Monday, June 18, 2007

I'm taking a pelican statue and a quesadilla on a bear hunt

Yesterday was an interesting day.

It was exactly one year to the day after the first day Nicole and I met face to face. The cutesy thing we said was, Happy Meet-Face-to-Face-iversary. (It would have been just Meetiversary, but that sounds like Meativersary, which I suppose would be an anniversary of someone deciding not to continue being a vegetarian.) So we celebrated by really meeting face-to-face. :)

We had lunch at Taco Bell with Miss America 1968. Really. She's the grandmother of two of the kids we were taking up to youth camp. She had a quesadilla.

After we were settled at the camp for a while, Nicole and I decided to get some dinner in nearby Grove, Oklahoma. It was hard at first to find a place that wasn't Mc-Something or Taco Bell (since we'd just eaten there for lunch), so we had to look around a bit. We pulled up to a stoplight and watched as a truck was rounding the corner in front of us, pushing a three-foot-high statue of a pelican. This was quite absurd, and it raised several questions: 1. How did the pelican get in the street in the first place? 2. How did the driver of the truck miss the fact that he was pushing along, you know, a statue with his truck? 3. How did the pelican statue stay upright through all of this? 4. When the truck rounded the corner, the pelican sort of rolled off the bumper and was just left in the middle of the street as the truck drove away. Why did the driver not stop and move the statue off to the side? 5. I know that Grove is on a lake, so I can understand the whole marine theme going on, but are there even pelicans in northeastern Oklahoma???

So after that weirdness, we found a Mexican restaurant in the middle of a small building, the corner of which was dominated by a brightly painted yellow check-cashing business. Why are those places always painted blindingly bright yellow, anyway? Anyway, we were a bit apprehensive about the restaurant, El Vallarta, until we stepped inside. Great service, speedy food delivery, very delicious meal, and I didn't even mind the constant crying of a baby in the kitchen.

So the other significant thing about yesterday besides it being the Meet-Face-to-Face-iversary, is that it was to be the first night Nicole and I were apart since before we got married. We knew that there would probably be a time for this, as I think that most married couples eventually spend some nights apart due to circumstances. Business trips, family emergencies, etc. Well, because I needed to work this week, I am unable to stay up at the youth camp the whole time. I mean, I suppose I technically could stay there, but it's a 45-mile drive from there to work, which means that after each late night, I'd need to get up pretty early in order to make it on time. There's also the issue of high gas prices, which I know are starting to fall a little bit, but are still ridiculously high, even for this region. So because of those factors, it just seemed logistically easier for me to stay at home for most of the week.

The strangest thing about being away from my wife is getting used to talking on the phone again. It's how we lived for months before I moved down here, but we've just been together most of the time since then, and we haven't really had any reason to have long phone conversations until now. So there were some long pauses last night and this morning. We'll get used to it, though. We played the "Bear Hunt" game last night, which was good to keep me from getting sleepy on the road.

(The basics of Bear Hunt is that the first person says, I'm going on a bear hunt, and I'm taking an A----- (something that starts with A). Then the next person says, I'm going on a bear hunt, and I'm taking an A----- (What the first person said), and a B-----. Next person, A-----, B-----, C-----, etc. It goes on and on like that until the letter Z. Then you start over in reverse alphabetical order. It's a "kid's game", sure, but it's fun as an adult, too.)