How Portland Book of Dates Authors Eden Dawn and Ashod Simonian Have Fun in a Pandemic

Let’s face it, we’re all struggling to find new ways to have fun and spend time together in the time of COVID-19. Lucky for us, we have authors who happen to be experts on that subject! The Portland Book of Dates authors and real-life couple Eden Dawn and Ashod Simonian did the work for you and we asked them to share their hard-won wisdom. Happy to oblige, Eden and Ashod talk bed dates, bad dates, and the importance of snacks!

Eden: Well, for starters, we should tell everyone about Bed Dates and Bad Dates.

Ashod: Yes! We’re putting together a Valentine’s night book launch party (Viewable everywhere! Details below!) where we interview special guests. One of them is our own couples therapist who shared the brilliant idea of “Bed Dates,” which are basically dates that take place in bed but don’t include sleeping, watching movies, or whatever stuff you usually do in bed.

Eden: It’s so funny because this is a thing we instinctively do, but I love having a name for it. And it is something anyone can do. You just set aside the time, occupy the cats or kids if you have ‘em, and put the phone in another room while you two HANG.

Ashod: We do it, but I also think we could do it BETTER. Like, I’m a little uptight about snacks in bed but on a Bed Date, why not? Break out the cheese board and fancy mustards! Or order something sexy from a local biz. What’s the sexiest take-out you can think of?

Eden: I mean according to movies, it is sushi off a naked body. But, I personally think eating pizza from Lovely’s Fifty Fifty while we both have on Korean face masks and foot peels while sharing a bottle of dry white wine is my actual Enneagram number.

Ashod: Make a theme of it! Bibimbap and soju and…I don’t know, a K-pop dance party maybe?

Eden: Ooo the K-pop dance party just reminded me of one of my favorite date nights I think every couple should do—The Perfect Dance Party Playlist Experiment.

Ashod: Ours was practical, we were testing the dance-ability of different songs for our wedding reception, but it was a fun time, sharing the tracks from our past that held specific importance, dancing all night long, making each other laugh with deep cuts.

Eden: I remember it clearly. I was wearing my almost 30-year-old Pearl Jam T-shirt 😬 and knee socks and tried dancing along with every single song we played to see which ones INSPIRED the moves. We laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. I also found out we both know more Spin Doctors than anyone should ever admit. But we ended up with a truly perfect 1-hour playlist that puts us both in an A+ mood every time we play it.

Ashod: Early in the pandemic, Eden invited me to a date night in our bedroom. She had a sign on the door that said, “Welcome to THE CLURB,” and had strung up flashing lights, plugged in a boomin’ soundsystem…the place was poppin’ off!

Eden: I had been watching a lot of Broad City, and that is how Ilana says club and for some reason it made me think we could turn the house into a nightclub. It was super fun and a good way to combat the trapped up feeling of lockdown. But I also think it’s important for us to get out of the house too, especially as we drag into a full year of this 💩, which is why I LOVE when you go into your cartography mode!

Ashod: I have a trick where I like to scroll around the map app on my phone and look for green splotches. Those usually denote parks or national forests or what-have-you. Blue bits within the green are often streams or ponds. I try to find places off the beaten path we’ve never explored.

Eden: Sometimes it’s a bust and you have to be mentally prepared for that. But, more often than not, we pack up the Go Bag, and head out to Ashod’s color splotches and end up in some rad park or walking along a river path I never knew existed. We get the joy of nature and the thrill of being explorers which is a killer one-two punch.

Ashod: We have an insulated backpack and a waterproof picnic blanket and we basically try to impress each other with how fancy we can make the outdoors.

Eden: I once made you veggie hand pies I learned from The Great British Bake Off when we went off to find a secret beach! And we ate them on the sand while bundled up in jackets watching sailboats go by. That’s the reward that can come from chasing adventures. But, of course, that only works if people follow the number one rule.

Ashod: SNACKS. Nothing will grind a nice date to a halt faster than hanger. Always be snackin.’

Eden: Truth. Speaking of tips to avoid Bad Dates, come to our book launch party / fundraiser for a beloved Portland theater where we interview all sorts of couples about dates that went south. It’s edutainment!

Bad Dates hosted by The Hollywood Theater & Tender Loving Empire
Valentine’s Day, 8 pm
Tickets $7