With the boys away at AK Youth Conference last weekend and our daughter at my sister's, Mr. Mimsy and I decided it was high time we scheduled ourselves a date.
Over the course of our entire (almost) twenty years of marriage, we've read and heard and listened to marriage experts say over and over how important dates are in maintaining a healthy relationship. And of course they are right; we believe this to be true.
The only thing is, whenever we heard the word "date," we would picture getting dressed up and going to a nice dinner. Somehow, in both our minds, this dressing up and dinner scenario constituted a real "date," and any other activity didn't quite qualify.
Why is it that we get these crazy notions in our heads and then proceed to live them out year after year?? It's not like we ever had a conversation about it as in: "How would you define a meaningful date, dear?" We just continued moving ahead, living our lives, and our semi-regular dates usually involved a nice (or not so nice) dinner out.
Only recently have we turned a mitered dating corner, so to speak, in which we've been discussing what makes this whole dating thing specifically meaningful to US. Conversations like: What tends to bond us most? What activities do both of us enjoy? Do we like staying out or in most of the time? What do we both need in order to feel intimately connected to one another?
Turns out, in the midst of these conversations, the whole dressing up and going to dinner rated painfully low on the romance scale. Matter of fact, we both recalled numerous times the dinner scenario actually did more harm than good, and we later wished we'd saved the money and simply hung out at home instead.
One activity we quickly identified as bonding for each of us was working on home projects together. How ironic, now, to think of all the hours we've spent laughing and groaning and fussing and assisting and critiquing and complimenting one another on project after project around our home, bonding us in unique ways only building and creating can do, yet for some reason we never saw these days and evenings spent with one another as "dates."
Frankly, DIYing times have become my most precious dates of all. Days and evening I'll look back on some day with a smirk and an eye roll, a congratulatory way-to-go, a remembrance of kissing a sawdust-covered face and never loving it more.
And as with more traditional dates, we still enjoy occasional moments of darkness and special "lighting" for ambience.
As for the dressing up part, we've learned that for us, it doesn't matter so much after all.