Friday, March 30, 2007
More About Dating Your Spouse
Dating your spouse definitely has its advantages. For example, while picking out a restaurant, you pretty much know how a "genre" of food is going to go over. The level of "polite" in a ten year old marriage pretty much guarantees that no one is going to keep quiet while pulling into the parking lot of a lame choice. For example, if you suffered a blow to the head and followed it up by picking "Billy Bob's Barbequed Beans Emporium" for your romantic night out, that mistake will be corrected much earlier than when the waiter drops by and asks if everything tastes okay.
The level of hygiene and grooming required for a date with your spouse is also a little different. Yes, you should try to look nice for your spouse. I'm not saying you can be a slob, but if you have a little funk from playing hide and seek with your youngin' before your date, it's still going to be okay, so long as you let your wife sit upwind. Ladies, you probably don't have to worry about shaving your legs either. Remember when you were eight months pregnant and couldn't bend over enough to shave? Yeah, we remember that time too, and it wasn't an issue then, so it's not an issue now.
And, unless you really do something stupid, you are pretty much guaranteed that you'll get to sleep with your date. Maybe not sleep together sleep together, but there will probably be room for you in the bed and maybe a little cuddling. If you play your cards right, who knows? Maybe you might want to shave your legs after all or shower off some of that funk.
Of course, nothing in life is perfect and so even with all of the advantages of dating your spouse, its not exactly a picnic. For one, there's no getting out of a date, if you don't feel up to it. You can't call and say, with that dramatic voice you use when you call into the office, "I think I picked up this bug at work and I'm just not feeling up to going out." Your wife can see you, sitting there in your underwear, playing Xbox. She knows you feel just fine and you'd rather spend your time with the Master Chief than her.
And then there is the problem of what to do. When you're dating, you'll do anything with that special someone and it'll still be fun. You want me to help you with your taxes? Awesome! Clean your cat's litter box? I'll be right over! When you're married, spending time together is still fun, but an evening out sort of has to be special, since they're so few and far between. There is nothing more painful than setting up a sitter, washing off the funk, and spending $40 to go to a movie, only to realize that you could have had just as lousy of a time at home with your DVD player and the couch, all with half the effort and none of the money.
Our biggest problem, I think, is that we're out of practice. We've been dedicated, hands-on parents for two years and we've kind of lost touch with what we found fun, as a couple. When we were childless "dating" just sort of happened, but now that we're parents, it... has... to... count... every... dang... time. Dates are about as rare as leprechauns and three times as valuable. There's pressure in a date, not necessarily pressure to impress her enough that maybe you'll be invited back for another date, but there's another kind of tension. There is the pressure to find a way to sit across the table from your spouse while the waiter gets you more bread, and see the woman who fascinated you for so long, not the mom who just suddenly appeared one day in her place. It's not that I don't like the mom, I do, but I also want to hear stories from the woman who, despite being a mom, is still trying to paint and be creative and maybe even read a book.
So, what do you do? My wife and I used to be huge movie buffs, but our various excursions to the theater have been lackluster. Even when the movie has been good, the experience of going has been kind of blah. We used to love to ski, but we just can't imagine putting anyone through a full day with Chunk. That leaves things like museums, dinner, and maybe the theater. Museums are fun, but Denver is slow to change, so their novelty wears off quickly when you just keep seeing the same things over and over. Dinner is nice. I like to eat, but again, novelty is a fleeting thing. And, as much as we both want to go to the theater, throwing tickets into the kind of planning required to secure a sitter, just seems like too much for us right now.
Internet, what do you recommend? I've read your blog posts, so I know you're far more creative than I am. If you had the chance for a hot date with a person you adored, what would you do to make it a rousing success? The less you have to plan ahead, the better. Leave your suggestions in the comments! Who knows... if your suggestion works, you might even get a special prize.
Coming up next... Denver Dad answers some real questions! And, I finally respond to a meme that Maria at Just Eat Your Cupcake hit me with weeks ago!