Not Another Lame V-Day.
Now listen, this date occurred over a year ago BUT it’s just as relevant today because, well, Valentine’s Day is this weekend. While the hubs and I don’t make a big deal about the “holiday” I know some of you are going to pull some last minute nonsense that will have both of you giving each other the side eye all next week.
So, listen Linda, listen, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to involve some fancy dinner, a dozen roses or chocolates. If that’s what you want to do, then cool. But I’m just going to say, we’re grown and those things should be reserved for any other day throughout the year just because.
Now I’m not saying you have to go all out and plan a trip although if you do I got you. Go here, here and here. But even if you keep it lowkey, still, make it fun! Valentine’s Day is not cupid and hearts and cheesy cards. It should serve as a huge reminder to date your spouse. A day to make him laugh and make her giggle.
Having Fun Is Not An Option. Its A Requirement.
But for many of you, you’ve forgotten how to do that. You’ve forgotten how to have fun. The time spent with your spouse one on one is oh so crucial in a marriage. People don’t realize that connection that you share with one another needs to keeping happening if you want your marriage to endure. Don’t become the man or woman they used to know. Hell, don’t become the person YOU used to know.
Over the course of our nearly 11 years of marriage, my husband and I have grown to be different people than when we first married and that’s cool. As you get older and wiser, some things will change about who you are as a person. You have to introduce your spouse and let them get to know the person you are becoming while not losing sight of who you are at your core.
We do that by making an effort to have open dialogue AND making those connections. We have had some of the best times having spent little money, (although there was that one time we lost quite a bit of money to a carnie during Mardi Gras weekend in Galveston but we’re not going to talk about that mkay?) Any who, after a night like that, we usually manage to connect in more than one way. Oop!!
Did Somewhat Say Date Night?
So, um yeah, back to this date night ya’ll. Look, we had limited time (4 hours to be exact) because of Parent’s Night Out at the little person’s school but we made the most of that night! Just keep reading. I’ve included how you can have a date night like this one this weekend too. You’re welcome.
We had nothing really concrete planned except to attend a monthly gathering on the East Side of town to help support the local businesses. Now let me tell you a little something about the hubs and I. We can be as planned as the next person, but we can be just as random and in fact we kind of prefer it that way. On this night we went a combination of the two.
We started at a local convenience store/coffee shop/bar/restaurant called the Quickie Pickie. YES! Allll of that was in one spot. We looked around like we were tourists because hey, we had never seen a place quite like this. We didn’t know where to start but I settled for a cup of chai with a tea with a side of chocolate while he of course had a bottle of cider. This wasn’t just everyday Hershey’s chocolate because I refused to disrespect my tastebuds on date night, but elegant pairing of slightly spicy mixed with a little bit of sweet. Ooooo….it was good. We tried to come up with a game plan for the rest of the night but decided to give into the random and decided to hit the street to see where the night would take us.
We passed an outdoor theater where a jazz ensemble of high school students would soon be performing before coming upon a local liquor that seemed to be having a tasting. You already know who spotted that one! Let me just say, while I only sampled two small shots of a locally made bourgon, I swear I entered that store a lady and left feeling like a lady of the night! The effects of alcohol hit me so fast since because I rarely imbibe with the exception of a glass of wine or two. After Christmas of 2005 where Jesus effectively smited my soul and insides after consuming THREE long island ice teas with my sister-in-law, I just chill. HARD. Now definitely in need of some nourishment, we roamed the streets with no success. We decided to Yelp it and hopefully try something new.
We drove a few streets away and stumbled a couple of choices before a little shop caught our eye. It was a small pottery store that happened to be having a very interesting event occurring that night. The jist of it was, you and a few other people, in this case, us, the owner and her father and would create a story based on a line from a crime novel printed on slips of paper picked at random. You would then rewrite the line and then add a few lines more to create a short paragraph. THEN, you pass it to your left for the next person to write the next few lines but they were only allowed to see the last line written. You can only imagine the stories that were created. Let’s just say my contribution to one of the stories involved a fashion school for the blind. You can give me the side eye. I deserve it. But you have to admit it sounds fun doesn’t it. I dare you NOT to try it.
We eventually found food from some local food trucks and ended the meal with a funnel cake. You can’t go wrong with funnel cake!
With only a half hour to spare, we headed back towards our neck of the woods to pick up our little person. He seemed to have enjoyed his own fun filled night having watched a Dora the Explorer movie, a little food, some popcorn and juice. Shortly thereafter we arrived home and put him to bed, another successful date night in the books.
As I mentioned earlier, date night is not only an opportunity to engage in true conversation and share a few laughs but also to reconnect and have a "little fun". We're adults so you know what I mean! With that being said, here are my 3 rules for having and maintaining date night.
How To Have The Ultimate Date Night
1.Take Advantage of PNO (Parent's Night Out). As I mentioned earlier, this date was able to happen because of my son's school having one of their regular PNOs. He goes to a montessori so I don't if this offered in a public preschool. But if school is not an option, check your local health club (mine has one pretty regularly as well but only for the 5 and up crowd) or even your church. The church where I worked part-time just to have some type of regular adult conversation during the day when I was a stay at home mom, offered one pretty regularly as well. If all else fails, and you're like us without family within the immediate vicinity, then ask your friends who they use for their childcare needs. Or better yet, take turns providing childcare so that each of you gets a night to themselves even if its for a couple of hours.
2. Don't Do Dinner and a Movie. Now don't get me wrong, dinner and a movie can be enjoyable, especially if you patronize an establishment that includes reclining chairs, a bar on the premises and food service (shoutout to the Alamo Drafthouse, The Violet Crown and iPic theatres) but save that for when you have more than a three to fours to spare. You can talk and do other things afterwards to make up for the lack of conservation during the movie. Instead, go explore your city! Be the first of your friends to discover a new dive bar or food truck or take a ride around the city using a bike from a rental kiosk . But if you want to keep it budget friendly check out what's free or nearly free in your area. Just look for "free to do" in whatever city you live in and look at what seems interesting. For my fellow Austinites, we've found success here for many a family outing AND this semi planned date night. Which brings me to tip number
3. Be Random! Don't be so planned and in the box. As I mentioned earlier, we planned about 25% of our night and the rest we just kind of went wherever the night took us. While we were starving and were in desperate need of any food at one point, we still decided take a chance on Clayworks and those 20-30 minutes resulted in not only some literary genius but an idea to try with friends in the future.
Valentine's Day is 5 days away which means you still have time to get your life right and plan an epic night of fun for the Mr. or Mrs. I can't tell you where to go. I can't tell you what activities to do. But what I can tell you is enjoy each other's company. Have a full fledged conversation that doesn't revolve around the kids. Most importantly, remember how your love story started. Then keep growing with AND datin each other so that it never ends.