Monday, April 11, 2016

planning the perfect date night

Planning last week's date night with Drew got me thinking -- what makes for a really great date? It's hard to transition out of the perspective of We're married so going out to Nacho's in leggings to get a $3 enchilada and a jumbo margarita with the baby in tow is date night.... Right? and into the land of dressing up, being intentional, and thinking of ourselves independently as a couple. It's hard to do when you're obsessed with your baby. It's hard to do when all you talk about is home improvement projects and to do lists. It's hard to do when you live together and talk a lot and run out of interesting things that you don't know about each other after 9 years of dating/marriage. What did we even talk about in our dating years? 

(Back when we were younger and crazier and went on dates... or ok, fraternity or sorority socials. #collegesweethearts)

So I asked Drew last week what kind of date he would plan for us if we had just met as adults. (I technically phrased it as "If you swiped left for me on Tinder" but he maintained he was too classy for Tinder to which I give him skeptical-eye because half my couples get married after meeting on Tinder these days.)

He asked what all he would know about me upfront -- I said my profile would probably mention that I'm a wedding planner, love yoga and the beach, social and outgoing, love planning parties, and could eat Mexican food daily. With that, he said he'd probably take me to a yoga class, then to dinner (for upscale tacos and margaritas), and then to some nice bar to chat over a nightcap. Not too shabby, eh?!

All that in mind, we ran with that as inspiration -- and then reality struck.  Friday rolled around, I dropped Lilly off with Grandma, spent the rest of the day working on her birthday outfit and answering client emails, and Drew came home around 5. We ended up sipping cava while we got dressed up, then headed out for hip local restaurant Bartaco. ...Only I forgot to call ahead and we had 43 parties in front of us in line! (!!!!!!!)

 I would've been up to hang out and drink margaritas while we waited (the two hours they quoted us), but Drew got impatient, so we ended up heading out to try a different new-to-us restaurant, Sopapillas. 

I had low expectations but they pleasantly surprised us tremendously -- we sat at the bar and got to indulge in their happy hour specials, which were $5 margs (the best we've had in such a long time -- tasted just like the ones we've gotten in Mexican resorts!) and half-priced appetizers. We got stuffed to the brims, didn't break the bank, and actually enjoyed the kinda-weird atmosphere and music they had playing. It certainly wasn't the hippest place to be on a Friday night (it's located in a kind of hidden part of Brentwood), but the food and drinks were DELICIOUS, reasonable, and we were able to hear each other talk.

Of course we joked later about how things would've definitely gone down differently had it been our first date... He wouldn't have yelled at me to make up my mind in the car as we headed to Sopapillas, I wouldn't have bemoaned "why do we even TRY?!?" in response, and we would've been a lot more adventurous afterwards (rather than just heading home to listen to Latino pop music and go to sleep, haha). But it was still fun, much needed, and one day we'll work on going somewhere hip on a Friday night. Maybe.

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