Amber Breitbach, Contributor
If you’re over 29 and have been in a steady relationship for more years than you care to remember, chances are it’s been a long time since you’ve been on a date. I can assure you, you’re not alone. When two people have shared so many years side by side, often they fall into a comfortable routine. It is important to keep things exciting by going out on dates together once every five years. Now before you throw up your hands or your dinner, please remember that just because you’re going on regular dates every five years doesn’t mean you have to put out. Unless your spouse pays. Then it’s implied.
1) Guilt Trip
“You never take me out any more!” Nagging will not help you land the coveted Date Night. You must take it to the next level. Guilt tripping is far more covert and works much quicker with less argument than straight-up bitching. “You spent eighty dollars on hockey cards? Oh, ok.” Now wait twenty minutes and plant the seed. “You know, I really like going out for sushi, but it’s just so expensive…” If you don’t wait the full twenty minutes, you risk sounding plaintive, which your spouse will definitely find unappealing. If you let the seed go for more than twenty minutes, you may find that your spouse has forgotten he ever spent that much money on his expensive big-boy hobby. Now that the seed is planted, just sit back, relax, and sigh heavily. Eventually, he will get the hint.
2) Get Excited
Once you have landed the date and made certain he remembers the day it is set to occur by mentioning it more than twice a day, it is key to get much more excited than your spouse ever would. Getting a new haircut that is a style he will find odd or off-putting is first on your agenda. You’ll know it’s right if he says “Why did you do that? It looks weird!” Then, stop by the pharmacy to pick up two hair removal creams, one for your face and one for everything below your belly button. Then a trip to the nearest plus-size clothing store is in order. I know that’s in the mall and all those teenagers make you nervous, but you simply must pick up some sexy lingerie that you will be too ashamed to wear. I put mine in the back of my underwear drawer, hidden carefully, never to be seen by human eyes. If it’s in your budget, you could even get botulinum toxin or some other trendy bacteria injected into your wrinkles.
3) Pick a Place to Eat
I love sushi more than I love my family. If God appeared to me in a vision and said I would have to personally murder all of my loved ones with my bare hands or never have sushi again, I would have a really hard time figuring out which roll I would order first after I washed all that blood off my hands. Don’t you dare promise sushi without following through, or I will have an episode – scream, shout, break plates over my head. Just typing the word “sushi” this many times in a row has given me the hunger…I will soon require raw fish and rice, and I pity those who stand in my way. So: “we” “decided” to have sushi on our date.
4) Tell Everyone
Tell everyone you’ve ever met that you’re going on a date. Mention it as often as possible in all contexts. I tell friends, coworkers, waitresses, cashiers, people in the same elevator, triage nurses, traffic cops, helicopter pilots, witches, dock workers, celebrity chefs, Spartans, window washers, French teachers, cleaning ladies, nuns, blacksmiths…even my family knew! That way, if it doesn’t work out how you planned, you can become embarrassed and despondent, which is the emotional goal of all thirty-somethings. After all, we must have something to complain about. This is the same reason people in this age bracket have children and dead-end jobs.
Bear in mind your significant other is not going to dress up. He thinks this is just an average night of going out for dinner. He will have no idea how much effort you put into this once-in-a-five-year-opportunity, since trying so hard is shameful. He will not change out of the clothing he wore to work. If your partner works as a Wall Street broker or a police officer or fireman, consider yourself lucky. If your man works as a manager at a call center where there’s no dress code or HR department, he will be wearing a ripped metal band t-shirt or a sports jersey. Wear something classy so you can look like a parole officer meeting with an ex-con…it will come in handy for some disgusting role play later. The key to seduction is knowing what part of the female anatomy is most attractive to your spouse. If he’s a breast man, use lots of duct tape to pull them puppies up off the ground. If he’s an ass man, try to shove that thing into a pair of tight-fitting pants (lay down on the bed if you need to zip ’em up, but if you’re smart you’ll just go with elastic). If he’s a man of the cloth, you’ve got some serious shit to figure out.
As soon as he gets home from his harrowing day at a dead-end job dealing with people he regards as idiots or enemies, you must immediately remind him of his duty. Know this: he is going to try to back out. “But you PROMISED!” is a useful statement. Another way to deal with his lack of enthusiasm is to go the passive-aggressive route. Sigh loudly and say: “It’s okay, I understand if you don’t want to go out. I’ll just thaw out some hot dogs in the sink.” Then drop your shoulders and drag your feet into the kitchen. Works every time! Once you have him in the car, make sure you drive, so you have control over where you go.
You’ll want to have something to do besides talking to each other, so make sure you bring your smartphone, some kind of i-labeled device, a tiny video screen of sorts, an internet-getting tool, an e-reader, or an actual book, magazine, or newspaper. After you place your orders with the waitstaff, start texting your friends, checking Facebook, watching videos online, looking up traffic reports, etc. Really, anything that isn’t considered communication with your significant other is fair game. It helps to go to a place with TVs on the walls, because then you’re both off the hook. Making conversation with your spouse of more than two years is an arduous task, and you’re out to have fun! Remember, it IS a date after all!
8) What Now?
Well, you’ve primped and prepped for a night out on the town, you’re stuffed to the brim with a disgusting amount of food, your hair is a big pile of straw covered in stiffening chemicals, your makeup melted off as soon as you climbed into the car and the remainder was chewed off during the mass-consumption session. What’s the perfect way to end your quinquennial date night? First, argue with your partner the minute you get into the car, preferably over something unimportant. I like to go for a nice short walk through Walmart, picking up random household items while wildly overdressed and looking like I just got raped in church. Then, once you get home, it’s advised that you and your boyfriend/husband/partner take separate naps. Separate naps are the only way to digest a foul amount of restaurant food. If he is a gentleman, he will let you take the bed and he’ll take the couch. But hey, the couch is where the TV is! How else will I catch up with all my friends on Investigation Discovery?