The babysitter was lined up.
The friends gave restaurant suggestions.
I had already put on mascara.
The hour was near.
My husband wanted me to meet him in NYC for dinner to celebrate my birthday. It was a fun idea, possibly even romantic, since that's our old pre-Suburbia stomping grounds.
I was ready, the kids were settled, nothing stood in my way.
So I didn't go.
I paced in my kitchen, figuring out whether I'd made the next train in or not, whether I should just drive, wondering exactly how bad the commute would be. All I had to do was change my shirt and grab my wallet, but I couldn't.
I didn't want to go.
All I wanted for my birthday was someone to deal with feeding the kids and putting them to bed, and to see a funny movie with my husband. That's all. So once the babysitter arrived, I bought two theater tickets online and asked my husband to come home to me.
I don't need to hear the click of my boots on the sidewalks of The Big Apple to feel special. I don't need a table with a view of the gorgeous people of SoHo passing by to eat my meal. I don't have to stray far from home to be happy.
And that's OK.
Before we moved to the suburbs, I never would have thought I'd pass up an opportunity to dine with my husband in one of our favorite (expensive) restaurants in the city. There was something about the energy of the streets, the glow of the lights, the snobbery of the cuisine that made everything cooler.
These days what's most cool to me is listening to my needs.
Sure, I'd love to go into the city for dinner someday soon. Just not tonight.
I'm tired, I'd rather take a bath than sit on a train, I'd rather suck down an enormous Cherry Icee than a bowl of $40 pasta.
At heart I am a simple girl, one who doesn't get enough time with her husband's arm around her shoulder while belly-laughing.
So tonight, the fashionistas in all black and the hipsters with their iPhone 5s can have their city.
I'm more than happy celebrating my birthday close to home, sneaking a bag of Reece's Pieces into a suburban movie theater with the man of my dreams.