This last month things have been a little tight for the last month or so, since Turtle left her job and we realized that my income is not a reasonable amount to expect two people to live on. (Some people have suggested that it’s not a reasonable amount for one person to live on, but that’s a story for another post.) So in the last month, we have been really careful about the groceries we’ve bought, we haven’t purchased any new things, like clothes or house stuff, and we have not gone out for dinner even once.
Neither of us are people who go out for dinner all the time – maybe once a week, and it always feels like a treat. One of our favorite places is Not Your Average Joe’s, and another is a sushi restaurant in the center of our town. Even if we’re not up for going out and socializing, we’ll order in and have a picnic in the living room, and it is wonderful.
But for the last month, we banned ourselves from going out. It’s because other luxuries are more important to us, like internet service and, you know, heat. Not to mention electricity. And we’ve done a really good job; we spent almost two thirds less than usual this month. But we’ve also been a little irritable with each other.
And this has made me realize that date night is not just fun and not just delicious, but it’s really important. This weekend we are house/petsitting for my parents, and it is so nice to be away from home, away from our clutter and our obligations. When you’re at someone else’s house, it doesn’t occur to you that you should vacuum all the floors instead of watching TV or reading a book. At home, I find myself feeling like there’s something else I should be doing. And this is where date night – er, day – comes in. It’s so different to look at each other across the table of some nice, or even not-so-nice, restaurant and appreciate each other’s company than it is to look across the kitchen table, with its little piles in the corners, and wonder why the other person didn’t do some chore they should have earlier.
On Sunday we got up and lazed around my parents’ house. We had breakfast and sat on the front porch and let the dogs wander around the front yard on long leashes. And then in the afternoon, we packed up the Beast and headed to a dog beach. It was about 45 minutes away and we had such a nice time enjoying each others’ company in the car. When we got to the beach there were dogs everywhere! Daphne had a fabulous time running around and we had a fabulous time watching her be curious and then afraid of the waves coming in.
After the beach we wandered around this cute little town and decided to go out for dinner. We agreed that this would be our dinner for the month – and we enjoyed dinner. You have to when you only get one a month. I think that when we’re out in the world together, we appreciate the sanctuary of our relationship – in the chaos of being out in public and running around and getting things done, the other person is there. When you get home from the chaos of the world, you can relax into that other person’s company. If you never go out, I think you miss a portion of that.
Have you experienced anything like this? Do you have any regular date nights, and what do you do for them?
Turtle is going away for a week on Tuesday, but when she gets back, we are going to try to re-institute our weekly dates, even if they’re picnics we take somewhere or going for a walk somewhere new. I think that as long as we know we have this sanctuary in each other, we can get through anything together; it’s just that sometimes we need some reminding.