This is one of those seemingly contradictory things life can teach you.
Personal example: SuperDad recently took the three oldest Geeklets to see Jack the Giant Slayer. The last time any of us went to the movies it was Cars 2 . . . so yes, it’s been a while.
Why’d it take us so long to make it back to the theater? We simply couldn’t afford it. We have a single income, SuperDad does not make anywhere near a six-figure salary, and there’s six Geeklets — so far. We had to make choices. Should we go to the movies, or put gas in Good Old Frances The Minivan so we can get to church and the grocery store?
Then, the old (like, 30+ years old) cinema near us got refurbished and reopened with seats that SuperDad, being six feet tall, can actually fit in. At $5 per ticket, we can now afford to go to the movies a bit more often.
The thing is, we didn’t miss the movie theater experience in the interim. I didn’t realize this until after the Geeklets told me all about Jack. They thought it was a super cool, super fun thing to do . . . but they also think watching Power Rangers episodes on Netflix here at home is super fun, too. And throwing balloons at the ceiling fans is super cool. And so is shooting hoops with SuperDad in the front yard. And so is playing in the tree fort . . . and picking dandelions . . . and drawing their favorite superheroes and villains . . . and finding fun music on the radio and dancing to it.
SuperDad and I are the same way. Sure, it’s nice to go out for an actual date night now and then, but at this point I think we prefer spending our money on take-home Chinese and a movie from Redbox, or simply playing World of Warcraft together.
So yeah, having less money and fewer opportunities to do things like go to the movies, go out to eat, attend ball games or car shows, or even just go to the mall for some shopping time, has made us realize that the simple things feel more valuable to us.
I’m not quite sure why this is, but it’s a fact.
Spending time with each other is what really counts, and that doesn’t cost anything.