MDP: Date 1

Our Marriage Dating Project kicked off over the weekend.  And, as promised, I am reporting back to you.  I’m not sure exactly what I expected, and I expected it to be good, but it was even better than that.  I’m so glad we’re doing this!

Last week, Chris and I talked about the upcoming weekend and what we’d do.  I figured I might plan it since I had come up with it.  However, he said that he would.  I concurred.  I told him it didn’t have to be a surprise.  He asked if I wanted to know.  After some consideration, I decided I liked the idea of a surprise better, so he kept mum.  I know myself.  I tend to struggle with being a bit of a control freak.  I knew that relaxing and just enjoying the day without worrying about what we were going to do next would be fun.  I’m not so great at spontaneity or surprises, so this was out of the ordinary for me.  Usually I want to know exactly what we’re doing, where we’re going and when we’ll be home.  It was nice to release that for a day.

All I knew to start the day is that we had to be ready by 10 a.m. to drop the kiddo off at his parents’ house and that I was fine wearing my regular casual clothes.  We headed south.  As we were driving, I realized how much work this was for him to come up with a date in the midst of the busy and stressful workweek he’d had.  I also realized how much he must love me if he was willing to drive to Indianapolis on a weekend for me.  The poor guy drives that 70-mile one-way commute every single day for work.  If we ever go there on the weekend, I drive to give him a break, but that wasn’t possible Saturday since I didn’t know where we were going.  He’s a good man.  He didn’t complain once.  I told him that I appreciated these things.

My loaded potato chips. Not super healthy, but oh-so-yummy and a fine start to a good date day!

Turns out we were headed to Jersey’s Cafe, a restaurant featured on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”  We’d gone there back in May and it was sooooo good.  Sooooo good.  I tried a cheesesteak, but I had food envy of my husband’s loaded potato chips.  That’s what I got this time around (along with a salad to help me feel healthier!).  The restaurant was in the middle of filming a news interview that will air on Super Bowl Sunday.  We saw a bit of that and talked about the quality of the questions the interviewer was asking.  (It’s what I do.  I can’t help but notice these things.)  We spent a few minutes of our dining experience with a cameraman pretty much at our table.  Not the most romantic thing, but it was fun.  We had a great lunch.  My only regret is that my stomach wasn’t big enough to finish all the chips.  It was sad to leave some there.  (This, my friends, is probably why I’m on a diet right now!)

The camera guy who spent a brief part of our lunch with us.

We had some time to kill before our next part of the date.  We went to a shopping center and visited J.C. Penney.  I had a gift card left from Christmas to spend and was happy to find some new shirts.  Chris did, too.  It was nice to shop and be able to run into the dressing room without worrying about entertaining a toddler.  And I found something nice to wear for his company party in a couple of weeks.  Yay!

Our next stop was to see “Beauty and the Beast” in 3D.  When I’d first heard it was coming back to the big screen, I told Chris I didn’t want to see it.  Then I started seeing commercials for it and realized I was tearing up every single time.  I love that movie.  I own very few movies myself, and I only re-watch a select few movies.  “Beauty and the Beast” is one of them.  I have it memorized.  It started way back the summer in between seventh and eighth grade when I marched with the high school band to “Beauty and the Beast.”  I just absolutely love it. My husband could totally take or leave it.  And that’s why I appreciated that he planned this movie to see.  In fact, he planned it well.  He stopped on his way home from work the day before and bought the tickets in case lunch ran late so we wouldn’t have to wait in line.  Good man, he is!

After the movie ended (and, yes, I totally cried a few times because I’m that sentimental and love it so much), Chris told me what he was thinking.  His plan had been to go back home and play some games together before picking up the kiddo.  I had mentioned, however, a game store that we’ve been wanting to check out while we were eating lunch.  He asked me what I’d rather do: hit the game store or go home to play games.  We opted to check out the game store and were glad we did.  We laughed in the car about how not all wives would think heading to a game store on date day would be a good plan.  But, I did.

In all, it was an incredibly good day.  Having dinner and seeing a movie isn’t something new to us, but the way in which we did it was different.  We left town to do so and it was a surprise to me.  I think the surprise was the best part.  While I try to always appreciate the things that my husband does, I realized that watching him plan this to make sure it would be a good day for me helps me appreciate him even more.  He thinks of me.  He knows me.  He cares about me.  He even brought some napkins back from the snack bar with his drink before the movie started because he knew I’d cry.  Little things that really do mean so much.  These are all things that I know, but it’s so nice to have time and a chance to really appreciate them and really appreciate him for the caring man that he is.

I’d say our first day in the Marriage Dating Project was a success.  He told me going in that he was sort of setting the bar low, but I have to disagree.  I think it was a great date that I enjoyed very much.  I can’t wait to have a chance to give him a surprise date doing his favorite things.  Funny how turn about is fair play, even in good ways!

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