Call Me The Love Doctor – 3 Fun Dates Inspired By Books!

Move over, Doctor Phil. I’ve got love and relationships in the bag. :P

 

I’ll be frank. After 5 and a half years of being with Will, sometimes we get lazy about going on dates. Our dates start to consist of a lot of nights eating takeout Thai food in our sweatpants while watching episodes of One Tree Hill or Friday Night Lights. We are getting closer and closer to Hermitdom.  Now, while I love those nights well enough in moderation, I also love when we go on real live dates outside the house like going to a show outside, walk around the city, go to a flea market, etc. I like to get all pretty for the occasion and, damn it, we have a good time together. Sometimes it feels like we are falling back in love. AWWW, look at me getting all mushy gushy on y’all. It’s the wedding hormones talking.

But guys, sometimes I put my lazy pants on because I don’t FEEL like planning a date for us nor does he. Then I go read books and I’m all SWOON SWOON SWOON that sounds like a perfect date. WAH WAH WAH.

So I decided to take some inspiration from books and plan a few dates for Will and I to go on soon (or perhaps after the wedding since our dates seem to now consist of stuffing envelopes and talking about flowers). Now go forth and have epic dates.

 

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour Inspired Date

 

The Inspiration: The, um, EPIC ROAD TRIP they went on, sillies!! This one won’t be as LONG as Amy & Roger’s but it will be every bit as EPIC.

The Date:

Haine Shoe Place Near York, PA - I do not own this image

Step 1: Make sure you have a car. Hot wire one if you need to.
Step 2: On your own, both of you should create the most epic, road tripping mix. There should be songs that bring the dance party, songs that you can belt out like a mofo, songs that you pretend you can sing really well too but totally can’t, etc. etc. This will be interesting for Will and I as our musical universes do not often overlap. Sample of My Mix:  MGMT, The Naked & The Famous, Florence & The Machine, Journey  Will’s: RAP, RAP, RAP.
Step 3: Purchase a map. You know, that thing made out of paper. Leave your GPS at home. It’s explooooring time. You are allowed to get lost.
Step 4:  Pick your radius for how long you are willing to travel and then pick a place on the map as your final destination. Research places to go on the way (a cool diner, a state park, a funky museum) or just freaking wing it and see what random ish you find on the open road. You might run into a house that is in the shape of a SHOE or an Elvis shrine.
Step 5:  Pack the goodies to eat, have your camera handy, fill up your tank, check those tires (thanks Dad!) and YOU ARE OFF.
Step 6: Roll the windows down and commence car dancing and loud singing. Bonus points if you don’t care about the wind in your hair. Take lots of pictures of everything you do. AND FOR GOD SAKE, JAMIE, DO NOT FIGHT ABOUT HIS DRIVING! It will only ruin the epic and memorable road trip you are about to have.

 

Anna & The French Kiss Inspired Date

The Inspiration: Ok, my IDEAL date inspired by this book would be for Will and I to go to Paris but that’s just not going to happen anytime soon with the wedding. But one of the places I loved so much is the cute theater that Anna would go to escape and watch old movies — sometimes in English and sometimes in French. I’m a SUCKER for cute little theaters and really loathe the big multiplexes. I loved the old man who walked his dog that owned the theater. BUT MOST OF ALL. I loved the first time they all went to the theater together and there was that tension between St. Clair and Anna. It was so reminiscent of my first “unofficial” date with Will. Sitting there feeling the proximity of his elbow to my elbow, my knee to his knee. Sneaking glances throughout the movie. I LOVE IT. It’s funny that was our first kind-of-sort-of date because I can count on my hands the number of times we’ve gone to the movies in the past 5 1/2 years.

County Theater in my hometown! Photo Credit to halfpic


The Date
:

Step 1: Get on the Google machine and find the nearest theater that either 1) shows older movies or 2) is a cute old-time theater. Fortunately for me, I have some really great options nearby. They are playing Breakfast at Tiffany’s this summer and An American In Paris. I’m so going to get my Gene Kelly on!!
Step 2: To really add that Anna and the French Kiss touch, enjoy some crepes beforehand either by finding a fabulous little creperie or go all Betty Crocker and make them yourselves. Will and I found a fabulous recipe for Nutella and banana crepes I’d be willing to share for the occasion! Bonus points if you make them because you still have money to buy concession candies.
Step 3: During the movie, while perhaps taking in a little Gene Kelly, hold hands. Steal glances at one another. Share your Sno Caps.  DOUBLE BONUS POINTS if you try to sneak a kiss but no makeout sesh please and thanks. You aren’t ACTUALLY a teenager again.

Dash & Lily’s Book Of Dares Inspired Date

The Inspiration: The notebook full of crazy dares left by Lily at the Strand that Dash finds and plays her game which results in some gut busting, hilarious moments!

Aww little freshman year Jamie did a dare scavenger hunt with friends. WORK IT, GIRL!

