My beau and I share the same idea of fun. We also share the same idea of what is not fun.
This afternoon, my work wife organized a surprise bridal event for me. All I knew was to wear a cute dress and a fascinator. She and other colleagues took me to tea at the Ritz-Carlton, which none of us had had before but which we all enjoyed immensely.
Most of us are a full-time staff of one, so none of us have a group of co-workers who would throw us a bridal shower at the office. It was a revelation I had in my first 12 hours of being engaged: I had no coworkers to throw me a party the way I had been to 50 parties over the years for birthdays, engagements, pregnancies. Which is to say it's lovely to have a few moments with other women (all of the other Executive Directors in the Quarter are female) to celebrate, share, and laugh.
My beau showed up towards the end of tea, and four of five of us walked to a Napoleon exhibit opening at one of the local antique stores. We learned interesting facts about Napoleon and the art surrounding him, we enjoyed drinking brandy and eating beef Wellington, and we pined away for the kinds of income that would allow us to purchase 19th century antiques.
Then, my beau and I scooted to a gala for which we had been invited. I have worked in/around the nonprofit sector for 12 years, eight in New Orleans. We've attended many events supporting our community. We have been an active part of nearly every children's cause in New Orleans. (Almost 1,000 nonprofits have started in New Orleans after Katrina. Being solicited gets exhausting.)
Tonight's gala was incredibly awkward: seated dinner, cash bar, a silent auction that ended too early, speeches that were not about mission or outcomes of the organization. We stayed until the couple who had given us the tickets left, because we wanted to be polite, but we weren't having fun.
I've received a lot of advice from a lot of you (and approximately one million articles) on the keys to a successful marriage. I know we're supposed to go to bed mad, make time for sex, practice each other's love languages. I have learned we should parent similarly and share values (both a sense of right/wrong and what to spend money on).
But, honestly, at the end of the day, I think it's about having the same idea of what is fun. And what isn't. Don't subject yourself or your partner to boredom. Laugh. Drink good bourbon when you get home. And support the best cause of all: your relationship.