Not for Nothing: It’s Date Night

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Jen Hollidge photo

Not for Nothing in NH is’s new column by Jen Hollidge of Concord.


Jen Hollidge

Jen Hollidge

It’s date night.  I feel like a kid on the first night of summer vacation – the world, chock full of possibilities lays before me.

Grown up time. Yes. What could be better?  Kids are off to Nana’s and while I wait for my Partner in Crime to get out of work, I do my hair and makeup, pick out something to wear and copiously research restaurants on the Internet. Not this one — too fast-food-ish, not that one — too fancy and has some sort of seafood in every dish. Not a chain restaurant. I like this one, but he doesn’t. He likes that one, but I don’t.


By the time he walks through the back door, he finds me on the couch, figuratively pulling my hair out because I worked way too hard with the flat iron to do it literally. No better off than before I started. I don’t know where to go. How can we have so many choices and nothing right?

The pressure of free time. The pressure of freedom.  Decisions.

You find yourself given this precious little gem and become fearful of wasting it, like that bottle of Dom Perignon we were given at our wedding that sat tucked away, always, because was it ever the “right” occasion to drink it? That’s when we start to get annoyed with each other.

“I’m tired. I don’t care, just pick something – whatever you want,” one of us says.
“Whoa, don’t put it all on me. It should be somewhere we both want to go,” the other says.
“Well where do you want to go?” I forgot who said this. Or this: “I have no idea.”

And then the negotiations begin …  At least Madam First Born isn’t eavesdropping and telling us how lame old people are and Little Miss Youngest isn’t here to suggest that McDonalds is “pretty great.”

Big Dog seems completely unfazed as he groans and shifts, sinking further into his corner of the coach. “Let’s just go to the Barley House.“

And we find ourselves at our usual place, in our usual spot, but the ambiance is comfy, the company is handsome, and the conversation is fantastic. Ordinary magic.

We come home to a quiet house.  With Big Dog in tow, we make our way out to the back yard to light a fire and grab an old bottle on our way through the basement. Suddenly it’s the right occasion, and there is no one in this world I would rather drink this old cellar bottle of Dom Perignon with.

I’m Jen Hollidge, a full-time program coordinator, full-time mother of two amazing daughters and full-time wife to my partner in crime for 18 years. We live in Concord, N.H. I have an English degree from the University of New Hampshire and I love to write.