Frugal Friday--Cheap Dates

7:40 AMHeather

I am a cheap date. Okay, I'm just plain cheap. But, y'all know that I prefer to be called frugal. It's much more P.C. Since my very first date with Chris in September 1990, I've been a cheap date. Well, relatively speaking. See, we went to a Wayne Watson concert, and I think it was free? When we got there, Chris asked if I wanted a t-shirt. Well, I wanted to be able to say been there, done that, got the t-shirt. So, I took him up on his offer. It was only MUCH later that I learned that Chris actually wanted a shirt for himself and thought it rude to not offer me one. He didn't really have the money for both shirts. After all the concert fun, we hit Wendy's--where Chris somehow orchestrated our meal entirely from the dollar menu. To be honest--I don't even remember any debate about that. I was quite used to ordering off the dollar menu.

All these years later, we still don't budget much for date nights. Who am I kidding? Date nights? As if we do that regularly. It generally boils down to the issue of babysitting. But, IF we were to have regular date nights, we have over 20 years of great dating tradition to fall back on. Back in the days of wooing each other, we were pretty creative in our dating traditions.

(1) Picnics--who doesn't love a good picnic? C'mon--how many romantic comedies have you seen where the main characters enjoy a picnic?! Every Wednesday after class, Chris and I would go to the 7-11 and grab potato chips and slurpees with whatever change we gathered. Then, we'd head to the city park to munch and complete the homework from the couples Bible study we were doing. OH, the memories!

(2) Bookstores--this continues to be a staple for us. We love to go to B.arnes and N.obles and sip on a S.tarbucks while looking through books and magazines. We've really enjoyed looking through travel books and dreaming of our big bucket list "the kids are all out of college" someday trip to Italy.

(3) Dollar movies--if you rarely hit the movies, then dollar movies are just a great way to get the Redbox budget movie on a big screen. Or, hit the dollar movie theater on Tuesdays--when it's $0.50! Nothing like a good old fashioned movie.

(4) Dancing--I know it's shocking that two Baylor Bears would have spent most of their dating years falling in love on a dance floor. But, we did. Country and western dancing, of course. If you were at Baylor in the early 90's, then you probably saw us at Melody Ranch or West Fraternal Hall. As adults it's a bit trickier to replicate this--especially because we are not the honkey tonking type. But, we've found that Trail Dust is a lovely place to grab dinner and a little dancing--with no smoking! This is not a super cheap date, but oh the memories! Now dancing in the living room--completely FREE. Some of our friends are taking country and western dancing lessons--now that sounds like a blast.

(5) Walking--I remember when Chris would get off work from waiting tables and come pick me up at my apartment. We'd go swing on the apartment complex's porch swing or just walk around campus holding hands. Everything was so fresh and new, and oh the butterflies my man gave me! Just to be with him and have his full attention. All these years later, there is a depth and stability that I wouldn't trade for anything. But, I would like to go back to simpler times and just soak in his presence more. This involves removing distractions and just giving him my full attention. Truth is, I just love being with my husband. He's my best friend. So I think we just need to carve out some time to be together, walking and holding hands, talking and dreaming. Maybe even a little good night kiss on the front porch--without roommates flipping the porch light on and off!

INTENTIONAL challenge: Our dating years were so magical because of the effort we made to be together. We planned scavenger hunts all over campus, ending with an invitation to a formal dance. I was seranaded by Chris' fraternity brothers. We ate our meals engaged in conversation. We studied together and then took long breaks to catch up with each other's days. We had picnics, rode bikes, took walks, and danced. I think that is the essence of a wonderful cheap dates--just putting in the effort--NOT the money--to be with each other. Oh, I better wrap this up...think I need to book a babysitter!

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