The Date:

Step 1: Have a sense of humor and a sense of fun. This one is going to be super silly and possibly make you turn fifty shades of red. Possibly have a flask with you for liquid courage. BUT DEAR HEAVENS, don’t drive nor should you get sloshed in public.
Step 2: Come up with 5-10 fun dares/challenges for the other person (nothing too illegal or too crazy unless you can handle it) that can be done in the span of an afternoon. I would DEFINITELY be making Will jump in a fountain with his clothes and pretend to drown for a minute or make him, a la Anna style, scream “I LOVE KISSING BOOKS” in a bookstore. Or maybe I’d make a gross concoction and make him drink it or make him sit on Santa’s lap like Lily does to Dash! Get creative!
Step 3:  One by one do the challenges. Document them. Laugh your ass off. And remind yourself of how fun it is to be in love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be on the lookout for more book inspired dates because I’ve got a whole lifetime of dates to have come August 17th. I’ve got a whole list of them! What did you think? Which date would YOU be more likely to go on?

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash & Lily's Book of DaresTitle/Author: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan & Rachel Cohn

Publisher/Year: Knopf Books for Young Readers/2010
How I Got This Book: Bought it at the author signing for it!
Why I Read This Book– I needed a non-cheesy Christmas book to read and I heard really good things about this one..and about David Levithan in general. Oh and The Strand is involved!!
Rating: 4 stars

Lily, a perky, Christmas-loving optimist, leaves a notebook filled with clues and a challenge for the finder on the shelves of The Strand after her brother and his boyfriend convince her that she needs to find a guy. Dash, our brooding, Christmas-loathing hipster, finds this notebook at his favorite bookstore–The Strand– and accepts the dare. The notebook takes them all over the New York City during the Christmas season as they accept each others dares and create new ones. They end up finding out a lot about themselves and each other but they have to wonder–is the notebook merely a projection of what they want to find or will they really find love during a lonely Christmas apart from their families?

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares definitely met my requirement as a non-cheesy Christmas pick. It was full of hilarity, wit, love and introspection. I loved the concept and I was eager to see where Lily and Dash would send each other next. Listening to David and Rachel read this and talk about their writing process enhanced my reading experience. The book alternates from Lily to Dash and David and Rachel wrote the book the way that Dash and Lily did the notebook. David would write a chapter and then send it to Rachel and then from there she would write a chapter based on what he wrote. You can just imagine them sitting there, “Oh yeah..you sent me to MACY’s..guess where I’m sending Lily next!?”

A really bad pic of me at THE STRAND!

I really liked the characters. Lily reminded me of a less annoying version of perky Rachel Berry from Glee–with a less polished look. Dash reminded me of your typical hipster boy who thinks is way too cool and has exceptional taste in everything. I liked how the notebook allowed each of them to let their guards down and drop the facade. My one gripe with the characters is that Dash just didn’t seem believable to me sometimes. It was some of the conversations he would have–particularly the one he had with Lily’s aunt at her house (or grandmother..I forget?). It just seemed a little too contrived and I couldn’t really see anybody talking like that to an adult–especially a high school boy. However, Dash was always the type of guy I wanted back in the day–intellectual, deep, hip, etc. so I’ll still love him.

I loved that they were opposites because my boyfriend (of four years) and I are totally the same way. We shouldn’t fit together–not at all. Any matchmakers or dating services would have never in a million years put us together. As Dash and Lily learn, it’s not always easy to work through those differences and doubts and sometimes it can become downright frightening to try and figure out how you really feel and what you are looking for. It’s a messy and complicated process. Looking realistically at what they knew of each other through the notebook, I’m not quite sure I believed that they were that invested in each other. It moved a little quick but I can understand how that is. It reminds me of back in high school and early college when you were getting to know a guy and you’d chat until all hours of the night on AIM and you’d analyze everything said and smile and squee when he showed interest or said something cute. You’d feel yourself falling for him in his clever answers to your questions and feel like you knew him SO well. And then, for me, I’d get to know him and he wasn’t that charming or perfect; just really good at writing the right thing. I guess I probably wasn’t either. Anyways, I digress, but their affection for each other came so out of the blue for me but I kind of just equated it to the above experiences. *spoiler-ish* I mean, they came together and realized that the other one wasn’t perfect despite what they built them to be but they were ok with that and started from there.

My final thought: If you want a non-cheesy Christmas book to simultaneously help you release some of that Christmas tension by laughing a lot and thinking about what it is to love, give this a try. It certainly isn’t a mushy romance but I think it captures some of the wading through murky waters you have to do in a courtship. Dash and Lily will be memorable characters that will have you rooting for their love immediately. It will be a story that is as sweet as all that overpriced, commercialized candy will taste on Christmas morning. Hey, I’m just channeling my inner Dash after a long day of Christmas shopping and feigning Christmas cheer as I get bumped around by crazy Christmas shoppers and cranky inhabitants of the long lines.

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