Parents Post Date Night Idea, Win The Internet

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Facebook

This sounds like a total blast

Every couple can use some fun suggestions to spice up date night — and we’re not even talking naughty stuff, though that has its place too. A husband and wife came up with a genius idea to make their date night more interesting, and it’s quickly gone viral because it’s hilarious.

Noel Pauley and her husband Shane shared photos of a date night they went on recently where the pair made a shopping pit stop before wining and dining each other.

Shopping at Goodwill, that is.

Noel writes, “Tonight’s date night was hysterical. We had $10 each in Goodwill to buy each other an outfit that had to be worn out.” The couple regularly shop there for clothing, but this time was obviously special. They purposely searched out silly outfits instead of their usual everyday apparel, and they went all out.

“Once we were out we had to act like it was completely normal. To top it off we made up fake names to match our outfits!” she writes.

So Shane and Noel acted “completely normal.” While dressed like this.

Image via Noel Pauley

And those fake names she mentioned? Meet Ethel and Roger, ya’ll.

“We laughed so hard all night long. We now challenge all of you to take a #goodwilldatenight and have a blast with your person,” Noel writes. The post now has over 300,000 shares and counting, so the mom wrote on her blog Baby Bows and Bullets to give more details about their zany night out.

“Shane and I try very hard to be intentional with date nights. We have a baby girl and it is so easy to get wrapped up in her and her cuteness. So, in an effort to keep our marriage first, we try to go on a date night one night a week. And we try to make them fun,” she writes.

Image via Noel Pauley

Noel explains how the Goodwill trip was Shane’s idea that he got from another couple, and their shared competitiveness drove them to make the rules: They could only spend $10 each (they actually only spent $13 total — heck yes, Goodwill!), they couldn’t discuss the obvious wackiness of their outfits with anyone (“People were snickering as they walked by and we got a lot of side eye from the hostess”), and they had to pick fake names and stick to them. All night.

As far as the names, that wasn’t originally part of the plan, but they had to weave it in. “When I walked out of the dressing room Shane said “Ethel get your choir book and come on” and from that point on I was stuck with Ethel. And really, who wears more plaid than a “Roger” which I affectionately shortened to “Rog” in front of our waiter,” she shares.

Image via Noel Pauley

Image via Noel Pauley


Ethel, we mean Noel, tells Scary Mommy her thoughts about the Goodwill idea and the post going super viral. “This was our first time doing this and we laughed through the whole night. Most people have loved it. A few think we are making fun of people who shop at Goodwill but we definitely are not. We shop there for clothes too! This was just to find crazy outfits that we wouldn’t normally wear!”

Of course, people go to Goodwill for real clothes to wear, but we also hit them up for hard-to-find Halloween costume pieces, and now, fun date night attire. It’s all good at the Goodwill, people.

Noel wraps up her blog post with some serious marital truth. “Marriage is tough, parenting is tough, and honestly life is tough. But everything is better when you’re doing it with your best friend.”

Especially when your best friend is decked out in head-to-toe clashing plaid.

This article was originally published on