Stuck for good date night ideas
Almost every 20-something in Christchurch has had a bit of a gripe at some point about the lack of things to do in the city after the earthquakes.
Usually we quickly realise that's actually a pretty minor problem and remember we're just lucky to be alive and have a house to go home to at night.
But a friend of mine has an extra reason to be grumpy at the lack of facilities - she's seeing a new guy.
In those first crucial weeks of dating, organising a cool date is your chance to show your new love your personality and interests.
When I first met EK, we were both university students and dating was pretty low key. We were broke, so a typical date would be watching a DVD or a cheeky midday drink at the uni pub.
In stark contrast, I became friends with a lovely American girl at university who had a completely different idea of what a date should be like. She wanted to be wooed with dinner and drinks out (him paying) and flowers arriving on her doorstep the next day.
I remember being shocked at the concept. Why should a man invest so much in someone he's just met? How on earth would she ever get a Kiwi bloke to do all this? (Answer: She was gorgeous.)
Now I'm at a different stage in life - and can afford to eat more than two-minute noodles - I think a bit of wooing is a great thing.
However, as a bit of a feminist, I think both parties should equally partake in the romantic date planning.
The problem is, my friend and her new beau both live in overcrowded flats and so can't really stage a romantic date at home.
There are only so many drinks and movies one can handle, so we racked our brains for things for her and her guy to do.
However, many of my suggestions for creative dates - e.g. laser tag - hit a stumbling block when I realised they no longer existed.
I finally thought of something that the city still had - mini golf.
They set off after work but found all of the three premises they visited were mysteriously closed. Bewildered, they were forced to retreat to the nearest pub for a drink instead.
After the setback, we re-grouped our collective neurons and decided she should plan a romantic picnic for the next date.
She had it all planned - the blanket, the wine, the strawberries, and a picturesque location.
Unfortunately, the enchantment of the situation wore off a little when one of Christchurch's good ol' southerlies started to blow, the rain came down and a busload of Chinese tourists pulled up.
I'm out of ideas.
Please, help us out.
Have you been on a particularly memorable date recently? Have you got any good date night ideas for Christchurch? What would be your ideal first date? Comment below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter.