Wednesday, November 7, 2007

12 Years of Dating, and this is what I get.

I have to extend my gratitude to Brad and Paulette, who gave my boyfriend and I the best advice in 1995.

"Have a date night," they told us. "It doesn't matter how much you spend or what you do. Just do it every week, and on the same day each week."

So we did. The boyfriend became my husband 2 years later. We kept having our date night. 8 years after that my husband became a father and I became mother. Date nights haven't stopped.

In the beginning we were poor. Our date night was Tuesday. I remember this because it was "Tightwad Tuesday" at the Birdcage Cinemas, where we could watch a movie for $4.

Years later we were DINKs in the middle of the dot-com boom. Money was not an issue. We would have Sushi at Mikuni's, and then walk over to the movies. We'd go to Arco Arena and watch the Sacramento Kings play from fabulous seats.

Our time as DINKs ended and the adventuresome NIWK (no income with kids) era began. This era began with a baby, followed shortly by moving to a new state and the inability to find work, followed by another baby. Luckily NIWK transitioned to the more common single income with kids lifestyle that we now enjoy.

Money has been tight. The addition of children has caused the cost of of date night to increase substantially. We have made a lot of changes to our spending over the years but date night has never been compromised.

The keys to our success in keeping date night going are these:

  1. Years developing the the habit of having a date night.
  2. Having a "family" date night when our babysitter is not available.
  3. Finding a babysitter who comes every week and charges us a reasonable rate (Thank you Lydia!)
Last night I had a wonderful date with my husband. Lydia arrived at 6:30. My husband and I pooled our resources to come up with $28. We made plans to be home by 8:30, so we would only need $12 for babysitting. Then we went to Albertsons to rent a movie. They have a redbox so the movie cost us $1. We went out to our car and tried to figure out how to spend the next hour and half before we were expected home. Husband suggested drinks. I was of the opinion that drinks would end up costing us more that the $15 we had remaining, and we were likely to loose track of time and need to pay the babysitter for an extra hour. We decided to go BACK into Albertsons for beer. The selection wasn't great and our tastes in beers differ (He likes hops, I hate hops), but we were able to settle on Henry Weinhard's Belgium Style Wheat ($9 for a case).

Next we went to the Vancouver Mall where we returned a pair of tights at Gymboree, tried on boots at Nordstroms and had a Cinnabon($4) (Husband's reward for letting me try on boots). At 8:30 we returned home. The kids were asleep! We paid the babysitter, put The Pursuit of Happyness in the DVD player and drank our beer.

I love date night!


Don Mills Diva said...

I don't think I'd still be married if not for our date nights. My MIL babysits for free almost every Saturday!

E said...

I am with you. My favorite recent date night...(note, It is freezing cold here)... the older kids took our younger one to the movies. We decided to wage war on winter and rented Body Heat, drank spicy hot cocoa, and took a hot shower. When the kids came home we pretended to be asleep and as they faded back downstairs for a thrilling "secret" all nighter, we had our own secret late night upstairs.

great blog....