Recently while skimming the web I came across a list of cheap date night ideas. Becky and I are always on the lookout for inspiration, but we were disappointed to find that there were few ideas out there that we hadn’t either already thought of or that we readily dismissed for various reasons. But all was not lost, as we had a wonderful impromptu date night in critiquing all the suggestions we found. Here are some of the highlights….
Me: All of these lists say to fly kites.
Becky: Really? I haven’t flown a kite in, like, twenty-five years.
Me: Ditto. Do we even know anyone who owns a kite? In fact, when was the last time you’ve even seen a kite?
Becky: I’m pretty sure I’ve seen someone do it since Emily was born.
Me: Which reminds me that if we were to actually go through the trouble of getting a kite, I’m not going to not bring the kids along.
Becky: Yes. Otherwise kids are going to only know kites from Ben Franklin, and kids need to know that you can fly a kite without getting hit by lightning.
Me: Go rollerblading.
Becky: You’d die.
Me: Play a game together.
Becky: You always win all the games like Trivial Pursuit and Tri-Bond.
Me: Yet you usually win at cribbage.
Becky: I bet Emily would think cribbage is fun. She’d love figuring out all the ways to add up to fifteen.
Me: How do the kids keep getting into our date daydreams? There’s always Scrabble.
Becky: Scrabble would get me thinking of work.
Me: You don’t have to edit Scrabble.
Becky: I would challenge you on the grounds that a word would be above reading level.
Me: Be a tourist in your own city.
Becky: How is that different than ‘explore’?
Me: Exploring is for like out of the way stuff, like along rivers or whatever, and this is more like going to appreciate the tourist-y things where you live. Like, did you know they put up a new crop of sculptures?
Becky: No, I didn’t. Have they been vandalized yet?
Me: I thought I was the cynic. Maybe they did something different this year, I don’t know.
Becky: Didn’t somebody hacksaw a base and take a whole statue in the first week last year?
Me: You’d think somebody would have noticed that as it was going on.
Becky: Maybe they thought it was performance art.
Becky: The problem here is that none of these really work unless the kids are somewhere else. If we can just get away from the kids, the sky’s the limit.
Me: You’re the one who keeps bringing them on our imaginary dates.
Becky: It’s just that all of these really need to also say “without the kids.”
Me: I think it’s implied. We should just automatically hear it. Like with the “in bed” thing everyone thinks of when they read a fortune cookie, but with “without the kids.”
Becky: That would SO work. That’s hilarious. Next time I get a fortune cookie I’m going to add “without the kids.”
Me: “A good day starts with a kind act toward others…without the kids.”
Becky: “A sudden insight leads to exceptional work…without the kids.”
Me: “You are always welcome at any gathering…without the kids.”
Becky: “You will always be surrounded by true friends…without the kids.”
Me: “You are cautious in showing people your true self…without the kids.”
Becky: “Peace and tranquility comes after a job well done…without the kids.”
Me: “…without the one or more kids, in our bed. Peace and tranquility could come all by itself then.”
Me: Go to a park.
Becky: Again, why go through the trouble and not bring the kids.
Me: But maybe that’s the big secret, like something like Sibley Park becomes so much more romantic if you can see it without looking through the lens of everything being a possible giant death trap for toddlers, or without having to stop every thirty seconds to tell Mira she can’t climb over the fence and ride the goat.
Becky: After last year’s story made it to Australia, there’s probably sniper towers around the goats now.
Me: Have a camp out in the living room.
Becky: We’d have to pick up all the stupid toys and LEGOs first. And then take time to set it all up on the clean open floor? Ugh.
Me: Make a mix tape of songs from high school and have a “school dance” in your living room.
Becky: WHAT DID I JUST SAY?
Me: Take a drive.
Becky: Not exactly inexpensive any more with gas prices.
Me: Maybe I could tape mountainous scenery over all the windows of the van, and we could just sit in the car in the driveway and look at them while drinking coffee and listening to the radio.
Becky: You’d block all the light from the outside. You wouldn’t be able to see any of it.
Me: Well, we’d have to turn the interior lights on probably.
Becky: Next week’s date night: going to Sears for a new car battery.
Me: Have a movie marathon.
Becky: That’s pretty much what we do now, watch movies or tv.
Me: Yeah, but MARATHON! Like six hours worth.
Becky: I couldn’t justify just sitting around for six hours watching the television.
Me: You justify it by it being a date.
Becky: It would be six hours of me sneaking off to the laundry room to do laundry and asking you what just happened every hour.
Me: What if all the laundry was already done?
Becky: What if our car was a flying purple unicorn?
Me: Make breakfast together and eat it in bed.
Becky: No. Just no.
Me: Go test drive your dream car.
Becky: I suppose I could go drive a yellow VW beetle. I always wanted one of those. But maybe I shouldn’t.
Becky: Consumer Reports always says how terrible they are, and I would hate to dream about one my whole life and then have the dream die when I find out it gets around like a turtle with epilepsy.
Me: Plan a dream vacation.
Becky: I would think that would be depressing. It would remind you that you don’t have the means to do it.
Me: It could be the beginning of a dream, a goal.
Becky: And it ends in death. I’m sorry, but the movie “Up” totally ruined that idea for me.
Me: Play board games and see who’s the ultimate Hungry, Hungry, Hippo champion.
Becky: You already said that one. Besides, I hate Hungry, Hungry, Hippos. BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM! It’s like we miss the kids being awake. Why are you laughing like that?
Me: I just remembered a funny poster about Hungry Hungry Hippos. It’s a parody of the new movie about Battleship coming out.
Becky: They’re making a movie about the game Battleship?
Me: Sadly, yes.
Becky: Can’t any movie about ships at sea be just like Battleship?
Me: But this one probably has one thousand percent more aliens saying “You sank my battleship!”
Becky: “Pretty sneaky, sis!”
Me: That’s Connect Four.
Becky: They could make a Connect Four movie.
Becky: They made a movie about Othello, which was about black/white issues. Laurence Fishburne was in it. It works.
Me: *blank stare*
Becky: I am so pissed off that you didn’t know I was joking right there.
Me: If your sweetie’s working late, surprise him with dinner at the office. Don’t forget the wine glasses and candles!
Becky: So sexist.
Me: Besides, we’re already drinking wine right now. And we’re in the living room, which is pretty much my office.
Becky: Well, go me. Most romantic wife ever. Top that.
Me: Give each other a massage or back rub?
Becky: At the same time? Because with our backs only one of us is going to win that one. Otherwise you undo all the good by having to work on the other person.
Me: We could do it two nights in a row and take turns.
Becky: Two imaginary date nights in a row? Slow down, Casanova.
Me: Haven’t we just gone on almost fifty imaginary dates tonight?
Becky: I suppose. It’s like “speed dating,” but for married couples. You sit on the couch and then just imagine doing all those things and talk about what it’s like and then drink a glass of wine and go to bed.
Me: We are geniuses. Overachievers at the very least. Hopeless romantics.
Becky: The National Association for the Advancement of Married People owes us a medal.
P.S. Warning! We’re pretty sure that this is how the couple from “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” got started. They went on an imaginary date that ended in imaginary sex, and they had got imaginary pregnant and had an imaginary son, and they were in too deep to shut it down. You have to be careful with these things. Be sure to use an imaginary condom.
P.P.S. By the way, if you were planning on seeing “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” perhaps on an imaginary date, sorry about the real world spoilers. But it’s been around for like fifty years or more, so if you haven’t seen it by now it’s all on you.