How to Ruin a Friday Night in 10 Simple Steps

I’ve shared before how I have no sense of style, and I used to tell people “I got dressed in the dark” when really I just didn’t have a clue what went together or how to make an outfit. Lately, though, I’ve been taking careful care in applying the fashion tips I’ve learned from dear friends over the years, and start piecing myself together.

How to Ruin a Friday Night in 10 Simple Steps

It was because of some newfound pride in an outfit I wore today, that I started the domino effect of ruining our Friday night. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of what happened, and how you can recreate the same experience.

1. Have your five-year-old take a picture of you in said outfit. This in itself proves challenging. Yes, I mean make sure I’m in the center of the picture, not that the frame of the picture cuts through the center of me… 

2. Decide you’re too cute to stay home and cook on this frigid Friday night. Make plans in your head to go have dinner out with the whole family.

3. Email picture to your husband and say something cute like, “Hey, wanna have dinner with this gal and her kids?” and give up on cooking altogether. Notice in the picture your hair is a little wonky. Run it under water four minutes before you leave, so it will freeze nice and solid when you walk outside in North Dakota in January as you prepare to dine in public.

4. Choose to meet your husband at a restaurant that doesn’t have childcare. Why do restaurants not have child care? Make a mental note to one day open a restaurant that has child care. Make sure said restaurant is also super popular at 5:00 on a Friday. Try to find one on a busy intersection.

5. As you wait for a table and your youngest starts screaming and throwing a fit because he doesn’t have free reign of said restaurant and your husband says, “I should probably just take him home and you and Little Miss can eat”, talk him out of it. Tell him “Once we’re seated, he’ll settle down” and believe it. Because apparently you’ve forgotten the last six years of parenthood and dining out.

6. When the child doesn’t stop screaming once you’re settled, order food right away for the children like it will magically make everything better.

7. When the children’s food arrives and is also nothing like you expected, make sure it’s so hot it will take another 30 minutes to cool enough for your fit-throwing-child to be able to eat it. Try to keep your child from dipping various limbs in ketchup.

8. Make sure you order something spicier than your taste buds can handle, and be miserable the entire time you’re eating.  Eat only with one hand, as your other is gripping the leg of the fit-thrower, keeping them in their high-chair. Make sure your eating arm is being held on to incessantly by your well-behaved child who feels like she can only eat dinner if she hugs you every 3.2 seconds.

9. When the fit-throwing child settles down and is distracted by others in the restaurant and taking on a pleasant tone, take that to mean he has turned a corner, and you should order dessert. Act surprised when suddenly, he reverts back to his fit three seconds before your dessert arrives.

10. Insist on eating more of your dessert than will fit in your stomach, simply for the fact you long to enjoy any single moment from the adventure out. Leave the restaurant feeling worse than when you walked in. Apologize to your husband for your great idea.


Tonight was just about as bad of a family outing as I’ve ever experienced. I enjoyed getting home. That was the highlight. I enjoyed walking through the doors of a place I shouldn’t have dared to leave tonight to begin with.

I would have saved time and experienced the same degree of pleasure if I had simply thrown a $50 bill in the garbage disposal. Next Friday, I might still look like I should be out and about, but we’re staying in. And I’m making popcorn for dinner.

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