Hear the term “date night” and you might think of couples – probably with children – finally stealing away some time to enjoy an evening on the town.
Perhaps it involves dressing up, having dinner at a fine restaurant, seeing a play like “Hamilton, or going to a movie (there was an actual movie called “Date Night” released in 2010, so you could’ve spent date night watching “Date Night”).
It might even include romance, although you probably want to dial that down a bit – especially if you’re still at Denny’s when the mood strikes.
(Speaking of which, I enjoy role playing games. Sometimes I dress as an agent selling car insurance and Mary pretends to be a customer with a $500 deductible. One time she wore a Geico Gecko costume, but things got weird and I’m not comfortable talking about it).
Anyway, Mary and I do not have traditional date nights. Instead, we have date days.
Sometimes we even have date mornings.
Basically, it consists of brunch and a movie, or a movie and lunch. Either way, it’s extremely casual and fits in much better with our be-in-the-house-before-dark lifestyle.
Now, the main reason we like to go to morning/early afternoon movies is because there are far less people in the theater. It’s not that we don’t like people … it’s really more that we don’t like being around people.
And before you think we’re antisocial we really aren’t – some of our best friends are members of the human race. But neither of us like crowds, especially when you’re packed in tight at the ol’ multiplex.
If we go to the cinema in the morning, we can find a nice spot where we don’t have people near us.
Go at night, and you might wind up with a teenage boy soaked in Axe Body Spray on one side of you and an old woman who smells of mothballs and has an annoying nose whistle on the other.
The only time we do go to a movie at night is if said movie involves Batman. I’m a Grand Gordon in the Dark Knight Temple, so premiere evenings count as holy days of obligation.
As for dressing up on our dates, we don’t do that.
I mean we wear clothes – obviously – just not particularly good ones.
Mary has an impressive rotation of T-shirts. One celebrates the band “Folk Uke” and features a unicorn barfing a rainbow; one has a cat with horns; and another says “Think While It’s Still Legal.”
My shirts are generally of the sportsball or comic book variety and I try to always dress for the occasion.
If we’re at a Marvel movie, I’ll usually wear my Avengers or Captain America tee.
When at a DC film, I always sport a Caped Crusader or Superman shirt.
And you’ll never catch me wearing a DC shirt to a Marvel film or vice versa. That’s a slap in the face to nerds and nerdkind.
The mere thought of someone walking into “Avengers: Endgame” while wearing a “Shazam” tank top makes my blood boil.
As for dining out, we don’t do fancy … never have and probably never will.
Our rotation involves a Mexican restaurant, a hipster-type joint that serves everything from black bean burgers to hummus, and a veggie-style diner.
That’s basically it – rarely do we venture beyond our grub trilogy.
We don’t go to high end places that serve things like wildebeest soufflé and warthog kabobs and feature a member of the wait staff bringing over a bottle of wine and asking me to sniff a cork.
Frankly, I’ve always felt that cork sniffing should be done behind closed doors (but under close supervision).
And plays and concerts just don’t do it for us anymore, mainly because of that whole people issue.
I mentioned “Hamilton” earlier and I have no doubt it’s extraordinarily entertaining, but unless Lin-Manuel Miranda and Phillipa Soo are willing to do a private performance for us – preferably before lunch and in our backyard – we’re probably going to wait until it’s made into a movie and comes to Netflix.
I realize our version of “date night” might not sound very exciting to a lot of people, but it works out just fine for us.
And really, as nice as an early movie and burrito might be, there’s nothing we like more than simply piling up on the futon at home with our two dogs and two cats and binging on “Stranger Things.”
Thing is, if you’re lucky enough to find the person you want to be with, every night can be date night – even if it’s morning.