I Don’t Believe in Date Night – A Comment for the Comments
So a crazy thing happened on the way to the weekend…my Huffington Post piece continued to gain legs and on Friday it appeared on the homepage of AOL.com and before I even had a chance to say “do you want yogurt or apple sauce with breakfast?” to Little D that morning, there were thousands of visits to my blog and hundreds of comments forming on the piece.
Now let me back up to say that writing – and having people read that writing – has been a lifelong dream of mine. And this, my friends, was the biggest pinnacle to-date in that dream. The Huffington Post is a long way from the (now defunct) Montreal Mirror, which gave me my first byline while I was in journalism school.
It turns out I wasn’t really prepared.
I have friends who are actors, singers, designers, artists and all of them put their creativity out there for an audience day after day, but this was really my first time on a scale such as this.
Now I know why they don’t read their reviews.
I immediately started reading the comments and, of course, focusing on the negative ones. People who thought I was criticizing the date nights they love so much. People dissecting my marriage based on the 650 or so words I had shared with them about it. People telling me I was a crummy friend…or worse, an alcoholic.
I emailed my editor to see if most contributing bloggers reply to their comments and it turns out that some do and some don’t. But with the number quickly growing, it became evident that trying to do it in that forum wasn’t going to be realistic. I wanted to address the naysayers as much as the supporters, but individual comments just didn’t seem feasible. What I had no interest in doing was defending my marriage. It stands up for itself.
So I decided to use my own personal forum here to clear up a few hot buttons from the piece for those readers who have taken the time to get to know me a little more via this blog:
First, as the title states, this was simply what I believe in regards to the notion of date nights. I am sure they work wonders for millions of marriages out there, they just aren’t a pillar of mine. I am not criticizing you if you count on yours every Friday and have for 30 years. I am not telling young couples not to do it. I am not trying to put the waiter at your favorite date-night spot out of a job. This is just what I believe.
Second, we do go out. We have two kids. Of course we go out. But we tend to find that we prefer to save our nights out for group outings with good friends or girls’ or guys’ nights on our own, rather than using the babysitting budget for traditional “date nights.”
The truth is, yes, I do share many of my friends’ conundrums with skater hubs. This one was particularly sensitive to some readers. What I have found after being with the same man for so many years, is that a) most of my friends assume I tell him most everything and are fine with it and b) often times, they appreciate the male perspective they get from him anyhow. Some of them just go direct to him when they want to. I don’t consider it a betrayal. In fact, I assume that most of the issues I share with them are going back to their husbands and partners for review, too. And that’s fine. Because, in turn, as good friends, I assume neither one of them will judge me for it.
A lot of people objected to my point of view on marriage and relationships because of my age. Yes, I am 34. Yes, I met my husband when I was 17. But here’s the thing: I actually think that couples in my generation have more challenges up against their relationships than generations past (more on that in another post to come) so I don’t believe that you necessarily gain wisdom with age in this arena. I believe you gain it with experience. And that, after 17 years and two kids, I think we have….hopefully with much more to come.
Finally, the wine thing. I had to laugh out loud at this one. Yes, I enjoy a glass of wine in the evening to celebrate keeping my kids happy, healthy and safe for another day. For maintaining my own business in one of the toughest economies the world has ever known. For being able to look across the table at my husband and still adore him. It does not mean I have a drinking problem, it does not mean my relationship only survives because of happy hour and it certainly does not mean my kids are going to go missing in the middle of the night (I particularly enjoyed that comment, thank you!). It means that I, like every other mother and wife out there, like to sit back at the end of the day, relax, and look around at a job well done. I just like to do it with a glass of sauvignon blanc in my hand.
Thank you all so much for taking the time to read the piece, to explore the blog, and for your comments…good and bad.