Date Nights

Eric Schlosser has had a pretty dramatic impact on our lives.  Cherie read Fast Food Nation while she was recuperating from a severe bout of food poisoning.  The book inspired her to change her diet and started her down the road toward an organic sustainable lifestyle.  Her journey inspired me along the way and eventually I got on board too.  Obviously we’ve made some very significant changes to our lives since she read that book.

So when we learned that he was coming to speak at N.C. State University in Raleigh we decided to make that a “date night.”

On our date nights we try to find something fun and interesting to do away from the farm. We’re fortunate to have several colleges and universities within a couple hours of here and that’s where nerds like us can usually find the kind of night out that we like.  This year we’ve seen Charles Eisenstein speak at UNC and Carrie Newcomer perform at Duke, for example.  As was the case with Eric Schlosser’s talk, the events were uncrowded and free to the public.  Next month we’re going to see Vandana Shiva at Wake Forest. Also free.

Mr. Schlosser was discussing his latest book, Command and Control, which examines the history of the handling of our country’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and specifically the near-disasters that have occurred. I haven’t read the book but I have added it to my long list of wanna-reads.

There are plenty of loud and expensive ways to spend an evening away from home.  But I’d guess that nearly everyone has within a reasonable driving distance of their homes plenty of enjoyable, entertaining and enriching “date night” options that cost nothing other than the gas to get there. I’m glad that we do.

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10 comments on “Date Nights

  1. Bill, I am amazed. Here you are driving hours when you could just go to the strip mall for KFC and a booming blowed it down blockbuster

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    • Bill says:

      There was a time in my life when a night out meant a loud bar, a rock concert or a sporting event. That doesn’t interest me any more. Thankfully not since high school have I wanted to go to a restaurant and a movie–no Applebees and Batman VIII for us.

      I don’t like having to drive so far, but that’s a cost of living where we do. I’m willing to pay that.

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  2. Was that the April talk Eisenstein gave at UN Chapel Hill? I was there, too! 🙂

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  3. nebraskadave says:

    Bill, date nights for me are long gone. I do things with women but they know that even though it appears like a date it will never progress beyond friendship. Some women weren’t looking for that and moved on but a handful have become the greatest friends ever. Before my wife died we had date nights but was very limited because of her health reasons. Many times it was nothing more than a ride in the country. She loved the country and always wanted to live there but it just wasn’t to be. I always encourage married couples to establish a date night away from home and kids. It doesn’t have to be expensive or exciting but just talk to each other. Novel idea, huh. We couldn’t do much more than talk the last couple years of my wife’s life but they were still memorable years. We read books together. I read and she listened. She was plagued with anxiety attacks and said it calmed her spirit just listening to my voice. Even though I have a totally different life now, there are still days that I miss those times spent together on date nights. Sorry didn’t mean to get mushy.

    May you have many future date nights.

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    • Bill says:

      May you always cherish those memories Dave.

      I use the term “date night” because for me it’s a night out with my wife. If I were single I’d still try to do it, but I’d find another way to describe it. 🙂

      We started our date night routine when our children were young. We’d get a babysitter and go out. But most of the time we’d end up going to dinner somewhere, then to the bookstore, and we’d be home very early. We came to realize we were just as happy renting a movie and staying home. So our “date nights” were watching movies at home. Now that I’m home all the time we read books together every night, cause that’s what we both enjoy doing. Only very rarely do we watch a movie and when we do it’s usually a documentary. Obviously we are never the life of the party. 🙂

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  4. pattisj says:

    This sounds like a great idea for a date night.

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  5. EllaDee says:

    Regardless of what it’s labelled, deliberate time together sharing common interests is a good thing for a relationship. We don’t have kids and don’t have dedicated date nights but an out of the house out of usual routine event we enjoy is seeing local plays by small groups which the tickets are inexpensive – less than a movie ticket mostly. We’ve see some truly wonderful truly funny and truly awful plays but we do it together 🙂

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    • Bill says:

      Great point. We enjoy local theater too. We’ve enjoyed some really excellent performances by youth theater groups, having the added benefit of supporting their efforts.

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