Oh, OK, sorry.
Here's why I need to win it:
- 1990: First date night. Semi-inglorious failure.
- 1991: Successful date night(s) of "college undergrad quality" expenditure
- 1992: More successful date nights(s), albeit of increasing "college grad student lack-of-quality" expenditure
- 1993: Romantic engagement at sunset on family plantation (ED: it was windswept and freezing. And it's a farm). More dates.
- New Years Day 1994: Wedding day!
- 1994-1996: Numerous enjoyable and marriage enriching date nights, mostly funded by gainfully employed spouse
- 1997: Graduate! Move to Japan! Exotic date nights in fascinating places! Complete lack of extended family nearby has no impact whatsoever on date nights. Yet.
- October 1997: First son born. Possibly related in some way to previous availability of date nights.
- 1998: Date nights with a baby. That's not so bad.....
- 1999: Lack of baby sitters impacts frequency of date nights.
- 2000: Second son born in Japan. Move to Washington DC. Date nights effectively terminated by lack of funding. Somehow first daughter is conceived.
- 2001: Move to Athens GA. Daughter arrives. Date nights reactivated but are inaccurately named and occur exclusively during daylight hours. They include a full entourage and inconveniently large amounts of baby infrastructure.
- 2002: Probably went on dates to the public library and read books to the kids.
- 2003: Very surprised to hear of impending arrival of the fourth and final installment of our self-inflicted impediment to regular date nights. Daughter born.
- 2004-2009: Effectively near-exclusive "in home" date nights consisting of enforced kid-bedtime, a rented DVD, and possibly a sip of left-over cooking sherry from the previous years Christmas Fruit Cake.
- 2007 Special Mention: "Worst-date-night-in-history" involved a dog digging under the fence and causing death and destruction in the chicken yard, a subsequent dinner delay and missed movie, a nightmare involving black horse riders induced by a poor choice of substituted DVD, our black cat pouncing on the wife's toes at the exact moment of said nightmare, an opossum attacking a chicken that had hidden from the dog under a wood pile, a vengeful wife holding a flashlight at 3 am and loudly directing me to usher said opossum into the afterlife with the wooden club I happened to be holding at the time of discovery of said creature, a total lack of sleep-in despite the kids all being out on sleepovers, and the straw that broke the camels back, the appearance and scandalously flirtatious behavior of one half of a former married couple of friends, complete with "new" friend, in the book store coffee shop we had finally retreated to in an effort to enjoy a comfortably romantic hour or so. The "worst-date-night-in-history" temporarily put an end to all dates outside the boundaries of our property, but makes a great party story.
- October 2009: Oldest son turns 12 and is legally allowed to watch the rest of the gang while we GO OUT.
- 2010: Practice date "nights" (well, early evening) held. Like, just the two of us. Alone. Seriously.
- 2010 continued: Our first weekend away without kids, since kids (12.5 years). Stunning success! More dates planned when funding available......
After the "worst-date-night-in-history" we developed a preference for uneventful date nights. As such, we will likely go to our favorite locally grown restaurant, then over to the above mentioned bookstore/coffee shop. We will just hang out while browsing food/hobby farming magazines (her) and WWII aircraft/battleship/battle books (him), while daydreaming aloud about the 10 year plan to move to the mountains (*and build a fleet of remote control battleships for the pond). The kiddos will be shipped out to friends for the night, so we will get time to hold hands, eat slowly, & let the candles burn.
*added after final editorial approval
*added after final editorial approval