Date Night Dance

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Why does every restaurant photo look like you’re on The Love Boat?

This weekend my husband and I celebrated our seven year wedding anniversary. Well, actually the anniversary occurred earlier this month, but amongst the craziness of our lives we postponed the date night celebration to this weekend.

I still feel like a married rookie in some ways. But when it comes to verbally communicating, Chris and I have definitely improved, and we’ve developed a sense of humor about those specific questions that require specific answers in a male/female relationship. After seven years of married life and nine years together, for many situations we have implemented a system not unlike a dance with choreographed steps.

Take getting ready for a date night together. This used to be a long process if I were stressed or unorganized and Chris tried to allay my discomfort with unsolicited advice or honest answering of my rhetorical questions. Now I can admit that I need a total Mars/Venus gender stereotype dance, based upon female insecurities and masculine validation. And now we/I possess the ability to get ready and out the door for a date in about 30 minutes flat.

That’s 30 minutes from turning on the shower to buckling the seat belt. Not bad for a neurotic girly girl and helped in part by a very patient dude.

The Date Night Getting Ready Communication Pact

  • I have promised to never ask Chris if I look old, fat, nasty, trampy, tired, bloated, frumpy, or other negative adjective when getting ready.
  • If I do break this agreement, Chris has promised to simply answer, “No, you look great!”
  • If the event for which we are preparing is a high pressure situation (formal attire, bitchy persons in attendance, event occurs during or one year following a pregnancy and consequent ass-size doubling), Chris will modify his answer to, “No, you look beautiful/gorgeous/stunning/thin!”
  • I promise to never ask Chris for clothing/accessory/shoe selection assistance.
  • If I break this agreement and ask Chris for advice while clothed, he promises to never attempt to offer up any suggestions other than what I am already wearing. (Even if he knows current shoe choice will result in a 10 city block long piggy back ride at 1am or current outfit conjures mental comparisons to Tara Reid or Ma Joad.)
  • If I ask Chris for clothing/accessory/shoe selection help while undressed, Chris will feign confusion and offer no suggestions whatsoever.
  • Conversely, Jessica is free to disclose any and all dress code advice while Chris is dressing to avoid potential over- or under-dressed event discomfort. Said advice will be straightforward and masculine in delivery, e.g. “I think most guys will be wearing jackets to this thing.”
  • If Jessica’s advice is patently wrong, she attains designated driver status, regardless of male height/weight/alcohol tolerance advantages.

Deviation from the above agreements could result in exponentially longer getting ready time, pre-event huffiness and general lowering of merriment.

I’m not proud to be a living episode of I Love Lucy, but for the good of the relationship I’m willing to own my stereotypical needs and admit them in the spirit of better communication.

It just makes for a quicker arrival at our date destination.

Happy Anniversary Chris. You’re a prince for putting up with me.

And happy date nights to all of you.

For some of my recommended places to spend an adult evening without the kids, check out past Get A Sitter posts, the Silver Spring bar crawl and my Get A Sitter Resource List.

Most nights, we’re a foursome.

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