28 November 2006

Love at home

Rob and I still date after 16+ years of being married. No ball and chain here--we enjoy each other. But I see the day coming when Rob and I will have to figure out ways to plan home dates. The Ancestor is rapidly growing more fragile and unable; physically and mentally, she is falling apart, fast. This frequently panics me, for a variety of reasons, but just now I only want to speak to ways to prevent us from turning into a dateless couple. (Just so you know, I'm not averse to hiring a gramsitter sometimes, except that I have discovered by sad experience that these are exceedingly hard to come by--much harder, it seems, than a babysitter. But that is a topic for a whole nother blog post.)

Home date ideas are what I'm looking for.

So, from the link above I pulled out these possibilities:

•settle in for a movie and eat junky movie food
•play computer games
•play board games
•put together family photos
•have a romantic dinner with soft music and candlelight

I plan to put on my thinking cap and add to this list, but I thought I'd throw it out here and see if any creative minds come wandering by.

Got dates?


Stacie said...

as someone who has to go to the emergency room to get alone time with the hubby, I can say that late night (after the lil ones go down) jam sessions is what we do at our house. I play the bass, hubby guitar... not sure how the kids sleep through it!

c jane said...

Very cool Stacie.

My fav date night at home is staying in bed.

Jamie said...

Ummm...we always count anytime we are together without the kids and can have a conversation as a date. We have ahd Grandma take the girls for a sleepover and ordered pizza and watched a movie, and right now we have a craft night planned at which we are going to sit together at a big table and finish making all our Christmas gifts. It jsut dawned on me reading your post that your life is what we might consider one big date, adn that it must take some effort to make a night at home together special. Hmm. Get a good game...I hope Santa brings me 80's trivial pursuit so I can start anihilating the competition (doesn't that soudn romantic?):)

Geo said...

stacie: That's great! I haven't thought of mutual music for a while, since my living room is currently under construction and that's where my piano is, but hey, we still have easy access to a 12-string, a 6-string, harmonicas, an ocharina (the "sweet potato"), a nose flute, finger cymbals, some tired bongos, a wooden train whistle, a Jew's harp (the Snoopy twanger), a Clackamore, a tin whistle, a slide whistle, and I might even still have those plastic baby heads I once filled with beans for creepy percussion. It's time for a hoe-down!

cjane: Also a fine suggestion. We like to call those "play dates."

jamie: Crafting is a good thought. See, this is also what I need--a jumpstart for my foggy brain so I can remember fun things we've done that I'm forgetting about. A few of the crafty things we've done at home: bookmaking, papermaking, leaf prints (in season), quilting, designing Christmas cards and stationeries. I once gave Rob a knitting lesson. Last year he practically mummified me in duck tape to help me make a dress form. Wasn't exactly romantic, but it was memorable.

By the way, I really think you (and many other folks we know) have an innocently distorted view of self-employment. I am here to tell you it is not "one big date," not even by your definition. It is nice to be able to have lunch together sometimes, but it's always rushed. It is nice to have quick access to each other if there's some kind of emergency, or if we need to spell each other here and there, but mostly it's just business as usual, lots of work, often late work, and a constant striving for balance and boundaries between work and life. I wouldn't trade our arrangement for some other, because it is good to be able to see your lover's mug throughout the day, even if stopping to talk to that mug isn't always a practical option. With The Ancestor here now in our small and acoustically-challenged house, our private space is almost nil. That's not a complaint, just a statement of fact.

As for games, we're big on Scrabble and Mille Bourne.

We also like reading to each other. We've been getting into the Moomintroll series lately. Great books! Good for kids too.

Chemical Billy said...

I was going to suggest reading to each other - that's what Mr. Billy & I do. We play cards, too. Or I read him questions from Trivial Pursuit to see how many he can get through before missing one (it's a lot!). We've just discovered the music thing since I've been taking violin lessons. And just tonight we did some body work together (massage/stretching)...purrr.

And I second what you say about working from home. The deal is that you're never not at work...

liz said...

*card games
(special adult ones for when kids and Ancestor are for sure asleep)

*netflix has been hugely helpful i nthe movie dept. (nothing original to add most likely, I think I was the last person to sign up for this one)

*video games (worms on sega dreamcast is my fav, not so bloody)
-I would love an old nintendo to work him on duck hunt

*make a dessert together for just the 2 of you (creme brulee (sp?) is fun to make)

Geo said...

Darling Billy: Massage! Right! I got a great book earlier this year (from D.I., yay me) on basic massage. My SIL gave me a hot tip on where to get a real massage table for not too much money--could be time to invest. We've done yoga together before, but that's going to be tough till we get our living room put back together. Down in the basement the ceilings are too low for some of the poses. But other stretching . . . good idea.

AND not long ago I ordered some terrific Salsa DVDs! Homebound ain't so bad.

What instrument does Mr. Billy play? (I have a feeling I'm waiting for a ba-dump-bump punchline.)

So you have a hard time drawing the work line too, eh? Ecch. We need secretaries, mebbe.

liz: Creme brulee and cards sounds nice enough to lace an Ancestral nightcap with a sleeping potion, just for insurance. (I wouldn't really do that, folks--please don't call social services on me.) We don't have kids to Benadryl, so they're safe too.

Nintendo, dangerous for the easily distracted, but a very good thought. Netflix? I am still uninitiated, so you're not quite the last.

liz said...

oh! oh! I love netflux so much let me count you the ways!

it's amazing how many movies there are to see from your past (dead poet's society for example) that the husband might not have seen.

and the obvious- a million new ones that you forgot you wanted to see, even classics you didn't want to waste money on.

We take turns with the rotation.

the site is so easy to manage and there is a quick pop-up info box when you scroll your mouse over the picture. It's so easy to sort by category and so cheap it's okay if you take a chance on a random indie movie you had never heard of before.

movie with warm rice crispy treats fresh out of the pot and 2 spoons is about as good as life gets!

liz said...

i meant netflix. not netflux.

Chemical Billy said...

Tho' I like netflux ;).

He plays me like Paganini works a violin...! OK, actually, Mr. Billy plays bass - was in some punk bands in college.

Someday, we'll figure out to play the opening theme from Deadwood. Rather, I'll figure out how to play it - Mr. Billy's got it down.

AzĂșcar said...

We lie in the dark and chitter-chatter about this and that.

Sometimes he'll play piano and I'll sing.

We're low key like that.

Julie said...

Favorite "at home" date? Takeout and either watch a movie or just talk. Very inexpensive. We put the kids to bed first so it's just us.