Date Night: the Suburban Edition

11 Apr

Hey all you 20-somethings: let me give you a sound piece of advice. Relish in your freedom. Be grateful for every single party, dinner out, pub run to meet a friend for a quick drink. Because there will come a time when this little thing called “responsibility” will put a damper on that spontaneous self-love fest.

When you’re single and ready to mingle, you don’t really appreciate the flexibility of your own schedule. It’s just about creating a busy social life, and the rare night-in actually feels like a detox. Ahhh, the good ‘ole days.

These days, if I want to spend an evening out, it takes just a little bit of planning. As in, first checking my own calendar, then calling my husband and asking him to check his calendar. Then sending out an S.O.S. signal to the local babysitter and negotiating back and forth with her for an available date and time (“Sorry, I am doing keg stands on Saturday with my BFFs… but I’m free the third Tuesday in May.”), which requires of course going back and repeating steps 1 and 2 again until we’re all in agreement. Then of course, since it took so much planning, I feel obligated to actually make sure the night out is worth it, so I have to plan all the details of what we’ll do. This requires going on OpenTable and finding an available reservation somewhere, then going on Yelp and reading all the reviews on the place to make sure it’s up to par, then going back indecisively 14 times and changing the restaurant (“D’oh! We haven’t been to Tarry Lodge yet… but they only have a 9:45pm slot… what is this, the Meatpacking District?? Who eats at 9:45? I’m usually in bed hugging my body pillow by then… but I really want to go, that pizza with the egg on it is crying out to me… oh man, most recent review says it was overrated. Shit. Start over…”)

Once this ritual has been completed, it’s hurry up and wait time. As in, this date night is so long overdue that seriously I can already taste the vodka martini. I’ll think about it constantly, think about what we can do after dinner since we do have the sitter after all… maybe add an activity onto the night. (An activity! How novel!) Like “hey – let’s go bowling! No, bowling sucks. Let’s go to a movie! No, I’ll fall asleep, who am I kidding….” As I stress over creating the perfect evening out, the hubby is completely oblivious. His thought process: “You booked a babysitter? Great. Let’s go get drunk!”

Then of course, after all the buildup, the day finally arrives and… yippee!! Date night is here. I even put on heels because that’s how you roll on date night. So we finally rush to get Baby Bear sorted and fed, and bathed and give the babysitter all the instructions and phone numbers and directions to the nearest bomb shelter. We rush out the door to get to the restaurant for our reservation, and sit down, and put our phones out on the table “just in case” the sitter texts (There’s nothing sexier than a romantic night out with the impending possibility of an emergency text from your babysitter.)

And so one cocktail in and I’m already buzzed because I hardly drink anymore. And hubby really just wants to check the score of the game, because date night was originally supposed to be Saturday and now it’s Tuesday and the Yankees are playing. And after the check comes, we’re both so tired because it’s mid-week and we each have like 14 jobs (because we’re crazy and ambitious and take on too much) so we decide to bag the activity portion of the evening and just head home. And we arrive home and pass the babysitter $350 (because seriously, these sitters cost a fortune these days… they’re like serial entrepreneurs at age 12, they totally are killing it already). So now we’re broke and tired. And one of us has to drive the sitter down the block to her house b/c really, in this day and age you never know, and you can’t trust anyone, and the suburbs are dangerous, and who needs that worry…

Finally, heels off and makeup washed away and I crawl into bed and turn on the TV and check my DVR and think… wasn’t it fun? 

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3 Responses to “Date Night: the Suburban Edition”

  1. livethegreenlife April 11, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    I can totally sympathize! One difference for me is that we haven’t used any babysitter other than family members yet, which makes it really hard to book. Our 5 year anniversary is on Saturday, and it looks like we’ll be celebrating at home watching TIVO and going to bed early because we don’t have a babysitter. 😦

  2. Deirdre @ BklynorBeyond.com April 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm #

    The pressure to have the best night is the saddest/funniest part. I’m not sure it’s any better in the city, except that we may have more restaurants to choose from and not as far to go. But you do often have the additional $20 cab ride for your babysitter to add it. When we went out for my husband’s birthday we were so buzzed and full we got home at 8:15 – the kids weren’t even asleep. L7.

  3. Jennifer Ostrega April 12, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    Love this piece and can relate!

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