Tag Archives: date night

Valentine’s Day Elephants

IMG_5492While I realize my recent blogging break is making me slow on the draw here, I still wanted to give my husband John props for planning a fun Valentine’s Day activity.

All by himself, he reserved us a couple of spots at this place called “The Painted Cork,” where you paint something (elephants, in our case) while drinking wine. He then packed a dinner of stuff like salami, cheese, bread, olives, and dark chocolate with sea salt, which ended up piled around our easels for the evening.

It was LOADS of fun, even if things got a bit rowdy after a couple glasses of wine and I ended up talking too much and going crazy with shadowy goth elephants because why not?

It was a tribute to our dating period, when he impressed me by taking me to an art class where we painted some apples and our apples were similarly different back then as well (his a perfect rendering of the example apple and mine a pile of shadowy ennui painted well outside the lines).

But in truth, it was bound to be an awesome time because I’m never gonna criticize a date my husband sets up all by himself because only a fool would discourage their spouse’s efforts to be romantic (or wash dishes or pick up or say nice things or bring home gifts) unless, maybe, he was taking me to a monster truck rally for the third time (I’d be game once) or giving me one of those godawful Big Johnson shirts that were popular a couple decades ago…

netflixddateAnd frankly, I’m proud of both of us for going out at all and NOT spending the night binging on Netflix while wearing sweats and eating hot wings (despite how much we swore we’d still be Cool Parents who Still Do Stuff ) because parenthood can be so draining that you sometimes want to collapse the first second someone’s not demanding anything.

But we didn’t. We put on proper clothes, listened to grown-up music instead of Disney, drank wine and talked about world events like actual grownups on a date. Yay!



How To Avoid Movie Fights With Your Spouse

My husband and I try to have a date night every week, which we think is important after kids. So most Fridays, John and I drop the little ones off at their grandparents’ house for the evening before going out to dinner and a movie.

Problem is, like many couples, we have really different tastes in movies. He loves superhero, horror, and action flicks, whereas I’m a fan of indie flicks, girl comedies, and painfully slow, dialogue-heavy foreign films. Early on, these differences led to more than a little bad-and-forth sniping.

My husband’s movies

But we found a simple solution: we just trade off. He picks one week and I pick the next, unless we really want to see something that looks like it might leave the theaters soon (in which case, the other person gets to pick for the next two weeks).

This method saved us from constant bickering and has a few other great advantages:


  • We see a broader range of films than we otherwise might

Someone once said “a camel is a horse designed by a committee,” and while this may be unfair to camels, they make a fair point.

When you have to reconcile competing goals to please everyone, it waters down your choices. Since we don’t both have to like the movie, we don’t have to stick to “safe” genres.

  • We get to see what we really want

Since the tradeoff started happening, there’s been a fairly predictable schedule of chick flicks one week, then dick flicks the next.

But no one’s complaining. I may not always be in the mood to watch sarcastic renegades blow stuff up, but I’ll try to rally because I know that next week, my husband will sit through two hours of people giving each other quiet, longing looks without any fuss.

Plus, sometimes you can play the odds in your favor. Movies like Ex Machina and Inception were swing votes (either one us us might pick them), so you can gamble by picking whatever other film you wanted to see.

  • Sometimes you love something you never expected to

My movies

I’ve ended up loving may of my husband’s movie picks, even after being sure I’d hate them. The Iron Man series, for example, and Guardians of the Galaxy, were so much fun that I respected the entire superhero genre more after seeing them.

John was crazy about Life of Pi and Phoenix, both movies he admitted he would’ve never watched if left to his own devices.

Plus, it’s easier to have an open mind about seeing new films when you didn’t throw a fit about seeing them in the first place, because it doesn’t mean admitting you were wrong.

Stepping outside your comfort zone can be a great thing. You get a new perspective. It shakes things up.

And I’m not saying we never get bored or make mild threats (“I swear if you force me to watch The Gift, I will MAKE YOU WATCH ‘THE PERFECT GUY’ THE VERY NEXT WEEK!”), but arguments are minimal.

But sometimes you discover a hidden gem.

This week was Deadpool, so I’m thinking The Maltese Falcon may be on the agenda.