Friday, July 10, 2009

Date Night After Divorce

Lots of things change after divorce. Though life in the grand scheme is better, some things take a little adjustment, especially when one of you is paying alimony and the other is not getting much because, well, you are dating. Such circumstances send one's creativity, ingenuity, resourcefulness, and frugality into overdrive. I have to admit there is a bit of a thrill to the whole thing.

So here it is Friday night. We are the only ones home and have the entire evening to ourselves. All the light bulbs have been changed; we have single-handedly caused the extinction of dust bunnies around here; the refrigerator is free of all scientific experimentation; the dog is tired of playing fetch; and we have used all the words in the magnetic poetry on the fridge. What can we do with a goodly amount of time and little money? I have a solution. No! It is not what you think! That is free. We are willing to spend a few dollars.

Movies are the stereotypical dating adventure. I suppose this is because at some point they were relatively inexpensive. This definitely is not the case these days. Movie tickets are $7 to $10 and drinks and popcorn triple that cost. It all hardly seems worth spending over $30 to me to go see a movie.

So here it is - a great movie date night under $5. Have you seen the Red Box DVD rentals? They are all over the place from discount stores to McDonald's restaurants. One night movie rentals are a dollar! That sure beats $15 - $20 in theater tickets. We found 2 liter bottles of Diet Coke also for $1 and our favorite popcorn, Popcorn Indiana gourmet kettlecorn, for $2.50. There you have it - $4.50 total.

Okay, there are a few stipulations. You need a TV, preferably a big screen to help simulate the movie theater experience. Hopefully at least one of you got the TV in the divorce settlement. One of us did. A comfy place to sit is also an advantage. Again, hopefully someone ended up with a couch. If not, a stack of pillows, a bean bag chair, or old comforters piled high will work in a pinch. Fortunately, we have a comfortable couch; however, enjoying a movie from any of the above accommodations would add to the experience. How is up to you.

The $4.50 date night also has some definite advantages;
  • No crying babies brought by those who could afford the movie but not a babysitter. (In our case there is the occasional barking dog but somehow that seems easier to tolerate than a crying baby.)
  • The freedom to hit pause if you drink too much of the Diet Coke.
  • The ability to hit rewind if you fall asleep or for other reasons miss part of the movie.
  • You can watch the movie in your pajamas, or anything else, or nothing, if you choose.
  • You are spared the embarrassment of all the teenagers behind you saying, "Look at those old people making out! I didn't think people still did that at their age!

See, the $4.50 date night is a great deal!

Oh. I guess there is one other necessity for this to work - a date. Sorry. You are on your own here. I can't help you with this other than to say that the perfect person most often walks into our lives when we least expect it and most need it.