The Two Dollar Date

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I heard a piece on NPR last week about how to keep your marriage alive post-children--obviously a topic near and dear to any parent's heart (like we need more evidence of that after some of the comments during "Man Week").

On this particular radio segment, one caller called in to discuss the much-ridiculed "date night" and he credited it for saving his marriage. One of the "experts"--rather scornfully--said, "good for you," and then posed a challenge of sorts that seems particularly appropriate in the current economy: Could the caller do a date night on $2.00.

$2.00. Total. The best I could come up with at first was to to buy a bottle of Two Buck Chuck, drink up, call it a night! But then I got to thinking more, and I let myself go to about $5 (flush with cash!). Some ideas are below but I know you can do better than me--what do you think??
  • Get a recipe from a famous restaurant off the Web--check out copykate.com, or recipegoldmine.com for inspiration--and make your own version.
  • Play Twister (with 2 buck chuck...)

  • Go to a karaoke bar, have a drink, embarrass yourselves.
  • Give each other massages.
  • Make a picnic in your living room. Scavenger your own kitchen; pack a basket; lay out a table-cloth on the ground; ; dust off the candles. Bugs optional.
  • For a little bit more money: Grab dinner at a bar during happy hour--even the most high-end establishments are offering amazing drink and appetizer specials these days.
  • Find out when the museums in your city offer "pay what you wish" nights and check out all the places you always say you will go, but never do. Laugh at pretentious people together and come up with your own commentary for what all the art means.
  • Grab some snacks and head to a playground--long after the kids are all tucked in. Re-claim YOUR inner child when you can romp around and go on the jungle gym without worrying about bodily injury to or by your own kids.
  • Go back to one of the places you used to hang out before you had kids. I would wager to bet that, more often than not, the places that were the most significant to your relationship were not the most expensive. A spot in the park; a particular beach; a corner of San Francisco. Have a moment (or nine) of completely cheesy nostalgia.
Do you do "date night"? Could you do it on $2? $5? Would you want to?
17 comments:
zara said...

these are great ideas (i don't think i've played twister since i was 12--seems muck kinkier now haha :))

dani said...

we have always thought the idea of date night is sort of absurd, akin to valentines day, mothers day etc. but i do like these ideas, and the main point that connecting with your spouse doesn't have to involve a dinner at a five star restaurant or a fancy vacay.

A said...

We are at a point with 2 kids under 4 that a night watching a movie and staying awake through the whole thing is considered "date night." :)

jaya said...

I am not "anti" date night. But how do you find time?? Our social calendar these days (which sadly includes more kids birthday parties than regular ones!), plus regular life means that pretty much every spare moment is accounted for.

Anonymous said...

what about: going out for ice cream, flying a kite, browsing a book store. Great post!

bahar said...

I think the idea of date night is good to force couples to make time for each other. And while finding cheaper options is great it can never be two dollars once you factor in childcare right?

Anonymous said...

I would love a date night! But ours would have to be at home because we don't have anyone to babysit. Maybe we will try the picnic idea...

N.L. said...

Farmers markets! You can sample free foods, get out for a stroll etc. We go for "date morning" all the time.

Anonymous said...

I'm just getting online after getting my two kids bathed, fed, out the door to school. All I want to do is crawl back into bed! But this post makes me realize that I haven't really focused on fun things to do with my husband in--literally--years. Am going to try to do some of this.

Date Night Convert said...

I used to be one of the scornful opposers to "date night" too. It just seems so very forced and like a "band aid" for unhappy couples to "fix" their relationship. However, I understand now that, especially after children, allocating time just for you and your husband needs to be prioritized. Call it date night, call it whatever you want, but if you don't do it time just tends to pass by without you having any time as a married couple together.

S said...

A bottle of wine with the hubby (even 2 buck chuck) sounds absolutely perfect--thanks for planning my evening for me!!!

Kiran said...

To the posters who talk about childcare: Why don't you switch off with another couple with kids? One night you watch theirs, another night they watch yours?

Radman said...

How much does netflix cost again?

Shilpa said...

go camping in your family room! Build a tent with sheets and blankets like when you were kids. You can watch a movie, have your own old tv show marathon, play games, or share a meal. All things are better under a tent!!!

Anonymous said...

i really love some of these ideas! especially repurposing things from childhood, or making a campsite in our home. just like we tell our kids to use their imagination we should too.

Anonymous said...

this is such a timely post for me, just last night my husband and i were talking about how he is sort of bored and i had to agree with him. nothing is wrong, we are happy, our baby is happy, we are even thinking about a second but somehow we get so set in our routine or in what needs to be done that doing something fun or spontaneous never happens. so long story short thanks for the post, it touched a nerve.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if we do a "date night" per se...but we try to spend time together. A cheap way is to rent a movie or borrow one and cuddle up. :) with the baby sleeping upstairs and some freshly popped pocorn, it makes for a cheap/fun night. :)

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