Saturday, December 22, 2007

Easy come, easy go.

I'm going to say something here that might raise a few eyebrows:

I think date night might be over-rated.

Don't get me wrong, having a little alone time with my husband is great. I love that part of it. What I don't love is the pressure. It feels like you have to fit all the fun you think you're missing out on into one little night out. It's like New Year's Eve or something - with so much build up, you're bound to be disappointed. And disappointed we were.

We got a babysitter last night so we could have a holiday date. It was Bill's idea. He was trying to make up for the weekend before when we got all dressed up for a Christmas party and then ended up drinking too much and not really hanging out with each other at all. Originally he wanted to pack a picnic and take me on a horse drawn carriage ride downtown (something I always say we should do one of these days). It would have been really fun but we didn't want to spend hundreds of dollars to sit behind a horse for an hour (can you believe?).

We came up with plan B. We decided to do a little Christmas shopping together and then grab a bite before meeting up with friends for a drink. We didn't want to spend a whole lot on dinner so we decided not to go to our favorite restaurant, Cafe Margot. Last time we did this, we ended up not having a great meal and still spending what we would have spent at Margot. I really wish we would have learned our lesson the first time.

We ended up at a place called Parco Cafe that we read many great reviews for online. It sounded like it would be a really great meal for about half the cost of Margot. When we called to make a reservation, we were really excited they had a table available. When we showed up for our 7:30 reservation and were one of only two tables in the entire restaurant, we should have taken it as a sign. Instead, we congratulated ourselves on finding such an unknown place. Surely we knew what others did not!

When we opened the menu and found a lousy wine selection and $22-$35 dinners, we shrugged and tried to make the most of it.

When the hostess brought a martini glass full of burnt walnuts to our table, we tried not to laugh.

When the waiter brought Bill his $35 filet and it was practically raw enough to moo, we simply asked for it to be cooked longer.

When my chicken was rubbery and gross and I totally got a tendon and couldn't get around it by eating the sides or salad or bread because there weren't any, we started to get pissed.

When, 15 minutes later, Bill's meal was still no where to be seen, we started cursing any and every restaurant that wasn't Cafe Margot.

When we realized we had to pay $85 for this lovely evening out, we just felt sad.

We badmouthed the restaurant and our bad decision all the way back to our neighborhood. We were so mad we could hardly see straight. This is what date night does to us. We want so badly to have a good time that when we don't we really don't.

We redeemed the night by meeting up with some friends at Red Door for drinks (to drown our sorrows) and getting Krystal on the way home (since we hadn't really had dinner). Add the cost of a babysitter to all that and you can see why date night is on my list.

Maybe we just don't know how to do it right. Does anyone have advice for the date night impaired?

Before the date. Don't we look optimistic?

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