Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is a former associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers.


Date night

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Every two weeks, usually on Thursday, Gideon and I venture to Bentonville for date night. Date night on a Thursday, you ask? I’ll explain.

We kick things off on the drive itself, listening to my “Likes” playlist on Youtube Music. Every week when writing stories, I listen to Youtube Music’s “Discovery Mix” to hear new tunes — new to me, that is. The songs range in genre and release date.

If one catches my attention, I click the “Like” button and it’s automatically added to my playlist.

So by the end of the week, I’ve got a bunch of new music to share with Gideon. We spend the drive to Bentonville taking in the tunes and Gideon tells me which songs he likes best and why.

Little known fact: Gideon ran his university’s student radio station and once considered going into the field. He has an ear for production elements, often revealing exactly why a particular song appealed to me.

It’s like he peeks inside my brain to help me connect to songs I already love.

He doesn’t enjoy every song on the playlist, but he always finds something interesting to share. Most of the time, we discover songs we both love.

Those songs are added to the soundtrack of our life together. Here are some songs on our most recent soundtrack: Savior Complex by Phoebe Bridgers, Hello/Goodbye by Modern Art, The Adults Are Talking by The Strokes, I Can Change by LCD Soundsystem and Meet Me in the Woods by Lord Huron.

Once we arrive in Bentonville, our first stop is a no-brainer: Sushi House!

We eat at Sushi House so much that we never have to look at a menu. We split the Bento box, which includes a California roll, spicy tuna roll, fried spring roll, fried rice, tempura vegetables and salad. Then we add on a specialty roll, usually the Sam’s roll. We joke that it’s my roll, so it should be free.

Our bellies full of sushi, we head straight to Sam’s Club — another place where I should get everything for free, but it never happens. Gideon goes through our grocery list marking items off and I scan everything we put in the cart.

We pick up all the staples: chicken breasts, tuna steaks, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, lettuce, sandwich meat, so much cheese, bread, tortillas and whatever dairy product we have run out of.

Then we march our very full cart to the door, check our receipt and load up the trunk. Gideon, the sweetest person in the world, always tells me to get in the car while he returns the cart.

It doesn’t matter how far we are from a return station — in all the time we’ve been together, I have never returned a shopping cart.

Our romantic date isn’t over yet. We stop by 7 Brew on the way home and Gideon says he doesn’t need any caffeine because it’s late. For some reason, we both end up ordering caffeinated drinks. I am living for the pumpkin blondie — blended, of course!

Our last date night, we stocked up for our Thanksgiving meal. We were rolling down Highway 62 when I reached over to caress Gideon’s hand.

“I love going to Sam’s Club with you,” I said.

It’s true. Maybe our date night is a little boring, but there’s no one else in the world I’d rather get groceries with.

I love heading home knowing we have the means to purchase six massive tuna steaks and that I have a partner who can cook those tuna steaks to perfection.

Ever tried one topped with pesto? You won’t regret it!

Reflecting on the past week — a week full of family, food and thanks — I find myself feeling grateful for the little things.

Everyday life is so much better with someone you love, whether you’re going to a fancy steakhouse or the grocery store. At the end of the day, it’s all about the person riding next to you on the way home.