A year of dating and what a gift it can be

Featured image

As you know Valentine’s Day (or singles-awareness day) recently just passed. In celebration of this I thought it would be nice if I shared with you the single best thing I have ever created. Okay, that’s excluding last years’ Secret Santa treasure hunt present I made for my boss and this one English assignment I did in Year 12.

Feeling inspired by an awesome idea created by the thinking closet (I take no credit whatsoever for this idea) I decided to come up with my own 12 Months of Pre-Planned dates. The general gist is I would pre-plan and book a unique date once a month and Matt and I would do it. In turn this would take the stress out of thinking of something to do and give us an adventure to always look forward to.

It was a really simple book made from 12 paper cutouts with each month and what we were going to do printed on it. These cutouts were then connected by a stolen ring binder. It took me longer to think of the escapades than it did to cut it all out and put it together. The hardest (but most fun) part of creating the book was balancing the expensive dates with the cheap ones and making all the seasons match up with what I had chosen to do. NO ONE wants to go on a picnic in February in England … NO ONE!

Despite being super excited to show Matt what I had done I decided to wait until we were our at dinner to give him the book. Once we had had a few drinks and were just past the entrée – bread and butter trump all giving of gifts – I handed over my crafty project like a proud child showing the shitty picture they drew at daycare to their parents.

As Matt flicked through the book he slowly realised what it was and his face said it all. He actually loved it. More than that, he said it was the best gift I had ever given him – even better than the expensive watch and nexus tablet I had bought him for previous birthdays. Can you believe it?

That night we had a ball going through the pages together and he got to listen to all the reasons I chose each date. It was the cherry on the top of a lovely evening and a gift that really keeps on giving. So here’s the part where I show you a few of our pre-planned dates and why I included them:

MARCH: FORTNIGHT
Build a fort. Rent a movie. Order a pizza.

Matt and I once did this on a whim in rebellion of being adults. There’s nothing quiet like getting comfy in your own personal fort that you can sleep in without getting into trouble. But then again nothing makes you feel more grown up that having to pack away your own fort.

APRIL: SUSHISAMBA
Get your glad rags on because this table is booked for (specific date – not telling because it’s impossible to get a table and I don’t want you to steal it!!)

Matt and I have been planning to eat here for a few years now and I keep getting invited to go with friends and work so he’s never actually been. This will be our chance finally to go together.

JULY: ROADTRIP
We don’t have to go far we just have to get out. How about a road trip to Oxford?
*** Ice cream is non-negotiable.

When we first got together we used to do a lot of road trips to the seaside so this is our chance to relive all those fun times as well as go somewhere we’ve never been.

OCTOBER: FOOD CRAWL
A pub crawl but better. Half the fun is planning this one together. THE RULES: All three courses must be in three different places and you cannot choose somewhere you’ve already been!

Because why not? I girls gotta eat.

JANUARY: YOUR TURN
This month Matt has to pick what we are doing. Pick a time and a place and it’s on. We don’t have to spend money, we just have to spend time.

I should get at least one month off right?

So there you have it. With just a little bit of time we now have a date a month to look forward to this year. I hope this inspires you to get your cheap skate on and make your special one something awesome like this too. Just a thought: this would probs be even better with your best friend.

Final note – Matt and I are not the beautiful couple featured at the top of this post. Below is a picture of us on our first date in the book in Copenhagen. We’re pretty drunk.

This is us - so pretty huh?

Advertisements

The one article every 20-something year old MUST read

I am so about to get into a mini bitch fit. This week alone I have seen various friends sharing and liking articles from Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog that are peppered with 20-something year old women embarking on risqué activities like flashing their breasts in bikinis + jumping fences that say ‘no trespassing’. The article title is always something similar; ‘why 20-something women need to stop thinking like 30-something women, ‘Relax – you’re only 25′ and my personal favourite, ’10 reasons why getting married at 22 is like leaving the party at 9pm.’

It doesn’t take a genius to realise why these kind of articles get the bee under my bonnet buzzing. I always click on them because I would like to think I could relate to them being a 21 but I always get half way through and notice that they are geared towards two things; painting a carefree picture of 20-something year old life and avoiding monogamy like the plague.

One of the articles I read was just a giant list of why you shouldn’t even THINK about being in a relationship with someone when you are in your twenties because being in your twenties is for having fun and fun only. And everyone knows that being with someone means you aren’t having fun.

I feel these articles are created to make some girls feel good about their existence while victimising and ridiculing others. And it worked because for a split second it made me think; gosh I seem to have my shit pretty well put together … maybe I am missing out?

You see the effect of reading shit like this creates? It has the potential to be very destructive. For both types of women who read them. If you don’t have your shit together and are wandering around aimlessly these articles might serve as a reminder that you are doing everything you should be because you are 20-something. You don’t need to think of the future, have career prospects and you most definitely don’t need to be in a relationship because you should be sleeping around and binge drinking yourself into oblivion every Thursday night.

On the flip side if you do seem to be on a path that seems a little older than your age because life handed you lemons and you grabbed hold of them this article serves as a reminder that you might be too grown and out of touch for your age. You are missing out on all the fun because you are getting married and leaving the party at 9 whiles the rest of us just settling in.

I mean come on! Life isn’t made from a cookie-cutter and not everyone needs to have identical experiences in order to have lived. You may have travelled to Europe, got a degree, jumped out of a plane, paid into your pension, entered a wet T shirt competition, got engaged, bought a car, gone backpacking, moved out of home, discovered you were gay, started a cake business … all this stuff isn’t on some checklist that’s being held in the heavens for when you pass on into the next life. God isn’t going to be waiting for you at the pearly gates to tell you that you can’t come in because you didn’t tick donkey riding in Peru off ‘the life list.’

And doing any of these things out of the sociably acceptable sequence does not mean you are a success or failure. It means you did life the way it came to you. I mean, I was fortunate to have met Matt when I was 20 and I sure as hell wasn’t going to lose him because I was young and thought there was more to be done or had or tasted in the world.

These articles may seem harmless on the surface but they are just another way in which society is imparting its voice on who, what, when, where and how you should be. And in reading them we are choosing to accept these imposed rules.

I’m definitely not saying don’t read them, not by a long stretch. I know that it’s nice to feel connected particularly when you haven’t got your shit together. To know that perhaps someone out there doesn’t too and it’s okay and you’re not off track. I’m just saying, don’t mold your life around these ideals. You are a human and someone else’s idea of living doesn’t have to be your own.

If you want to go on safari and live in a tent for the rest of your life … do it.

If you want to live in your home town & marry your high school sweet heart … do it.

If you want to dress up as the opposite sex and sing ‘I shot the sheriff’ … do it.
(please, I will pay to see.)

The only thing I ask is that you don’t ever put someone down for not walking in your shoes.