So you’re planning a date with your boyfriend or girlfriend and you decided to skip going out in favor of a night in at home. Sounds perfect, right? Except for the fact that you live with your parents. Don’t get me wrong, there are numerous benefits to living at home — like the fact that it’s the cheapest option — but having a date there never seems to work out well. Here’s what usually happens:
1. The Preparation
The hassles often start before your boyfriend or girlfriend even arrives. Once you know the date is happening, you dash around the house letting everyone know that someone is coming over.
“HE’LL BE HERE IN 30 MINUTES!” you scream along the hallways to avoid the inevitable death stares that occur when your date shows up and your parents and siblings are in their PJs.
2. The Arrival
The doorbell rings. It’s your date. If you’ve successfully beaten your parents to the door, you can hustle your partner away from them and to your bedroom in the minimal amount of time.
But this is a tough feat to accomplish and for some reason, your dad always seems to magically appear at the door at the perfect time, which means your partner must endure the front-door-interrogation. Regardless of whether this is your first date or your 101st date, it always happens. By the time you’ve rescued him from parental chitchat, it’s already an hour into your date.
3. The Food
The two of you decided to cook dinner together — what could be more romantic? You found the perfect recipe, grabbed decorating ideas from Pinterest and you’re ready to go.
Awesome. Except first, you have to check out who’s going to be home and ask permission to take over the kitchen. In an ideal world, the whole family will be out while you get your Jamie Oliver on, but depending on the size of your family, the chances of that happening are slim.
So the best you can hope for is to squeeze into the kitchen alongside whoever else is also cooking dinner and then setting up a makeshift dining table in your bedroom. Nothing says romance like dinner consumed on a card table in a shoebox-sized room.
4. The Venue
You realize that a home-cooked meal is far too difficult to organize, so you opt for takeout and a movie instead. Before you order in, you ask everyone else if they want to order any food and all of the sudden, your cheap meal is looking pretty expensive.
If you don’t ask, you run the risk of them eating the food anyway, leaving you and your date hungry. Once the food situation is sorted, you make your way into the living room, but you have to share it with your brother, who wants to watch an action film, your mom, who wants to watch the cooking channel, or even worse, your dad, who decides to sit down and watch a movie with you.
Your only other option is to retreat to your bedroom to watch movies on your tiny 13-inch TV between yells from your parents to “TURN THAT TV DOWN IN THERE!”
5. The Awkward Ending
At the end of your night, someone inevitably has to drive home, unless you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance. Driving home is usually annoying, but it’s even worse when your parents have to do the driving.
Whether you’re too young to have your license, never got one or don’t have your own car, most of us have endured the awkward experience of our parent(s) driving our dates home at some point in life. The whole scene is an ongoing battle.
First you have to work up the courage to ask your parents to chauffeur and agree on a suitable time (so, anything after 10pm is out). The battle continues once you’re in the car.
Do you sit in the front next to the driver or in the back, next to your partner? If you sit in the back, your parents will think you’re up to something sinister, but if you sit in the front, your partner is left fending for him or herself.
Once you’ve decided on your seat, you’ll spend the entire trip hoping that your parents don’t say anything embarrassing or, even worse, that the trip isn’t completely silent. Fun times.
If you can get past all of these little hiccups, a nice date at home is possible even when you live with your parents. But, if it just isn’t working, ditch your plans and go out instead — go to the movies, to dinner or even to McDonald’s — at least you’ll get a booth to yourselves that way.
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