All of the talkie talk gets old after awhile...all of the information out there that should be helpful but somehow just manages to leave you wondering why you clicked on it. Earlier today, in the name of literacy research (I was trying to solve a specific reading problem) I got lost in the black hole that is Pinterest. It's like the click bait that claims “5 miraculous foods that will transform your life!”
...Broccoli, apples, brussel sprouts, pomegranates and cucumbers.
Yeah, thanks for that. My world totally shook on its axis.
Everything is like that these days (and who knows what’s true and isn’t...but that’s a future rant). Which brings me to the angst that inspired today’s totally helpful and genuinely useful diversion.
Date night. Every couple knows they're supposed to be having them. I googled “date night ideas” just to see how derivative mine were, and found pages and pages of articles talking about their importance. The suggestions that did exist, made me wonder if I’m the only person in the world without access to easy babysitting, cash and energy. Most people who spend their nights with a bellowing two year old don’t really want to go ice sculpturing, or hula dancing for funzies.
So even though I am a total hypocrite who previously advised against dates... I'm now talking out the other side of my mouth and saying that while I don't see the point in spending an outrageous amount of money to eat artfully arranged food while you try not to look at your phone, I DO think it's important to get some quality time in with your significant other. Here are my excessively affordable, down and dirty suggestions:
1. Bread, Butter and Wine + Garage picnic. Most grocery stores sell their freshly baked french loaf for about a dollar. Add a bottle of two buck chuck and some butter or cheese (if you’re feeling really fancy) and you have yourself an awesome night. Spread a picnic blanket in the garage and lock the kids in the house. Total cost: $3.97
2. Dollar menu + Beach (or Park/Lake). This one requires babysitting, but it’s another affordable date option. Also, on the plus side it’s easier to hear each other and connect when there’s no music playing or server asking if you need anything else. I think part of the problem with the word “dating” when you’re married is that it implies you’re not living with the person. When you’re living with the person in a zoo full of baby gorillas you really don’t need a neutral public place to get to know each other...you need ten minutes of uninterrupted time wherein no one poops, begs for food or has some faux emergency. Total $4.99
3. Hot Dogs, Buns, Chips + Tent + National/State Park. This one is really decadent. It’s basically the married pauper’s way of getting a hotel and room service. Bring a deck of cards and a package of oreos and live the high life. Google reveals a ton of free camping locations that are easily accessible (although maybe not, depending where you live). Stay for a few hours, stay for the night… either way, it buys you some real estate for a little while. Total $4.88 (assuming that if you’re the type to do this, you’re also the type that already owns a tent).
See? Totally doable.