Date nights as a parent look a little different than they used to. Before they were a little more spontaneous, and by spontaneous I mean not planned and put on the calendar three weeks in advance. They also lasted a little longer, ya know, by being at least dark out before you return home…
My wife and I recently got a night out together, a wild Wednesday evening. The babysitter, Nana, showed up at 5:20 and off we went to the always lovely Olive Garden for our senior special, $50 gift card in hand. Ah, gift card, you know what that means. It means bring that whole bottle of Pinot over here Tracey, we won’t be sharing the bottle with table 8 tonight sister.
“May I pour your first glass for you?”, our waitress kindly asked. “Sure, thank you.”, I said reluctantly, as I watched her fill my glass 1/3 of the way. We have a different definition of a “glass” of wine at our house. If we wanted a little bit of wine we would put it in a shot glass, so don’t be shy Tracey, fill er’ up. I mean, you just saw that we ordered the cheapest bottle of wine on the menu, we’re clearly not here for the connoisseurship. We are new parents, we’re tired, and we want to catch a buzz and eat a meal at the same time for once.
I’ve been made fun of for liking Olive Garden in the past, but I don’t care. Their unlimited salad is so good that if there were actually an unwritten limit, we would have found out about it that night. It got to the point where our waitress didn’t even have to ask us if we wanted more, every time she headed toward our table I just gave her the “yep, bring it” motion with my fork. We didn’t touch the bread sticks though, those are too many calories. Mentally we figured it was healthier to have seven salads each instead.
Deciding on a date when you’re 22:
Person 1: “I hear there is a two for one drink special and two dollars off all mixed drinks and shots.”
Person 2: “Yeah that sounds awesome, lets do that!”
Deciding on a date when you’re 30:
Person 1: “I hear you can eat as much salad as you want there, and if you don’t finish your bottle of wine you get to take it home with you!”
Person 2: “Perfect! That way we don’t have to stop by Walgreens on our way home to pick up more.”
When you get older you always forget you’re getting older, with everything…working out, partying, whatever it may be. You always start as hard as you used to, then you hit the parenting wall of exhaustion. Above is a good example of how I looked at Olive Garden at 6:45pm after 3/4 of a bottle of wine. Don’t worry, I was quickly awakened by our post dinner dessert at Babies R Us where we purchased a bouncy seat that my wife insisted I put together when we got home.
Instead of heading out for more cocktails to keep the party going, we headed to Starbucks for some coffee so that we were capable of putting our new purchase together without falling asleep on the living room floor. For those wondering, we did get it put together, and let me tell you, it was worth it, as it has become a vital part of our morning routine. It is the perfect occupier while we embarrassingly recover on the couch after our late 8pm night out on the town.
Welcome to date life as a parent…