A Nightcap By Any Other Name Still Smells…oh hell, I’m too tired for this.

So recently, Bill and I attempted a date night.  Except when you’re in your forties and married over fifteen years it’s less like Date Night and more like Thursday.

At 5:30 PM.

But it’s not as if we’re senior citizens.  I mean, we completely skipped the Early Bird Specials and focused on the words Happy and Hour. Just like college.

Except with even more happiness. Because we’re married now. For over fifteen years.

So we enjoyed some wine and split several greasy, starch-laden appetizers for less than the price of two cocktails in Las Vegas.  See?


I was stuffed. Plus maybe a little buzzed.

Still, this was Date Night. Or Thursday. And Bill suggested a nightcap.

I said, “Can you call it a nightcap if the sun hasn’t set?”

He didn’t think I was funny.

So I ditched ‘humorous’ for ‘helpful’ and said, “How about the Tipsy Goat?”

“We’re too old,” he said. “That place draws a young crowd.”

“At 7:20 on a Thursday?”

He thought I had a point.

So we slid into the parking lot of the T.G. (that’s what you call it when you suck at being cool) and Bill said, “Bring your ID.”

My heart swelled with the compliment.

Then he added, “Not that you look under 21. But they have a bouncer who cards everyone.”

Thus Date Night became even more Thursday-ish. And once inside, the situation didn’t improve.

“DANG!” said Bill.


“This drink sounds delicious. But it’s called a Margatini.”


“That’s not very manly.”

“Ah. But the word ‘dang’ is? And ‘delicious’?”

He didn’t think I was funny.

So I flagged down the waitress.

“My very masculine husband would like a Margatini. But could you call it something less feminine? Like the Manly-tini?”

Somehow that didn’t sound right, either. But this fact was irrelevant because soon the music started and it was too loud to hear anything.

“I like this song!” I may have shouted.

Bill may have answered, “You’re right! These sweet potato fries are delicious! I mean yummy! I mean -”

“DANG!” I may have interrupted. “You’re manly!”

And perhaps our ears throbbed. And maybe lines formed outside the ladies room. And most likely a couple of my ex-high school students sneaked past me to smoke cigarettes on the patio.

At some point, I probably said something like, “This Cabernet’s going to my head.”

And he probably said something like, “Let’s go home and have sex.”

But instead we probably fell asleep watching re-runs of House Hunters International on HGTV.

Because all the cool kids want a taste of the real estate market in Dubai. On a Thursday.

Ah, yes.

I love romance.

Especially the romantic kind.

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62 thoughts on “A Nightcap By Any Other Name Still Smells…oh hell, I’m too tired for this.

  1. Kir

    Julie, I seriously LOVE you. I swear you write things that I THINK ALL DAY LONG. (you know I recently started drinking again…and wow, It was missed!)

    this was funny, real and had me giggling.

    I cannot wait to hug your sweet self in August!!! 🙂

  2. Add a stop at Safeway to pick up milk on the way home and your date night sounds exactly like ours. Though Craig usually orders his fruity drink in a “man” glass.

  3. This was hilarious. My husband and I were born old, so this was us even in our late 20’s.

    Also: My husband loves any kind of drink that most bartenders believe requires an umbrella. This is his dark secret and he struggles with it. He’s relieved when we go on vacation and he feels people understand vacations mean you MUST have pina colada and daiquiris. Luckily he also drains a beer like a pro, so he has that going for him when we go out.

    I have a friend who hires a baby sitter for their two young children from late afternoon to bedtime when they go out. They like to come home and hang out at home and watch TV instead of staying out late on a date!

    I love being at an age where I simply don’t care anymore and love to rock it like I’m 80.

  4. I can’t tell you the last date night that Duffy & I had that didn’t involve a trip to Target. Or an “all you can eat” buffet.

    The last date night, we went to the movies, I think, and Target (because, well, it’s expected), but we didn’t arrange for overnight care of the kids, so we picked them up at 11 . . . and transporting 2 toddlers home at 11pm means that any of the sexy date-night activities were superseded. You know what’s more romantic than HHI? A two year old begging to watch Elmo.

  5. OpinionsToGo

    Great post…great relationship…great husband. Having humor in a relationship is what turns a good ‘date night’ to a great ‘date night,’no matter how long you’ve been married.

  6. Nikki

    I could picture this in my head the whole time. So sweet and so true.

  7. Di

    Cheers to you Julie for always managing to make me smile!

  8. I’ll take you out for some margatinis. I always say that ‘date night means we fall asleep in front of The History Channel. But I’m wearing eyeliner.”

  9. Hmm. My husband and I have only been married for six years, but with the two kids and crazy life our date nights are pretty old school. I’ll somehow manage to get him to go to Target with me, if I’m lucky, and its just so sexy to shop clearance home decor. Sheesh. So when we do actually go out to a night club or something, I end up feeling SO OLD. And I know I’m not, yet. Quite.

  10. We’ve only been married for 5 years and this is basically what our nights consist of. Except there is usually a toddler trying to grab our margatinis off the table (because we’re lame and rarely go anywhere without him.) AHHH Love!

