Saturday, May 5, 2012

What I've Discovered About Planning Dates

My most recent discovery is that it's tricky to get the word out about a fundraiser benefitting LGBT youth when your primary promotional vehicle (namely Yahoo Groups) is acting screwy all week.

But that's not what this blog post is about--I just wanted to get a blatant plug in for my whole "$1 from Nanny State and Secret Confessions going to LGBT Youthline between May 1st and 7th" thing before I really got going.  (Click here for details!)

Moving on...

Tuesday was my four year anniversary with my girl Sweet.  My girl was working all day and I always do volunteer work Tuesday evenings, so we delayed gratification celebration until today.  (Yeah, that "gratification" needed to be crossed out, because we actually got gratified twice this week when we only had a little bit of time together. But I digress...)

In our relationship, it's my job to make plans.

Okay, I HATE making plans.

I get so stressed, but I've embraced both the "planner" role and the "payer" role in our relationship for complex reasons.  I have this mindset of "only the best for my girl," but there are times when, realistically, I can't afford the best.  Or maybe "the best" doesn't suit Sweet's taste.  We're both big theatre goers, but I love opera and she... uhh... doesn't.  I'm a symphony-aholic and she... uhh... isn't.

Beetlejuice was a seriously stupid cartoon.
Why am I citing it? 
Here's a super-random (lame) reference: Anyone remember that episode of the Beetlejuice cartoon series where Lydia's trying to teach Beetlejuice the whole "do unto others" idea, so he fills her room with beetles (I think?) because that's what HE would want someone to do for him? And, of course, Lydia freaks out because her room is full of beetles, but he doesn't understand why she's upset?

Yes, you ALL know exactly what I'm talking about.  You ALL dressed up as Lydia for Halloween two years in a row.  Right?  Or was that just me?

Anyway, my point is (yeah, get to the point Giselle) that what I want to give my partner isn't necessarily what she wants to receive.  Or maybe she would on a different day, in a different mood.

Beetlejuice the movie, on the other hand, kicked sandworm ass.
Is there anybody out there who DOESN'T want to make sweet love to Winona Ryder?
When Sweet got to my place today, I had all these windows open on my computer: we could go to Buddies in Bad Times (there's a strip spelling bee after hours!), we could check out a film down the street or a qu├ębecoise play at the Tarragon, or hot docs, or there's a gay Tennessee Williams play on Bloor West... there's so much to do in Toronto!

But Sweet sat down on my couch and "rested her eyes" because she'd had a tiring day.  I sat beside her head on the back of my couch and watched the pigeon mama and her two little chicks in their makeshift nest on my balcony.  I gave her a whole laundry list of options for the evening, but she kindly said no to everything.  

And for the first time since I started my "planning" frenzy, I actually relaxed. 

We ended up taking a long stroll and then walked up my street until we arrived at a restaurant we'd been to before.  We both have this weird "new is scary" quirk when it comes to restaurants, so sitting down at a familiar table and a known menu was just heaven.  Nothing we did was planned, nothing was pricey, and it was perfect.

So what have I discovered about planning dates?

When it feels like you're pushing it or making things way too complicated or spending too much money, you probably are.  Dates should be fun, and stress isn't fun.  Be fluid.  Things may not work out as planned, but never let the plan overshadow the person you're spending time with.  More than that, there are wonders in your own backyard. 


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