The 35th Birthday Freak Out

March 27, 2020

PRINTABLE: Quarantine Date Night Deck

March 27, 2020

First and foremost I hope this post finds you healthy and safely indoors. These are – I can’t even find the right word to describe them – times, and the better we all stay safely quarantined, the sooner they’ll be behind us all.

I’m writing from Los Angeles where my husband, dog and I have been (mostly) indoors since Thursday, March 12th. That’s 14, 75 hour days; 13 episodes of The Americans; 12 outlines I wrote for the TV show that’s (blessedly) still employing me; 11 dish washer washes; 10 One Down Dog Zoom yoga classes; 9 diced tomato cans; 8 home made nut milk lattes (that’s my maids-a-milking attempt); 7 days of WF our 1 H table with my husband; 6 discussions about whether or not to watch Tiger King; 5 Zoom cocktail hours; 4 pair of pants worn between us (3 are my husband’s); 3 safely sanitized take-out orders (please safely support your local businesses!); 2 rolls of paper towels (I use them like I use the $65 face oil I never should have bought in the first place); and 1 hour actually watching Tiger King (I don’t know guys. I kinda just stressed me out…). Things are so crazy that I just decided it was wildly important to assign a description to the numbers 14 through 1 for this blog post. I don’t apologize. You get it.

If you’re finding yourself on this blog for the first time, you might be confused. I kept 20-Nothings.com for a decade, from 2007-2017. I’m reviving it for the purpose of this specific post. I thought it might come in handy some day. I hoped for a thank you post on the occasion of my Academy Award win, but here we are.

In Pre-Pandemic Times (PPT) my husband R and I tried to have date night every other Wednesday night. We’d trade off surprising each other with the activity of the eve (shout out to Mike & John from whom we stole this idea). Date nights are nice for obvious reasons, but they are important for reasons that can easily be lost in these truly trying times. It is necessary to keep finding joy in small ways. It is special to take a little extra time to surprise the people you love. It is healthy to find variety in your schedule. It is critical critical critical to have something to look forward to in your weeks of quarantine.

The QUARANTINE DATE NIGHT DECK grew out of all those needs, in addition to my need to step away from the ‘gram and play with colored pencils (on a project I immediately ‘grammed).

My goal: a series of simply-themed, choose-your-own-adventure date nights for R to pick from every Wednesday. (We’re going weekly. We need it) The reaction: pure joy. That’s why I made a blank, printable set for you.

Let me be clear about you. You could make these for your sweet kids, not your lousy husband. You could be a man making them for his wife. Or a wife making them for her wife. Or any combination of gender identity + relationship. You could make one of these for every member of the cult on your quarantine compound. Or – and this is really important – you could make these for yourself as a personal treat. I’m working on a way for you to make these for your dog, but I can’t find meat-scented computer paper (for his selection process, obvs). Stay tuned.

A date is a unit of time to do something out of the ordinary for the purpose of love. Interpret as you will and broadly.

Below below are the blank, PDF files that you can download and print. Below right here are images of my original finished product. You’ll see how the back is filled out with the theme of the night and specific drink/food/fun/outfit options that go with the theme. You’ll also see that I spelled Quarantine wrong. Feels right.

Finally, please make sure all of your options involve take-out or curb-side pick up and activities that keep you safely at home. Here is a great video that helped me learn how to sanitize food that we bring into the house. Here is a better video of Italian mayors yelling at residents to stay indoors.

It is not required that your activities be alliterative, but it’s a firm mandate for me so here are some additional options in that (best) approach:

TEA – THAI – TUB TIME (double word score!) / COFFEE – (savory) CREPES – CRAFTING / SHOTS – STEAK – SEX (went there) / SAKE – SUSHI (making) – SIT (making sushi is real hard) / RED BULL – RAMEN – READING (Red Bull to stay awake through that book) / SELTZER – SHABBAT DINNER – SCRIPTURE (stretch?) / BREAST MILK – BABY FOOD – BATH TIME (babies need joy too) / VODKA – VICODIN – VISIT (your nearest neighbor by standing six feet from their front door and screaming good wishes!)

Once you’ve completed the printing, coloring and filling-in, please place your cards number-side front on a very visible space in your home. You’ll want to look at them whenever you’re feeling down/anxious/angry/like this is never going to end (it will). I put mine on our bar cart to obscure my view from the liquor. It hasn’t stopped me from drinking but does provide double joy when I glance over: date night and that yummy Amaro.

Have fun. Share far and wide. Tag me in your photos so I can see if you find an I beverage to go with INDIAN FOOD. I’m @jessierosen on Insta. And most importantly, take care of yourselves and each other.

I feel love when I give love. I lift my own spirits when I lift R’s. And right now, I need that magic feeling of having something to look forward to more than an extra ten rolls of toilet paper. I’m sure you do, too. Be well.

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