The Tulsa COVID Date Night Post
It’s been about five weeks since my family went completely on lockdown.
The first day seemed like a week and the second day seemed like five days. And the third day seemed like a week again and the fourth day seemed like eight days.
Just as it has for all of you, the entire experience has been a bit of a roller coaster we’ll probably all be working through in therapy for many years to come. In the Morrow-Kondos Five Stages of Quarantine Bra, I got record scratchingly stuck on stage three a long time ago.
The most surprising thing about Covidgeddon is how, for the most part, we’re all managing to have relatively normal conversations despite the fact that the world is now an exercise in surrealism.
Meanwhile, we’re all living with a new normal that includes hearing the phrase “new normal” so many times we never want to hear it again. A new normal where bras are optional but children are suctioned to our souls like barnacles, constantly asking for snacks and the location of things that are literally right in front of their faces.
And when barnacle children are the rule, alone time with one’s spouse is at a premium, which severely limits romantic celebration ideas for our 19-year wedding anniversary in three weeks.
Before the Rona, we had talked about getting a swanky hotel room for our anniversary and maybe spending a night out on the town while we farmed the tweens out to framily. Although local businesses are officially opening back up, our family will still be staying at home outside of necessary trips and curbside pickups.
I turned to the Internet for answers, but all the Internet gods gave me were suggestions like this:
“Have a dance party in the living room.”
No. I love a good living room dance party as much as the next guy, but I reserve it for use as a sneaky way to trick my tweens into exercising.
“Host a virtual double date with another couple.”
“Take a workout class together.”
Why would we do that?
Frustrated, I tried to think back to our last few dates. Let’s see, there was that time we stood in the garage talking for like 17 minutes before Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys busted in.
And then there was the time we stayed up kind of late to watch Outlander.
As I do with every important decision I have to make, I asked random strangers on the Internet for advice on what to do. When the response was a virtual shrug, I knew it was time to get creative.
After spending a little time under my thinking cap, here’s a handful of ideas I managed to rustle up:
1. Give the kids a pizza party.
If your kids are old enough to manage themselves in their own space like mine are, let them order the pizzas to their liking. If they’re not, use all of your parental wizardry (or melatonin if you’re not opposed to it) to get them to bed early.
My kids love the chance to order a Deadpool pizza, something our D&D Dungeon Master turned them onto that my husband thinks is from the bad place. Sprinkle generously with snack and candy bribes to give you alone time. Just add Netflix and stir.
2. Have cocktails delivered or pick them up.
Currently, alcohol can be delivered to your home. This will end May 15th unless the ABLE Commission decides to extend it, which would be an awesome topic for an opinion piece in the Tulsa World by someone with better time management skills than me.
In the meantime, many restaurants are offering drinks and beer for takeout right now. Mojitos on the patio? Yes, please!
3. Watch a first-run movie.
Our family loves going to the movies, and to us, there’s nothing quite as fun as settling into a dark theater, mixing your own Owencorn right there in the eighth row. But even if you can’t shell out half your paycheck for snacks right now, you can enjoy watching a first-run movie at home thanks to the magic of the Interwebs. Here’s a list of what’s out, what’s coming out, and where to watch it.
I recommend making the experience as movie theater-like as possible by turning off the lights and ordering movie theater snacks in your curbside pickup grocery order. Lights, camera, action! But not too much action. The kids are probably still awake.
4. Enjoy a romantic backyard dinner.
Fam, my husband is an incredible chef, so my favorite restaurant is my house. But if you’ve got a grill in the backyard, you hardly need to be a masterful culinary artisan to cobble together a great meal. Or order take-out and enjoy it al fresco.
Dig out your Christmas lights and some candles for a little ambiance, order a bottle of prosecco or sparkling grape juice if you’re not drinking, and throw down a picnic blanket or have a seat on your patio chairs. If you’re in an apartment, you can get creative and dine on your balcony.
5. Share some local artisan ice cream.
The Rose Rock Microcreamery offers a wide selection of absolutely magical ice cream flavors including vegan, dairy, and gluten-free options. Disney Lovers will be thrilled to see Pineapple Whip is on the menu. There are also intriguing choices like Lavender Honey and their specialty, Rose Rock (strawberry with candied pecans), and you can order a quarantine special that includes toppings, three pints, and six cones.
6. Go for a drive.
Drives are magical if you have little kids because if you time them right, the kids will end up napping through the whole thing and you’ll get romantic adult time. Even if your kids are a little bit older, they’re in the back of the car. When our kids were younger, this was as close to dinner out as we got most of the time.
With spring in the air, there are tons of beautiful places to drive right now. Try taking on the Green Country Oklahoma Adventure Tour, which travels over Oklahoma’s most scenic roads. Everything you need to know about the GOAT can be found here in this Google Drive.
7. Pick strawberries.
Joe’s Farm in Bixby is enforcing social distancing and allows you to pick your own organic strawberries. Technically, you probably can’t do this one without the kids unless they’re tweens or older, although I would personally be eaten alive with unwarranted maternal guilt if we did this without the kids anyway.
It’s a perfect backdrop for romantic couple convos, which in our case usually consists of making snarky comments to each other a la Benedick and Beatrice. You’ll need to pick a slot for strawberry picking ahead of time, and they go fast.
Do you have any anniversary inspiration to share? Leave me a comment below. Thanks for reading, and have a beautiful, socially distant week!