James and I started a new approach to dating. And it’s amazing.
Yes: we’re married. But it’s nice to date your husband, if you know what I mean.
And in true marital fashion, lately we’ve been going on Chore Dates. I know. They sound SO FUN. And they are.
Here’s how they work: We spend the first hour tackling a chore of some kind and the second hour celebrating our accomplishment.
More details: The chore is something that we’ve been needing to do together, but that’s been hard to find the time to do quietly in the evening with a sleeping baby just a thin, thin door away. Or the chore is a task that needs undivided attention even if a nap ends abruptly. Or it’s something that’s been hard to rally the energy for after the tenth reading of Madeline.
Whatever the chore, we do our best to be realistic about how long it might take so that we don’t sabotage our actual date. That means something like repainting the whole apartment would be out of the question, but hanging a new light fixture would be totally doable. We’ve been planning these dates as early evening affairs so that if need be Faye can be out and about with a babysitter in case there’s something we need to get done at home.
The very best part is that the chore/date combo means that there’s incentive to get through the chore efficiently because you’re anticipating the fun of the date. And on the flipside, once the chore part is done the date feels extra well-deserved because you’ve just checked something off your list. It’s like a little reward for what we’ve just accomplished! It’s the over-achiever’s date night dream come true!
Here are examples of chore dates we’ve been on so far, just to give you a sense of how this goes down:
Meet at home
Dissassemble and drag old mattress, box spring, and bed frame down many flights of stairs. Manage not to fall down stairs or insult one another’s physical strength.
Put together new bed frame. Manage to do it right the first time, without hissing.
Set up the new mattress. Still no hissing.
Run, literally, out of the door so that Faye can return in time for dinner/bath. Adrenaline rush.
Oysters/Dinner. All at the same place, all in an hour. Home before bedtime. To sleep in a newly set-up bed.
Meet at a coffee shop on the LES. Manage both to arrive on time.
Seal, sign, deliver electronically our taxes. Have only temporary existential crisis about careers/future/bank accounts.
Begin to hatch plans for summer travel. Have another existential crises about careers/future/bank accounts.
Split small plates/gawk at stuffed game on walls/eavesdrop on tourists. Subway. Home just after bedtime.
You guys? Already doing this?