Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Date is a Date is a Date

Y'all... It doesn't matter how long you've been together -- a day, a month, a year, a decade. It's still entirely lovely when your man asks you out on a date. Ian and I have been together for precisely 2 years, 3 months, and 2 days. Barfy sappy much? Yesterday, he asked me out on an impromptu date as he was passin' through my neck of the woods on his way home today. He's had a craving for Chinese food, which isn't my cup of tea today (pun intended), but I definitely owe him a restaurant choice or five. He always lets me choose where we eat, and it usually ends up being Olive Garden, Red Lobster, or P.F. Chang's (surprise, surprise). If I had it my way, I'd have all my meals catered by these restaurants, and I'd eat out at The Melting Pot at least once a week... Oops, I'm drooling again, and my cholesterol is skyrocketing just by writing about it...

My point is, if your man asks you out on a date, it's a date. I don't know about you, but I love to get all snazzy for a date. Sure, we've seen each other a million times, and no one else will notice my slightly chipped toenail polish or that I have another new black dress. But he will.
Please pardon what appear to be, but I can attest are not, cankles.

We have a couple of date guidelines we implemented a long time ago. They're not rules; they're flexible, and we created them to benefit our relationship as a whole:

(1) I don't expect him to pay for everything just because he's the guy. Going halfsies or dutch has become our style, and we like it. We both like to treat the other every once in awhile, but we're perfectly okay with costs being equal or separate.

(2) The use of coupons and gift certificates on dates is more than acceptable. Ian's parents graciously send him gift cards to restaurants at least once a month, and he almost always saves them for our dates. Once, between a gift certificate, a promotion, and a coupon, we each ate a three-course dinner at Olive Garden for $2.39 total! What's the cents in paying full price? ;)

(3) Because we have a somewhat long-distance relationship, we try to make costs balance out. For instance, whomever drives to visit the other one does not need to use his own car during the stay. That part balances itself anyway -- Ian's Explorer is a gas demon but it's spacious, while he can barely fold his football player frame into my little sporty baby, which gets excellent gas mileage.

(4) We try to consider the other when it comes to making restaurant choices. When I visit him in Farmville, our choices are pretty much limited to B-Dubs, Applebee's, Ruby Tuesday, and for special pay-out-the-ass occasions, Charley's Waterfront Cafe. When he visits me here, the sky is the limit... except for my previous vegetarianism. Guilty as charged when it comes down to actually being the chooser of the location, though.

(5) We determine before we go out whether we'll be drinking so the same person doesn't always end up chauffeuring or paying a high liquor tab. Those babies can really add up!

Today, because neither of us could make a decision, we ended up choosing something middle-of-the-road (literally) and dining at a really nice Friday's. I accidentally gorged myself on crispy green beans, Cajun chicken and shrimp pasta, and vanilla bean cheesecake. You can't beat three delicious courses for $16.99, though my body is vehemently protesting fried food, spicy creamy sauce, and so much richness. It's been 3 hours since lunch, and I'm still bursting. I even have a ready-made dinner! But what a wonderful date it was :) And to top it off, Ian brought me this nerdy gift from the chemistry conference he just returned from attending in Orlando:
Simultaneously the coolest and dorkiest coffee mug I've ever seen!

P.S. Do you have any dating guidelines you and yours use? Do you have any date traditions unique to the two of you?

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