I've written about this many times before, but date night for the hubs and I always revolved around alcohol...well...at least for me it did.
Back in the 80's we partied pretty hardy almost every night. If we weren't with a group of friends at a happy hour that stretched long into the night, we were at a restaurant having a 4-hour dinner where I talked and he listened. We drank a lot back then and somehow lived to tell the tale (in spite of my alcoholism and the hubs' bypass surgery a few years ago).
After the kids were born we did date night once a month and then, after they got older, once a week. I told myself it was "our" time together which it was, but it was also my time with the wine since I didn't drink at home back then. We tried to do dinner but later just ended up hanging out a bars where we could grab a bite and talk until it was time to go home. I still love a good bar - I don't go into them much - but I just love the look and feel of them.
The hubs quit drinking long before I did. He would take me out on date night but only have one, maybe two V.O.'s and Coke and those he ordered in a tall glass so he got more soda with each shot of booze. I didn't see then that he was just indulging my need to get shit faced and spill my guts. Or just get shit faced because looking back I realize that it was way more about the wine then it was about the conversation. I just wanted to drink and going out made it seem okay.
Since I quit drinking, I've tried to reestablish date night. We've tried dinner, movies, even pottery painting. Nothing really worked. Nothing felt as good as just sitting home together watching television. (I KNOW RIGHT!) I remember the first time we went out to dinner after I really got sober. There are no words to express how uncomfortable I was. Between the calories, the money we were spending and the fact that there was only diet coke in my glass, I couldn't wait to get the hell out of there and back to the safety of my home.
Well boys and girls, we're giving it another shot. I've come up with a plan to jump start this whole date night thing and see where it goes. Every two weeks, payday weeks to be specific, we're going out to dinner. We're going as soon as I leave work because if I go home first...I'll never leave. We're going to try new restaurants (that I get to pick...yay) and see how it feels. Try it on for size.
If it feels forced or uncomfortable then we won't do it anymore. If it feels fun and exciting then we'll keep going. If we end up staring across the table at each other with nothing to say then I'm going to have to revisit the entire concept of date night, my marriage and my reason for existence on the planet.
Just kidding...about the last part anyway.
Because here is what sobriety and age have taught me. I do not have to do anything I don't want to do. I don't have to pretend that I like something simply because some pencil-necked, know-it-all that needs a biscuit says I should like it. I don't have to feel like a loser because I like sitting home at night, in my big green chair and watching television with the man who has put up with my shit for 30 years just because some lame FaceBook or Twitter article says I should. And I don't have to pretend to be an extrovert and the life of the party just because society says that's what is acceptable.
Society can eat me.
And what's more, I don't have to make excuses for not doing any of that shit. "We don't really have the money," or "I'm so tired after work," or "We're so busy on the weekends." What a load of bullshit.
Date night is spending time with the man I love doing whatever the hell it is we want to do. All that matters is that at least one of us has a good time (because marriage is a compromise) and I don't drink.
That's it! Simple stupid. Now if you'll excuse me, my ride is here.
Have a great weekend everyone!