On Saturday, Nathan told me that he was taking me on a "top secret date." I like surprises, but I also like to be in control of everything, all the time, so while I was excited about the date, it was hard to keep myself from asking too many questions. Like, should we eat dinner first? What should I wear? What time should we leave? Do I need to bring a change of clothes, or my passport, or some form of protection? Relax, Nathan said. It's going to be fun.
And so, at 4:30PM, after a long day of working on the chicken coop (so close!) we showered, changed, hopped on our bicycles, and headed downtown. First stop: Five Star Tavern for daytime beers.
We frequent Five Star fairly often, but usually only on Thursday nights, for Rolling Trivia (that is, trivia that includes a few rounds of skeeball - best idea ever). Going in the middle-ish of the day was different and fun, and beers are always better when it's still light out. I had a Spring Fling from Blue Point Brewing Company, which was light and hoppy and delicious.
Once we finished our beers, we got back on our bikes and continued downtown, to an area we don't visit much, except for that one time that I vaguely remembered, just after we first moved to North Carolina. I started to suspect what the Top Secret Date was, and when I saw a woman outside a glass door, wearing roller skates, knee-pads, and a short, black skirt, my suspicions were confirmed.
Wilmington is home to the Cape Fear Roller Girls, and despite the fact that roller derby ruled my life for the better part of two years, we'd only been to one other bout. Needless to say, I was thrilled. It was the perfect antidote to my AWP pouting, which was no coincidence Nathan, you're an excellent husband. As for the bout itself, the Cape Fear Roller Girls played against the Low Country High Rollers from Charleston, SC. The first half of the bout was really close and the lead went back and forth again and again, but after half time the Low Country ladies took the lead and ran with it, leaving our home team in the dust. Everyone skated really well and I saw some impressive moves. Overall, it was a great bout. And of course - of course! - as Nathan and I were riding home in the dark, slightly buzzed from the beers and the excitement of the bout, I started daydreaming about playing roller derby again, trying out for the league once the first draft of my thesis is done and I have more than three seconds of spare time at any given moment. Who knows - if stay in Wilmington for a year or two after we graduate, it might be a possibility. Then again, being a fan and cheering in the stands is also pretty great. We'll see.
For now, I highly recommend supporting your local roller derby league and seeing a bout ASAP. It's a great date night, top secret or not.
As for the rest of my week, it's no secret: spring break is over and, despite a week off, I have a mountain of work waiting for me as soon as I hit publish. Better get to it!