawn. "We may want to recruit him for future scenarios."
Hmm, our next mission—something off Pikes Peak. I was already planning our next date adventure. I pictured Dennis strapped to a hang glider pushing off the mountainous slope, trying to rescue me from Columbian drug lords, Pedro and Maria. But right now, future planning would have to wait. This mission might be compromised.
Once in the hotel, we scrambled to get ready in our respective rooms. The men were only minutes behind us. My husband didn't knock as he entered the hotel's Victorian-decorated room ….
My head is throbbing. I must be dreaming. Lying in the hospital bed, I feel bandages around my head. "That was a close one," Dennis says, taking my hand and kissing it. "What about the Russians?" I ask. "Oh, you won't have to worry about those two," he answers …
"This adventure had better end in a great meal," my husband said. "I'm starved."
"What a great idea," the waitress said, after hearing details from our date.
I noticed our husbands seemed more interested in their steaks than reliving the adventure. Dennis, in particular, seemed distracted. I dismissed the uneasiness in my stomach. After all, this had to be better than buttered popcorn and Mountain Dew at some movie theater. Didn't it?
The next day as we drove home, I pictured my husband bragging about what an adventurous woman he married. Lucky man. Satisfied, I'd have to mark this one as mission accomplished ….
"What happened to the jewels?" I ask, hoping prison isn't my next address. "You mean these?" he says, slipping one of the bracelets around my arm. "Compliments of Scotland Yard for your help." "My help?" I ask. "Yes, darling, we've been trying to catch those Russians for years," he answers …
"Top that date, sweetie," I said.
"It was okay."
"Okay," I said, stumped and a little bothered. "That's it?"
"Well, the meal was good."
"Excuse me, the meal was good?" I said. "Correction. That was the most exciting date ever."
"Well, I think it was more for you than me," he said reluctantly.
"For me?" I asked, arms crossed. "What didn't you like?"
"I like simple dates," he said. "I'd rather just go out together or as a family."
I couldn't believe it. Dawn and I had spent hours planning and executing this date. Didn't that count for something? I felt my tongue ready to explode.
My husband, sensing the detonation, quickly sprang into action by bringing out his secret weapon.
"I love you and appreciate everything you did," he said, giving me a hug.
"You do?" I asked, not ready to surrender.
"Yes, very much," he said, holding me close and completely defusing the situation.
I sighed and admitted reluctantly, "Maybe I was a little too focused on the adventure."
"Okay, maybe a lot. I guess that means no Columbian drug lords."
So I finally broke my husband's secret code. Now where did I put the entertainment section of the paper?
"How about dinner and a movie next week?" I asked. "You can even pick."
"Ve could go vatch de monster trucks vit Boris and Natasha instead," he said, winking.
Hmmm, monster trucks. I wonder …
Teresa Jorgenson, a freelance writer, has been married 21 years, and lives in Colorado.
Copyright © 2007 by the author or Christianity Today/Marriage Partnership magazine. Click here for reprint information on Marriage Partnership.