My husband and I had date night last night. As I was getting ready to go out, I started thinking about the differences between going out on a date, and having a date night.
It was the late eighties when we started dating. I was nineteen and he was twenty. I was a sophomore in college he was working in his father’s business. We were living forty-five minutes away from each other and really had to juggle our schedules to see each other three days a week.
As I said it was the eighties, so getting ready for a date involved lots of mousse, a hair dryer, curling iron, make up and casual clothes. Though we occasionally dressed a bit better then jeans to go somewhere nice, we were young and poor so mostly went to dance clubs. I could be on the road forty five minutes after I left my last class, and that included packing an overnight bag and filling up the gas tank. An early night meant we went home after the clubs closed and skipped going out to breakfast and the only person I felt any obligation to call if I wasn’t coming home was my room mate.
It’s not the eighties anymore, and I’m not young. I shuffle a house, two kids, two horses, and a struggling writing career. My husband now owns the business that was his father’s. It’s still a struggle to find that good quality time together, even though we live under the same roof. A couple Saturday nights a month, we try to go out alone together – Date night.
If I tried to mousse, blow dry and use a hot iron on my hair today, it would probably fall out. Thank god it’s not the eighties anymore. I start slowly getting ready to go out about four hours before we actually plan to leave the house. Not that it takes me four hours to get ready, but now the preparation is part of the whole experience. Rarely do I go casual on date night; I look forward to the opportunity to dress up. The loud and noisy dance clubs are most often a thing of the past too. We are happy and content at a local corner bar, shooting pool and enjoying the company of friends. If we’re going to be late, we usually call and let the kids know. The definition of late, however, is last call instead of breakfast after closing time.
After eighteen years of marriage date night may be different then it use to be, but it does serve the same purpose. It gets us out together, and away from the stress of everyday life, and there’s no question as to whether we’re going home together.