Date night, or ‘Try not to hate me night’, as it’s known in this house, is ALWAYS a drama. I once booked a babysitter for the whole night with the sole intention of going ‘out-out’. The kids knew the babysitter really well, so it would have been totally fine for her to get them up in the morning. No need to get up at 6am equals a guilt-free late night with time off the following morning to sleep off the hangover. Everyone’s a winner!
“Not his fault, but he spent most of the dinner on the phone, then was too sad to make chit-chat for the rest of the evening”
All dressed up and off to the pub we go for dinner. Approximately four minutes into our first course, my boyfriend legs it to bathroom. I’ll spare you the gory details, but needless to say it was norovirus-related. The nanny had a lovely lie-in the following morning. During another ‘Try not to hate me night’, one of my boyfriend’s friends called with some bad news. Not his fault, but he spent most of the dinner on the phone, then was too sad to make chit-chat for the rest of the evening. It happened to be my birthday. I’m almost over it. I could go on and on – there have been so many bad ‘Try not to hate me nights’.
“The lower your expectations, the more likely you are to enjoy life, I’ve discovered”
Having said all that, lately, date night has, admittedly, become so much more fun. For starters, I go out mentally prepared for the fact I may be returning home within the next 10 minutes. The lower your expectations, the more likely you are to enjoy life, I’ve discovered. ‘Oh, my God, wow, no one is throwing up, we’re drinking wine AND we’re talking!’ Now that’s what I called winning at life, ditto kids tucked up in bed, glad rags on, seated at a bar with a boyfriend in a chatty mood for a change.
“From the wrong angle, I look as though I have Mickey Mouse ears attached to my upper arms”
Donning my glad rags after a long day of drudgery makes me feel so happy. I don’t dress for anyone else, even though it requires rising above a few stifled giggles (the kids are now joining in) – I wear what I damn well please. The other night, as we were leaving the house to go to the theatre, my daughter piped up from beneath her Peppa Pig duvet, ‘Mummy, you look big and weird.’ She’s four and she’s right. Thanks to an exaggerated sleeve detail on my new Arket top, my shoulders did look big and weird. From the wrong angle, I look as though I have Mickey Mouse ears attached to my upper arms. ‘Thank you, weird is such a compliment,’ I smiled, while checking out my NFL-shaped shadow on her bedroom wall.
“In my view, date night is ALL about wearing what makes you feel frisky, fun and free”
In my view, date night is ALL about wearing what makes you feel frisky, fun and free. In my case, that’s a silky, loose-cut top, black skinny jeans and a pair of high-heeled boots. Add a long-handled cross-body bag, a boy-cut blazer, lots of eyeliner and boom – bring on the norovirus, arguments and difficult, interrupting phone calls. So what if you’re sat on your own on date night? At least you look f**king great.