Cheap Date

I had another long work day yesterday so booked today off in order that Fionnuala and I could go shopping for new outfits for her brothers wedding next week. We hardly ever get time together alone so vowed that we would make the most of it. A romantic lunch perhaps? It was pay day after all so the world, or at least Belfast, was our oyster. I hate oysters by the way. Most seafood actually.

I think the last time I went clothes shopping was 1998. It was a Tuesday afternoon if my memory serves me right. I used to be a right clothes horse. I would only wear designer brands. Everything was a label. I thought I was Noel Gallagher. In reality I was a bit of a prat. But clothes shopping was a major pastime for me. I knew where to go for all the best brands and bargains.

Fast forward twenty years and I am clueless. All the shops I knew are gone, replaced by retailers that mean nothing to me. I’m less fussy now. I just want a blue or a grey suit. That fits me and is machine washable. As quickly as possible please. With the minimum of fuss. And none of that skinny fit nonsense. I want to be able to walk around without flaunting my junk for the world and her auntie to see.

Fionnuala guided me through the fitting room hell with the patience of a saint. Eventually we agreed upon a reasonably priced grey suit with white shirt and purple tie. I couldn’t get out of the shop quick enough. My days of being a fashion doyen are long gone. Nowadays my wardrobe consists of 1) loungewear 2) running gear or 3) work clothes.

I have no ‘going out’ clothes probably because we never go out anywhere. But we resolved today to ‘do lunch’ together. So where did we end up? You guessed it. Sitting in the car eating sandwiches we bought in a garage and sharing a packet crisps. Listening to 1980’s ‘golden oldies’ on the radio as we stared out at the rain battering against the windscreen. With the heat on full blast. It is late April after all.

And you know what? We were as happy as two pigs in a big pile of poo. If we could have changed into our pyjamas we would have. An hour alone with food (which we chose ourselves), music (which wasn’t the new Shawn Mendes song played for the billionth time) and best of all not having to separate three hatchlings from tearing each other’s throats out. What’s not to love about that.

We all have hopes and aspirations. Fionnuala and I are no different from anybody else. But we should also appreciate the simple things in life as well. Sometimes it’s nice just to pull over and let life flash past for a while. It can wait for an hour. When your every waking moment is fretting about family issues or work worries. When you’re pushing yourself to run marathons or write books.

Sometimes doing nothing is the best choice. Or as little as possible. I constantly feel like I’m running out of time rather than appreciating the time I have. I’m falling over myself straining to see what’s down the road instead of looking around me and enjoying the moment. Who needs fancy restaurants and designer clothes when you can share a bag of crisps in a deserted car park?

What’s the cheapest date you’ve ever been on?

What are your simple pleasures?

39 thoughts on “Cheap Date

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  1. Brilliant 😄 Can’t beat a bit of Gold on the radio and sometimes you don’t need to do anything fancy to just chill and enjoy each other’s company! In the summer I sometimes cook dinner at home then pack it up in containers and we walk to the lake and eat it. Watching the water and the sun go down is all we need at that time 😊

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  2. Love this post! Well, you already know our favorite show. Just sitting together is our favorite pastime Grilling a,steak and eating on the deck we built last year is the cheap date. We just love each others company. What more could we want?

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  3. This sounds like a day to keep tucked into the replay-later-memory-bank. My favorite days are when hubby and I go hiking in the woods for the day, or spend the day fishing. Even just taking a day to do absolutely nothing, except be with each other. ❤️

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful date! Sometimes we do just have to slow down. A simple pleasure of mine is when my family and I are out on the deck during a summer evening, eating popcorn, telling bad jokes, catching fireflies, and playing with sparklers. Thanks, that image kinda made my day ☺

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  5. Sounds lovely! Our cheapest date: a lovely walk along a peaceful river nearby with a stop at a nice little cafe (we call it a deli). We have a cup of tea and sometimes a packet of crisps (we call them a bag of chips though). 🙂

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  6. My husband had great plans to celebrate my 70th birthday this month. Then he ended up in the hospital with major surgery and my birthday date was sharing some hospital food. But we were happy – after the surgery it was touch and go for awhile if he was going to make it. So eating together in the hospital – and trying to talk between nurse visits taking vitals and lab technicians taking blood – it was a great birthday date.

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  7. Cheapest date? Going to the restaurant we both worked at for free food before going to my place to watch movies I already owned. Simple pleasures? Frozen pizza and Netflix.
    From what you wrote, it sounds like you both had a wonderful afternoon!

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  8. A lovely time you two had so pleased to hear it! a bag of crisps, yes that is what i want now, unfortunately though there arent any in my house. simple pleasures, reading, listening to music, hanging with friends…xxx

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  9. This is so me! I always try to plan something exciting to do during the 2 hours, twice a week when I have the luxury of both kids being in school. Lately, I’ve been 100% content with watching old episodes of Fixer Upper during that time! Totally lame, I know! ha

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  10. My husband and I are always up for a cheap date. Any date for that matter. So a typical cheap date for us is a burger out and collapsing on the couch to watch a movie of our choice (not the kids’).

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      1. This morning in church, the pasto, Mark, is Irish and the music leader is Irish, and as they talked, I thought of you, and worried that now I will read your blogs with an Irish accent in my head. What a melodic and beautiful sound, and they are from Belfast. How about that. People from Scotland, Britain, Ireland, South Africa, Portugal, and America, all worshiping together. It’s like my British mysteries coming alive, as I think, boy she looks like Miss Marpkle and sounds just like I thought Miss Marple would.

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