From The Mouth of Assistant Sub-Coach

by Ed Malin

It was date night tonight.  Date night had not happened for the last six months, because loving wife’s team had been defeated in the Women’s NBA Finals.  Thereafter, a funk settled over the happy home which pretty much ensured there would be no love-making.

But now it was Spring, and, even though it was the time of the pandemic, loving wife had decided she was not above having a date night.  On this day in late May, sweet husband had dared to believe her.

Until, one hour before the dinner date, she got the news that her grandmother out in the middle of the country had passed away.

I was, of course, very sorry, and thought of telling her this.  She stared ahead, glassy-eyed.

“I need to get this funeral done before I take that trip to arrange for July training.”

“Yes, dear.  But, I thought you said you would spend some time with your parents.  When something like this happens…”

“Are you second-guessing me?

“Not at all!”

“I have enough referees in my life.”

“But darling!”


“You’re supposed to always take my side!”

“I thought I was taking your side…”

And there was silence for most of the drive.  When we parked our car, I took her hand.

“I never want to be apart from you.”

“Well you know that’s not going to happen.  Lots of travel coming up.”

“My dear.  I’m sorry.”

Then she looked me in the face.  “You about to cry again?”

I tried not to.  “It’s just.  Please don’t leave me alone with our teenage children.”

“They’re getting tall.  They can kick your ass on the court.”

“Honey, please.  You know I miss you?”


“We’ve discussed this.  You want me to buy you another blow-up doll?”

The silence was not as awkward as the memory.  When I had popped the first one, that’s when she had out me on a diet.

“Please.  All I want is you.”

“I have to be away for months at a time.  Why don’t we try having an open marriage again?  I can set you up with some nice work friends?”

“Please!  No more cheerleaders!”

She seemed like she was going to say something hard.  She breathed with difficulty.  And then she said it.

“We are going to lose our reservation.”

I watched her walk across the parking lot and into the restaurant.  The one she liked.  This time, date night could not end in a draw.  This time, it would be sudden death overtime.  I tugged violently at my seat belt, which was not giving me any slack.  But I won.  Oh yes, I won!

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