Another NaBloPoMo promopt.
My ideal date is probably incredibly boring because my husband and I don’t really go on dates. Even when I was dating, I didn’t do very interesting things for the most part. The most interesting dates I did go on were probably also the stupidest.
For example, my freshman year of college I was in New Mexico. My very first boyfriend ever was really kind of a doofus. Nice guy but a bit impulsive. One night he thought it would be really cool to spend the night in the desert. Go ahead. Sit on that one for a moment. Desert. Middle of nowhere. Where it gets really damn cold at night. So of course I said yes. I was eighteen. What did I know?
It didn’t turn out to be terribly horrible but it was quite stupid and probably a bit dangerous. We parked on the side of a highway and walked out 500 yards off the road or something. It’s probably a good thing my dad is only finding out about this twenty years later. (Hi dad). Having a former police officer for a dad leads to a dad who gets slightly alarmed when you do incredibly stupid things. Of course, that might just be all dads now that I think about it. The difference being my dad could always tell me WHY it was so stupid. Heh, isn’t it funny how the dumbest things you’ve done in life make for the best stories.
Then there was the guy who took me back to his place and made me dinner. We stopped at the grocery store on the way and he actually suggested liver as a possible option. Who does that?
Back then, dates usually consisted of going out to dinner at some restaurant and talking. Nothing terribly interesting there. Except for the time a guy took me out for Chinese. I had never eaten Chinese in my life but I certainly wasn’t going to tell him that when we arrived. I just asked him what I should order. After getting over his shock regarding my lack of culinary experience, he picked out a few things and I had a really great time. It was a good experience because Chinese restaurants are common out here and over the next few years I was invited to several.
When my husband and I were first dating and then early in our marriage, he liked to take me out to nicer restaurants because he really enjoyed eating out. He enjoyed it so much that eventually I started begging to make meals at home occasionally because I was tired of eating out. When we moved to the coast, our options were greatly reduced so then I began to enjoy it again because it was a rare treat. Despite few choices, we were fortunate to have one award winning restaurant nearby that we both enjoyed greatly.
Then we had kids and dating changed. Imagine that.
Actually, it didn’t change. It stopped altogether in the traditional sense and we started a new form of date. The kind where you don’t even leave the house. These have become my favorite dates.
At first, it was about putting the kids to bed early so we could eat a meal uninterrupted. Or watch a television show from start to finish. We would resolve to not answer the phone and just spend time together. It didn’t have to be long. Typically 30 minutes was about all we got but it was 30 minutes of time focused on each other. It didn’t have to be about sex because honestly, we were too tired anyway. But just holding hands, leaning into each other and laughing really refreshed our souls.
Now the kids are older so sometimes they leave. We don’t have to put them to bed early. We just kick them out of the house. Okay, I jest. They leave voluntarily. Sometimes it’s an afternoon. Sometimes they are gone for the night. When this first started happening, we were still at that point where eating out was really tricky due to my diet. It was stressful for me to try to find somewhere and that was pretty much the opposite of what we wanted to accomplish.
A movie theater had opened up nearby which was a real treat. Before that, it was an hour round trip to the nearest theater. Movies became our go-to date for awhile. Eventually that got old though.
Remember, my husband really likes to eat nice meals. One night we couldn’t find a movie we liked and I didn’t want to drive to Capital City to eat out so I suggested we just eat at home. I started making my husband’s favorite dish. He hung out in the kitchen talking and eventually started helping me (a brave thing to do because I’m a total control-freak in the kitchen). It felt so nice to stand next to him doing one of my favorite things. We made things we don’t always make when the kids are around because Willow is so picky. Instead we made just what we wanted to eat.
Finally we sat down to eat. It was shockingly quiet. No interruptions. No fights. No chaos. Just me and my husband eating slowly, talking quietly, enjoying each other’s company. I pointed out that not too far in the future evenings like this would be the norm. We agreed that it would be nice but we weren’t ready for it quite yet.
So what is my ideal date night? Any quiet time with my husband doing incredibly mundane things but doing them together. Whether it is cooking a meal, watching a movie, doing home repair, or just sitting next to him, my ideal date is where I can focus on my best friend and be reminded just how much I like him.