Friday, February 18, 2011

Dating In A Small Town

Occasionally, Mike and I try to go on a date, just the two of us. There was a time when this was met with cries of protest, alligator tears and pouting. Now our 4 kiddos are plotting what gourmet creation they'll be free to come up with while we're gone. I don't understand why they don't pursue the gourmet creations while we're home, so we can enjoy them, too, but I suppose that's one of life's little quirks, isn't it?

We live outside a really small town, encircled for a 50-mile radius by other small towns, but if we extend the radius by another 25 miles or so, we hit Flagstaff, and that's a lovely little city. (I know it's technically a metropolis, but you'd never guess by visiting. Thank heavens. I love that Flagstaff doesn't feel big.) Being surrounded by smallness, which we really do love, also means having very limited date night options. Yes, we could drive across the high desert and find a dark quiet place to stare at the stars, but it's windy, it's cold and let's face it, I have trouble climbing up on a hood these days. We'll save stargazing for another warmer night, with lawn chairs; for now, warm, warmly lit interiors are better date destinations. Flagstaff is really the closest place with such places.

But here's the deal, Mike had to get up for work this morning at 4 a.m. so a trip to Flagstaff wasn't on the agenda for a date last night. Actually, a date wasn't really on the agenda. Here's one of the secrets of having several kids: you catch as catch can. Since I had to do a WalMart run, and Mike was game for going along: Presto! Date night!

So, off we went to WalMart, two towns over, where we browsed for a few hours. Yes, you read that right. And yes, I know most of us dread WalMart day and get in and out as fast as we can. But that was before we lived outside of a very small town. Now, WalMart is occasionally an adventure to be savored - we won't just beeline it to the aisles containing the items on my itemized list. No, it's date night - we'll wander the aisles a bit. Venture into places we don't normally explore together.

Only thing is, you wander out of your regular route and you sometimes come upon some unfamiliar and upsetting things. Like this for instance.

There I was perusing some girlie things, when Mike came at me with a bottle of this stuff. For those who aren't Spanish speakers, let me let you in on a little secret. "Moco" isn't a nice warm, rich beverage. No, that's "mocha." I understand your confusion. "Moco" means snot. Yep, what we have here is a bottle of Gorilla Snot, playfully called "Squizz." Don't believe me? Look at the picture.

Here's the cherry on top. This is a hair product. It is meant for people to buy on purpose and willingly put on their hair.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the proverbial straw atop the camel. No longer will I refer to time at WalMart as date time. Because I can't feel romantic feelings in a place that I know encourages people to be standing nearby with a bucket when a primate decides to hock a loogie. Or wants you to think they encourage such a practice.

So, Mike and I can go to WalMart, and we can go together, but we cannot ever, ever, ever refer to it as a date. Ever again.

Now, just one more thing, while I'm making rules.

Mike, honey, remember that bag of Dubble Bubble you let me buy? That 1 pound bag, which the label clearly states has about 72 pieces of gum in it? Please don't ever let me buy one again. Or, at least don't leave me alone with it. We got home after 10 p.m., it's about 10:30 a.m. now, and the bag is gone. It is all gone. Every last piece. In just over 12 hours, 6 of which I was sleeping through.

You know I have a bubble gum problem. You know this. Why did you leave me alone with the Dubble Bubble? Don't you know me at all? You know what this means? We need to spend more time together, continue to get to really know each other's finer details.

Maybe we should go on a date.

Love from the farm,


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