We’ve had some fun in this series talking about #DateNightFails haven’t we? First, I let you ride shot gun on the Dinner Cruise gone wrong. Next, I filled you in on our Taj Mahal run in with horrific couches. BUT I may have just saved the best for last.
Today I have for you a Fail of expensive proportion’s on what should have been the most romantic day of the year.
Today, I bring to you, “that one time I accidentally racked up a HUGE dinner bill under the assumption it was all taken care of.”
Our first married Valentines Day happened to be taking place soon after we started really sticking to a budget. For those of you who don’t know, we’re Dave Ramsey fans and jumped on board with his money management system early on in our married-ness.
So, being the frugally minded wife that I aspire to be, I was BESIDE MYSELF when I noticed a “50% off your bill” coupon to an über swanky local restaurant.
At this stage in our young lives, said restaurant was a place our new budget would NEVER have permitted us to go.
It was located in one of our favorite hip downtown areas. The kind of place that you have to book weeks in advance and everything, even extra condiments, are a la carte. You know the drill. So needless to say, when I found the coupon, I was elated. I couldn’t wait to spoil my new hubby with a fancy schmancy meal and watch the wonder and admiration spread across his handsome face as I whipped out my ½ off coupon. I was pretty sure, especially because it was a Steakhouse, that somehow “Wife of the Year” would be in order.
I scoured the online menu with my hubby’s taste buds in mind. I wanted to make sure I saved enough of my personal money over the next few weeks to adequately cover the remainder of the bill once we used my AWESOME coupon.
Well, Valentines approached and I was stupid giddy.
Everything about that night was a surprise.
I didn’t tell Chris where we were going, just gave him driving directions. And when we pulled up, he looked at me with that, “you’re so sweet, but this is SO not in the budget face.” I assured him that I had it covered, I had been working overtime, saving pennies, blah blah blah…no need to worry.
We entered the swanky, dimly lit restaurant where the hostess promptly found our reservation and ushered us to a secluded booth with a, “Right this way Mr. & Mrs. Rea.”
Feeling Fancy is Fun.
As the menu’s were opened up before us, I’m pretty sure that massive amounts of acid dropped into my precious man’s stomach. Chris stared hard at that menu. “Babe, exactly how much overtime did you put in?” I reached across the table and assured my sweet husband, “Honey, I have a ½ the total bill coupon! (Cue Hallelujah chorus) I promise you, this isn’t going to put a dent in the budget.”
Ease spread across my husband’s face and both of our postures loosened up. We even ordered an appetizer.
The dinner was going perfect. The atmosphere was ideal. The food was to-die-for.
We were winding down the evening in our cozy booth with 2 coffees and endless reminiscing when the waitress approached with the bill.
“Thank you so much,” I brightly chimed. “I actually have a coupon, and I’ll do the rest cash.”
She looked at me so strangely as she walked away from the table with our check in hand. BUT I quickly dismissed it. Assured that she was just in awe of my mad money saving skills.
When she returned 2 minutes later, I learned that it wasn’t awe spread across her face.
“Um, ma’am,” (PS I hate when people call me ma’am) “I’m very sorry, but we can’t accept your coupon this evening.” She curtly smiled and slid the coupon across the table as if I had just offended her first born child.
“I’m sorry?” I scanned the coupon. “ I know it’s not expired.”
Then, I saw it. There in the finest of fine print. Two little words that almost derailed the most romantic of dates nights:
Now, I’m usually a very poised person. I have college degree in theatre. I’ve taught improve classes. I’m typically pretty decent on my feet. But this? This unnerved me.
Thankfully, I’m married to a man that it did not.
That night taught me something I’ll never forget.
As Chris stepped in and handed the waitress his debit card, he covered me. He showed me first hand a lesson I had truly only understood in theory:
In a moment when it would’ve been easy to get flustered and place blame, a husband looked past a costly mistake. He looked deeper than the expensive blunder and the tear stained cheeks and he chose to see the intention of his young bride.
Now please know that I am NOT saying ,”look at my husband.” We would be the first to admit that we know what we know because we’ve done the wrong thing plenty of times.
But what I do know is this, being on the receiving end of grace, that’s just about the biggest gift you can give to someone you love.
Choosing to see the BEST and the intentions of the ones you love instead of merely the situation on the surface, is a principle that could revolutionize your relationships, especially your marriage.
Believing the best in someone isn’t easy, especially when it costs you something. But just think, what old offenses could be re-framed and what tense situations could be softened if we just took a moment and chose to put ourselves in each others shoes?
I’m happy to say that we’re fully recovered from that #DateNightFail so many years ago. And, I now scan coupons like a hawk 😉 Have you ever made an expensive Fail on Date Night?
Until next time,