  11. ROFL! Starting at *Thursday*. Good thing I hadn’t taken a sip of my cafe mocha yet, or I would have spewed it all over my computer. I so want to double date with you guys – sounds right up mine and the dh’s alley. 😉 You should try the TG (love that!) for Sunday brunch. It’s really good and you can get yummy mimosa’s with mostly oj and a splash of champagne if you’re cool like me.

  12. The thought of hanging out a loud bar surrounded by young single people just seems so boring to me at this point in my life.

    Dang. I’m old.

  13. Mel

    It’s my 11th anniversary this weekend. I think we might just go for an exact repeat of this date!

  14. You went to TWO places on date night? You’re so fancy. And if it was me and Adonis I would be ordering the Margatini, because I’m his beard for so many of his less than masculine tastes.

    You two are too adorable.

  15. Awww..this is so romantic. We call ‘date night’ a night when we both happen to be home, the kids are in bed, and are sitting within 10 feet of each other both on our laptops AND both still awake.

    I love you. We can double-date anytime! You are my people. xo

  16. Katie

    Next date night, please go to Bogies! I want to hear your write up on what the westlake kids call the “wrinkle room”!

  17. Seriously, we should double date. Because, ah, your date night sounds exactly like our date night. Did everyone fart in the car on the way home thus making the odds of a sexy night all the less savory?

    Love you!

  18. Working our way quickly to year 20 this post made me laugh. Thanks for a brief peek into a familiar date night. Except our begins at Costco and ends at the grocery store to find a movie we never end up watching from a kiosk. You rock date night. International house hunters? What could be more exciting?

  19. I really love you. Our date nights are sort of same, but order in sushi, make drinks with our juicer,and play rock and….then we go to bed….sounds hot, huh? Except our two boys are involved in each part of the equation. ….but I wouldn’t have it any other way either…

  20. I’m actually a huge fan of the Happy hour drinking (not to be confused with Senior style early bird). Why? Because if feels so Baaaadddd-assssssss to sit on a patio drinking while your kids are at home doing something like homework or being awake. Plus you don’t have a hangover the next day if you stop early enough.

    Just sayin.

  21. Our date nights usually include take-out after the child is in bed and some British sci-fi on Netflix, so by our standards, you two are party animals!

    Rock on.

  22. I would like to know what was in the Margatini.

    And I would love to go out for a date night. On a Thursday. At 5:30. Or any other day and time would do too.

  23. Yes. Exactly all of this. This encapsulates our past several date nights.

  24. Ann

    The word margatini is just plain WRONG. But this post? So right.

  25. You make me laugh! I really, really loved your “manly-tini” word. I think he thought you were super funny. He just didn’t want to show it for some reason. How could he not, right??

  26. This is our date night in a total nutshell.

    We either go somewhere for happy hour (too cheap to spend money on real food) or..Costco. ‘Cause you can both eat for like $7 there. If you’re pigging out.

    And House Hunters International is on 24/7 play in this house too, especially after hours. You know, you MUST have a house that has a balcony “so you can have your morning coffee.”

    LOVED this. We could hang.

  27. –You totally fucking rock.

    I love love love your date night.

    Your greatest fan. Seriously.

    Me. xxx

  28. You can stay awake past 7:20?!? We have lunch dates.

  29. This would be our date exactly if we ever went on one. My husband is the same with the manly drinks and smooth moves.

  30. The perfect end to the perfect night. Gotta love House Hunters International 🙂

  31. “Dang, you’re manly.” Snort! My favorite “date nights” are the ones where I talk hubs into driving so I can get drunk on mojitos or margarita trios and fill up on greasy appetizers, forcing him to carry my full, wobbly butt out the door. At 7:30 on a Tuesday.

  32. Ohmygoodness Julie!

    Date Night or Thursday is perfection, isn’t it?

    Love this! Of course I do!

    Want to go out for manlytinis next Thursday? Or Wednesday. Whatever. I’m cool. 🙂

  33. Omg! Julie! You are definitely hitting your stride! Your writing feels super free. Kind of like the roaches at cheap motels. I loved everything about this post. You are hysterical. As far as my Thursday night fun…I’m still waiting for that vasectomy to kick in. How do I tell my husband to hurry up and whack his pud 30 more times?

    Perhaps sometime my DH and yours can share delicious margaratinis. And talk about the vasectomy thing. By then I should know if it’s all that.

    Until then, date night involves…um…smiling at each other as we do the dishes.

  34. What’s Date Night? In fact, when is Thursday?

    Pssst, my husband orders drinks with the word strawberry in them. Frequently.

  35. If you didn’t eat some food and surf the internet while sitting right next to each other at the kitchen table you’e just kids.

    Or maybe that’s just us.

  36. This totally makes me feel better about the drinks Bryan sometimes orders with little umbrellas–or worse–that are served in pineapple or coconut shells.

  37. Dang. I wish you lived closer. I would love to hang out with you. I love Thursdays and House Hunters Intl. You do rock my friend just more like Neil Sedaka than Metallica. And yes I just dated myself! LOL

  38. I’m exceptionally impressed with such a date night. And not just because I harbor a secret love of House Hunters International.

