“I Cannot Afford It” Pt 2: Our $100 Date

Wendy and I celebrated our 21st anniversary last night at the Mona Lisa, a fancy restaurant in downtown Manitou Springs. Earlier in the week Wendy asked me to take her there. Our typical dates are Schlotzsky’s sandwiches (and we split a large) during an evening of grocery shopping. This restaurant is at least $50 a plate. Wow.

What if I would have said, “We cannot afford it”? We’re frugal people, right? Do frugal people eat a $100 fondu meal? Hardly. Like my son’s tennis shoes I blogged on a few days ago, the evening out could have been more wisely spent somewhere else.

But without hardly a second thought, I made reservations. I forked up the dough, and “we cannot afford it” didn’t cross my mind. “I cannot afford it” would have been a lie, and my wife would have sniffed that out better than my son with his shoes.

The truth is that both of these price tags carry about the same value: $100. Unless I make less than $100 per week, I can afford the $100 that week. My son and my wife are not asking me to “afford” this expense; they’re asking me to value the same thing as they value.

My wife wanted me to take her out to the Mona Lisa for our 21st anniversary. She values it enough to come up with her own money, I suppose (though our money is the same, which makes it a little more complicated). But you know what? It was worth every penny.

About Chris Jeub

Chris is the father of 16 children, busily running the family businesses and learning the depths of love along the way.

  • Nicole

    I haven’t seen anything about your wife health… ???? How is she?
    I suppose well enough to enjoy the meal if it was after?

    • Wendy Jeub

       I am doing good Nicole. I feel a little better everyday. I am going to write a post soon. Thank you so much for asking.

  • Susan

    Marriage is worth investing in … we always make a point of doing something special (actually budget for it) … someone once told me going out for dinner and a once a year overnight get away is cheaper than a divorce … (we’ve only done the overnight thing since our youngest weaned). 

  • guest

    It would eat at me for days that I spent $100 on what would end up in the toilet when there are so many other things we need money for.  Matter of fact, my sister once gave us a gift card for a really expensive restaurant like that.  We couldn’t even allow ourselves to spend it all in one meal.  We had appetizers and shared a dessert.  Then used the rest of the gift card for a full meal at a cheaper (but still pricey) restaurant in their family of restaurants.  We were able to have two dates that way.  I’m glad you enjoyed yourselves and it was very kind of you to value what your wife valued.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=799259836 Amy Woolley Pederson

    “I can’t afford it” is similar to the argument “I don’t have time.”  We all have time. We can all find the time.  We can’t find the time for every single thing we want to do so we have to prioritize.  If it is important enough we find the time.  If it is important enough we find the money.  Great posts.

    • http://www.jeubfamily.com/ Chris Jeub

      Now that’s a good point!

    • http://jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

       Thank you Amy and yep, you are right.

  • Cullumosity

    This touches on an important topic that I haven’t seen addressed nearly enough (anywhere):  How to be frugal without treating your spouse “cheaply.”  Marriage is definitely worth the investment of time and money, and moms of any sized family can never really be properly rewarded for all that they do, but it’s good to make the effort to show our appreciation as much as we can.  An occasional nice dinner like you’ve described shows that you value your wife and your relationship with her.

  • http://whitemiddleclassprivilege.wordpress.com/ Emily M.

    The kids always come first in my marriage. We have a strong marriage, but I would never choose one hour of eating over several months of shoe wearing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Carla-Hanson/100000536792003 Carla Hanson

    This was great.  To the people commenting that it’s a waste or that the kids should come first, I think you’ve made a mistake.  First of all, your spouse really should come first–ahead of the kids and right after God.  God, spouse, children, then everyone else. 

    That doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids tremendously, and it certainly doesn’t mean they should go barefoot so you get a fancy dinner, but that isn’t what Chris is doing here. 

    Love isn’t finite.  The more you love, the more love you have to give.  And a marriage that is nurtured through the father and mother of the children spending together and the occasional treat is definitely going to be of benefit to the kids.

    • http://jeubfamily.com Wendy Jeub

       Thank you Carla Hanson and I so agree with you.