Sunday, October 3, 2010

108. The Little Things

"Oh my god. They used Comic Sans on the entire menu."
"Oh, and check out this low-res image of a box of Cheerios."
"And the missing punctuation in this description makes absolutely no sense."

That's what happens when you have a family full of graphic designers and journalists sitting at a table. Other families pray before they eat. Not my family. We critique the menu (and the tacky mural on the wall)... religiously.

Mom rolled her eyes, and Cayden looked around at us in amusement. Mom says we get our creativity from Dad, but I've seen her get pretty creative when it comes to finding out when we're lying to her. She's full of tricks.

Of course, we all ordered more than we could eat, and Cayden got to try biscuits and gravy for the first time. I'd been trying to explain what a biscuit was for the past couple months. I guess over there, "biscuit" means "cookie." But "cookie" also means "cookie," and "shattered" means "tired" and "nigling" means "annoying" and the phrase "I can't be bothered with that" isn't actually as rude as it sounds, so consider me stumped.

There was never a break in conversation at the table. My family is rarely quiet, even with our mouths full we tell embarrassing stories and break out in laughter and the fear of food launching out of our mouths during an explosive laugh is something we've come accustomed to. So when we add a new person to the mix, we're never quite sure how they'll fit in. Will they back off in intimidation and look for an escape route? Or will they shoot tea out their noses from laughing so hard? Lucky for me, Cayden did neither. He was just there, like he was supposed to be there. Like he was a part of our crazy family.

By the time we left the restaurant, our bellies were stuffed with pancakes, biscuits, bacon, omelets, toast, coffee, and tea. All I wanted to do was get back to my parents' house and take a nap with Cayden. But all that changed as soon as we got home and I remembered my beloved Sooners were playing Florida State at 2. Cayden and I had scheduled an appointment to tour the Davis Building downtown at 1 p.m., but I called to reschedule for 4.

We claimed the best spots on the leather couches and huddled around my parent's 55" high-def flatscreen. I realized right then that I had everything I could possibly want: my Sooners, my family, my Cayden, and a Leffe. I didn't want the game to end. I didn't want that moment to end. I wanted to sit there drinking beer and watching football with Cayden forever. It's weird how much I treasured that moment. You'd think I'd treasure the couples' massage or the meet-the-family dinner the night before (don't get me wrong, I loved those moments), but it was the little things I missed when I wasn't with him. Just holding his hand, telling him a goofy story face-to-face, or even just sitting there screaming at the TV screen, those were all things other couples take for granted because they don't have time to realize how important it is. Put 5,000 miles between them, and those are the first things they'll miss.

The time was ticking, my Sooners were winning, and it was almost time to leave to go downtown for our tour. I wanted to stay a while longer, skip the tour and just enjoy sitting there with him and my family a little longer. But I knew he wanted to see more of downtown. He was only in town for a few days, so I doubted he wanted to waste his time being a couch potato with my family.

Around 3:30 I pulled myself off the couch and stretched. I looked down at him, sunken into the couch enjoying his beer.

"Well, I guess we should head out if we want to get there in time," I said, reaching down to offer him a hand up.

He grabbed my hand but didn't make an effort to stand.

"Or, we could stay right here," he said, pulling me back down next to him.

I couldn't have been happier. It meant so much to me that he was enjoying the little things as well.

My Sooners won 47-17.

Our dinner reservation was at 8 p.m. so we both needed to get back to my place to shower and change into our fancy clothes. We left my parents' place around 6, barely giving ourselves enough time to get ready. Sadly, I hadn't had time to buy a new fancy dress before Cayden got here, but that's one of the other perks of having two sisters.

"I have just the dress for you," Meg said, pulling me upstairs. "It's my New Year's dress."

She pulled out a short black dress with a silver strap that swooped down, making one boob silver as well. Hard to explain, just take my word for it, it was beautiful.

"Perfect! This will look great with my stripper shoes!" I said, holding the dress up to me and looking in the full-length mirror.

"Stripper shoes?" she asked.

"Yeah, I'm taking a pole dancing class, didn't I tell you? We're barefoot for the first half of class and then we throw on our heels and strut our shit all sexy like!" I said.

"Can I join?"



  1. "Put 5,000 miles between them, and those are the first things they'll miss."
    This brought me to tears. It hurts terribly, yet dulls the pain, knowing that someone else knows exactly what I (or we) are going through.

    71 more days until the 5,266 miles from Chile to Arizona are a thing of the past!!

    Thank you for such an amazing blog Whitney.

  2. That whole "misery loves company" saying is so damn true. I wish it weren't, because I should hate to hear that other people have to go through this. But instead it's relieving. Also, can I come visit you in Chile!? 71 days? I'll keep counting down with you.

  3. my fav line: Put 5,000 miles between them, and those are the first things they'll miss.