Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Long Live Date Night

Never underestimate the power of date night.

It starts as tweens hanging out in groups. Somehow you and another end up "going out", which basically means sneaking off to a corner and making out. Sometimes on chair lifts, from what I've heard anyway. I of course didn't make out until I was 18. Then you get your first boyfriend and dates consist of TGI Fridays and then hanging out with friends. In college nobody goes on dates. I can't even figure out what I did in college- I dated people- but that consisted of meeting up at 10pm in some bar after a bottle of Admiral Nelson's spiced rum & diet cherry coke. But if you were dating someone, you just tended to meet up with the same fella night after night. Your college experience may have been different...

Sometime after college "real" dating occurs. I remember when a first date asked to pick me up and I was appalled at the suggestion. Like I'm going to let some stranger pick me up from my house. One- I don't want you knowing where I live until we've been dating at least 3 months, two- I don't trust you driving me yet, three -I need to be able to escape when necessary. But nevertheless, as you mature to a certain age/status/life stage you begin to really appreciate the Date Night. For me, part is the fact that someone else took the time to plan something for me. I don't care if you've been dating a week or a decade- knowing someone took effort to plan an experience around you makes you feel special. And feeling special is nice. I believe we get so caught up in life and work and must-see television that we forget the value of spending real time together. And the value of showing effort, initiative. When my boyfriend wants to plan time alone with me (which he has successfully done two consecutive nights) I feel the excitement I had as a tween wondering if so-and-so liked me, but in a real world tangible way. And, I feel special. Even if the night ends with him eating double-stuffed mint Oreos while watching The Bachelorette.

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