  39. Mark

    Julie, again a stifled belly laugh so I don’t wake up the roommates. Bill’s still rooted enough on the East Coast that it’s past sundown for him at 7:30 here . . .

  40. I love that your husband says “Dang” and that he orders girly-sounding drinks. I believe the hip kids call that being “adorkable”…

  41. Hysterical.

    We’re coming up on our 8th anniversary in a couple weeks, which will (hopefully) be our last without children. And yet, we can’t think of anything wild or crazy we want to do to celebrate.

    People say your nightlife gets boring when you become parents. Apparently, ours has always been that way. 😉

  42. My partner and I have been together 14 and a half looooong years, and trust me, your date night WAS romantic. hehe
    But you already know that.
    LOVE the post. Got my afternoon giggles on.

  43. So, so funny. Of course humorously written reality is always hilarious, right? Especially that part about falling asleep to House Hunters Interanational, which I may have done on more than one occasion…

  44. “Except when you’re in your forties and married over fifteen years it’s less like Date Night and more like Thursday.”

    I resemble that remark! So much so it made me laugh out loud. Thanks! Great post.

  45. Abby

    Were you & I separated at birth? Did I spell separated correctly–it doesn’t look right. Hate when that happens.

    Oh wait…that would be impossible–us being separated at birth. But, were Jace & Billy? This post is hilarious, but truth be told, it scared me. Really scared me. Is it that our lives mirror each other or one of those things that happens when you’ve been married for 15+ years? LOL


  46. I snorted with laughter through the entire thing.

  47. House Hunters International is my go-to thing. It’s like comfort food.

    My husband and I were at a concert at this club and we were the oldest people in line. A guy came over and asked for our id’s and I laughed and laughed…and laughed. I said, “You can’t be serious. I mean, look at us.” He had to card everyone. Those were the rules. I couldn’t even bother to be flattered.

    You are a delight!

  48. Wait. This kind of date is not normal?


    The 5:30 date with too loud music and falling asleep moments after the baby.

  49. Kim

    Julie, Julie, Julie, thank you for always making me laugh. My hubs and I will be celebrating our 19th anniversary this next Tuesday, but because I always forget the date, I made plans to go out for dinner with our lesbian friends. How’s that for romantic? And. Now I have to be careful not to get too drunk and make a raunchy joke about him having three ladies (and then make them feel bad and awkward). Oh the romance. Cheers to you, you beautiful human!

  50. I would like a Margartini. And some greasy appetizers. And House Hunters International on the TV.

    All in all, it sounds like a perfect date night 🙂

  51. A manly-tini. HA HA HA HA. How about a Margamanly? Even worse, I guess. Found you at Finding the Funny.

  52. This post just made my Sunday night! Hilarious. Awesome. Love.

  53. Love you. In one post you had me jealous over your super cool date night and thinking of Manly from Little House on the Prairie. I’m sure that second part was unintentional.

    Beloved Husband and I got to go out on a date on Friday. We went to Applebees and ate the 2 for $20 special. Then, he ordered a Pina Colada *finely blended*. Oh yeah, we still got it.

    Congratulations on 15 years!

  54. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise — you still got it, baby. Any pilgrimage outside the home on a “school night” of whatever length is major partying. Helloooo, even cool kids have to get up in the morning!

  55. Such truth! After 19 years of marriage the hubs and I use our invites to weddings as our date night. Official wedding crashers. No, not really but it sounded daring.

    Open bars are dangerous to a middle aged mother and I always seem to forget how out of shape my liver is at processing alcohol…

    …and usually end up dancing alone on the dance floor (the true litman’s test of how plastered I am) until the hubs sweeps me off my unsteady feet…

    …and tells me how much I reek of alcohol.

    I really think we should start doing offical date nights.

    Thanks for sharing and giving me a great idea!!

  56. We don’t get ‘date nights’ very often.

    But they almost always end in one of us saying “Let’s go home and have sex”.

    Ok fine, it’s usually me who says it.

  57. That’s perfect.

    Well, I’m not in my 50’s and my wife and I never have these kinds of experiences – it’s usually on a Friday night.

    I have no problem ordering a daiquiri. And throw a little whip cream on it, while you’re at it.

  58. My 86 year old dad, who’s been married to my 81 year old mother for 59 years, incidentally, just asked me why I was giggling so much. “It’s my friend Julie, it’s always Julie,” I replied.

    I bet your husband looks dreamy sporting a manly-tini. Sorry, no, I’m lying. I can’t even say the word Manly-tini without imagining a room full of men at an erectile dysfunction support group…

  59. So Ian gets home Friday and leaves Saturday, I leave Thursday for TypeA, kids go to my Mom, then I discovered I get back the day before him and he thinks he will be having meetings in Miami.
    No date, no sex. 😉
    He may have another family somewhere.
    I think they are Jewish, since he is always home for Easter and Christmas.

  60. Courtney

    You sure hit the nail on the head — I want a limo ride — or a sunroof – so I can stick my head out on PCH!! Maybe not.

  61. You two are too cute. Srsly.

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