SERIES FINALE: Date Night Fail Part 3 and the HUGE Lesson It Taught Me!

Date Night Gone Bad

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.”

 

Tah-Dah.

 

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.

Coupon fails at restaurants

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.

Date Night Gone Wrong-NoSmallLife.me

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.

Date Night Restaurants

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:

 

“Holidays Excluded.”

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:

 

Grace.

NoSmallLife-When good Date Nights Go Bad

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,

 Meg

 

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Comments

  1. OH my goodness how awful at the time but a great story now! One time I accidentally bought the wrong Groupon and didn’t realize my mistake till my husband pointed it out. Not as expensive as your date night fail but similar feelings for sure. a great story and a great lesson learned!

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    • Oh no! Isn’t that a bummer? Especially when you think you’re doing something so smart!? 🙂 I did something similar on restaurant.com. You’re not alone 😉

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  2. Ha ha that’s awful!! I would not have even thought “holidays” included valentines day!

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  3. Oh my gosh! I would have lost it! Haha. And my husband and I both love Dave Ramsey and his views on money management and marriage! I got a good laugh at your post! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Angela
    http://www.hangrywife.com

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  4. I love this! I can totally picture the scenario and how you must have felt when that coupon wasn’t honored. It’s so lovely to have someone who can keep a cool head and help in those situations. Sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s my husband, it goes back and forth. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. I was really nervous the whole time I was reading that!! haha. My hubby too saves me with unexpected Grace in these situations! Is Valentines day a holiday??

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  6. I have loved reading your date night fails…and the lessons you have learned along the way! Thanks for Linking up at My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again this week!! Pinned!

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  7. I love reading about your date nights…so entertaining! Thanks so much for linking up again at Share The Wealth Sunday!
    xoxo
    Lisa

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  8. Oh I feel you. I insisted that I pay for a date so much and so often when we were courting. Finally, my then-fiance now hubby gave in. Except, I didn’t have any money to pay. I was so embarassed but he just laughed. Now, it is just a great story!

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  9. Aw, what an awful feeling that is! It’s great that you were able to learn a little grace and get through it together though! Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty!

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  10. I’m pretty sure I’d have cried as well! We love to splurge on the occasional YOWZA-type restaurant for our date nights, but at least we knew what we were getting into! At least you have the story now! Thanks for sharing this with us at Merry Monday last week, and please pop by again this week!

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  11. Oh man! The fine print – argh! Thanks so much for sharing at the Let’s Get Real Link Up!

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  12. We had a similar thing happen to us. Year ago we went out for our 5 year anniversary to one of the fanciest restaurants in town. We knew it would be pricy but we wanted to splurge. The first hint that it was a terrible mistake was when you sit in a pretty room before being taken to the table and they offer you a glass of champagne. I asked to see the list (so I could check out the prices) and instead the waitress recited what they had. We just went with it and ordered two glasses, then sat down for dinner.

    At the end of the meal, we almost had a heart attack…our meal was several hundred dollars (starting with the champagne that turned out to be $25 per glass…we don’t even buy bottles that expensive!). My sister later told me that she had heard a morning radio show devote a whole segment to people that had also eaten there calling in with their stories about the shocking moment when they got their bill at the end of the meal.

    Needless to say, we didn’t go out for awhile after that…haha
    Thanks so much for sharing your story at Share The Wealth Sunday!
    xoxo
    Lisa

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    • Oh my goodness!! Several hundred dollars! Just think, if you had gone a few days earlier, you could’ve been in the radio! lol 🙂 we had a few “home dates” after our debacle as well, isn’t it nice to know we’re not alone 🙂

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  13. Belinda Letchford says:

    Loved how you saw grace in this story. Great story too.

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  14. This was a great series, I wanted to stop by and let you know that your post has been Featured as part of our Oh My Heartsie Girls Wordless Wednesday.
    Hope you will join us and Linkup, in progress!!
    Have a great week, Karren

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  15. Fun story to read. I’ve had a similar experience with a similar reaction. It taught me a lesson about reading those restaurant coupons! Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday.

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  16. OH. MY. GOSH! I can’t even imagine…no wait – I can lol. This kind of stuff happens to me all the time! It’s like my brain has blinders on because I’m so excited about what I think I’ve just found. Haha thanks so much for sharing this series, I was glued to the computer screen the entire time I read it – and that’s saying ALOT. 🙂
    -Heather

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  17. Thanks for being so real, and letting it all hang out for us. Yes, grace. How ownderful both in our Savior, and our spouses. Here from Two Uses Tuesday.

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  18. I’ve had something very similar happen to me before! That small print is the worst!

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  19. I really appreciated this blog post! I want to share this in my weekly series called “Roll Out The Red Carpet Thursday” – I share bloggers’ amazing posts that I’ve found during the week. I hope that’ ok! Have a wonderful day! 🙂

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  2. […] No Small Life // Date Night Fail Part #3 […]

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  20. […] Date Night FAIL & the HUGE Lesson It Taught Me! […]

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  21. […] If you’d like to learn from our Date Night mistakes, then don’t miss this series of posts: Date Night FAIL 1, 2, 3 […]

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  22. […] a good deal! You know me too well for that right? I’m the girl who makes FREE side tables and tries to use coupons for everything. […]

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  24. […] mean, yea, me neither 😉 😉 Remember when we talked Date Night Fails? (here’s 1, 2, 3 Examples!) Well that just Segway’s quite nicely into the 2nd thing your relationship probably […]

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