My dad asked me the other day if I has been doing any theatre. I told him I didn’t have the time. I haven’t been on a stage in over two years, but that’s another blog post for another time. He then asked if Lisa and I had gone to the theatre recently. I gave him the standard answer, saying we don’t do anything. This is the same response when I get asked if we tried “such and such” restaurant or seen “such and such” movie. Pretty much anything that involves my wife and I going out and spending money.
We don’t do anything.
There are a few reasons. The primary is that we have two small children. They take up 90% of any spare time and energy we have. I have no problem taking Phoebe and Zoe out with me, so don’t give me any shit about needing to socialize my kids. But as any parent knows, taking them out is a process. It involves prep time, the packing of emergency outfits and snacks, and being mindful of how tired they are. When we take the girls anyplace, it’s not time off. I’m still in daddy mode and Lisa is still wearing the mommy hat. We have a limited pool of babysitters, which mainly consists of Lisa’s mom and the occasional weekend the kids visit my parents. I’ve tried to convince the cat to do it, but Pepper is mostly terrified of the kids. Also, she has no thumbs. Kind of limits what she can do.
Another reason is that Lisa and I are on different schedules. I recently started a job where I work second shift. Lisa and I now have one day off a week together. This is actually an improvement. My last job was a flexible schedule which made it impossible to plan anything. The point is that date night is limited to Sunday and Monday evenings. Monday is one of the days that Lisa works so it’s rare she feels like doing anything after she gets home. We’ve allowed ourselves an occasional Sunday as a game night with a few friends, but we won’t always have child care for that either. There will be times when I’m trying to roll dice with Zoe in one arm and wrangling Phoebe, who is trying to get everyone to look at her.
The third reason is one of the suckiest. Like many people, we are on a tight budget. We lost one home and I have no interest in losing another. What would be extra money is basically how we pay for internet and TV. There was a time when Lisa and I would go out to dinner a few times a month or see a few movies. We would go see friends in whatever play they were doing. Now it’s pretty much impossible to bring up going out to dinner anywhere without it turning into an argument about spending money. Not to mention that if it’s anyone but the grandparents, we have to consider how much we can spend on a theoretical babysitter.
We don’t do anything. The spare time we have is spent with our kids, doing housework, or sitting on the couch trying to stay awake long enough to maybe watch a show we both like.
Date night is a filthy lie.