Tuesday, September 8, 2009
as a solution to marital discord
Thursday evening found us at the Red Robin in Eugene, Oregon. We were starving and cranky, even the little one. Good thing about Red Robin: the food tastes the same wherever you go (yes, sometimes that's a plus) and it's fast. Even faster when there's hardly anyone there, which was the case for our particular Eugene-flavored RR.
We ordered chicken strips for Alice, and split the Whiskey River BBQ chicken wrap between us. We love to do that--- the food sharing, especially at a place where the fries are delicious and also bottomless (the Whimsy Family: living LARGE on LESS). So. Food was brought and our stomachs began to feel less empty. And as that happened, Chip and I talked about the stuff we talk about when we're sitting in a restaurant trying to keep Alice entertained. As in, we talked about his job, the trip so far, finances, life, and the fact that Alice was ENTHRALLED by the waitress cleaning the tops of the light fixtures (SCORE ONE for the 'keep Alice entertained' box).
Once the waitress had moved on to other, less visible light fixtures, Alice turned her steely gaze on the family sitting across the aisle from us. She had to turn herself around completely to do that, my friends. She is a dedicated observationalist (or stalker, whatever). I cut up some cantaloupe from my basket and put it on Alice's tray. "Look, honey, it's CAN-A-LOPE." I said, hoping to get her attention back toward our booth - the strangers were starting to get nervous. Then I laughed, "You know, your grammy calls it 'can-TA-lope'. Very heavy on the T." She sort of turned toward me, took some melon in her hand, and then turned back to her favorite people-watching past time.
Meanwhile, Chip asks me if cantaloupe has three syllables or four. "Three", I said. "Where are you getting four?"
Chip went on to explain that the last bit, the 'loupe' should be two syllables because it's 'loe-P', like the 'P' sound is it's own syllable. I countered with a hearty WHAT? And we kept debating it, all the while Alice ate some chicken and put greasy bits in her hair.
A few minutes later one of us suggested Facebook.
Say what you will about Facebook. The ____ Wars (Mafia, Vampire, Farmland Cooperative Radioactive Animal Experiment WHATEVER). The thousands upon thousands of quizzes and applications and cyber fake COMPLETELY IMAGINARY "presents" or "plants" or "candy" or "exploding timebombs in boxes". The several (or hundred) hours a person can wile away instead of doing work or READING BLOGS. Say what you will about ALL OF IT, I still contend that Facebook is one of the best places to settle a debate.
So. The Whimsy Family: firmly believing in the power of Facebook to settle familial debates and bets since 2008. We have yet to ever agree to use The Creamery for this purpose, because Chip believes you guys would automatically take my side. (Believe me, I argue for your virtue and upstanding natures and your complete willingness to look at an issue fairly, but my husband staunchly believes that you guys like me or something, and would therefore be unable to tell me I was WRONG.) Anyway. We agreed on Facebook as a way to present our arguments to the Masses. And to our credit (I'm laying it on thick today, don't you think?) we abide by the Masses.
The trouble we usually run in to is the presentation of our discussion item. In Thursday's case, I did the FB post, but was not as even-handed as I should have been. I think I wrote something like "Help me set my husband straight that 'cantaloupe' is NOT four syllables." In the end, after several CLAP OUT THE SYLLABLES, CHIP; and DUDE IT'S SOOOOO THREE SYLLABLES; and YOUR WIFE IS ALWAYS RIGHT WHY HAVEN'T YOU LEARNED THAT YET; Chip conceded his point and then posted something about ME and how I wasn't able to remember what year I graduated from high school until last year, when HE told me. True story. (BTW, it's 1992, in case you were keeping track.)
See, I just intermingle '92 and '93 as somehow the same year... and it's all the same to me, really. Like I don't find 1993 to be an objectionable year or anything. (I'm sure you '93-ers really appreciate the sentiment, right?)
Ever since Thursday, this whole CAN-TA-LOUPE (or LOW-P) situation keeps rearing its head. We saw my old high school buddy Karen and her adorable family (like scrumptiously adorable) on Sunday. Within the first twenty minutes, we'd all pulled out our clapping syllable hands for CAN-TA-LOUPE. Poor Chip seemed to take it pretty well, though he contends that if I had posted it on Facebook the way he originally suggested (Hey guys, 'cantaloupe' is FOUR syllables, right?) then I would have gotten a much more even-handed reception, and perhaps, some people might have even AGREED with him. To which I say: NO. And also: I DON'T WANT TO BE TAKEN FOR SOME FOUR-SYLLABLE COUNTING WEIRDO.
Other things we discussed at Karen's: the theory of Atlantis, Karen's feelings about barbecuing ribs (too tricky), Chip's intense spider phobia (to which Jonathan, Karen's husband, responded by burning down their gazebo before we hung out there to roast marshmallows for s'mores), and my inability to remember the year I graduated high school.
To that last one I say this: I've mentioned before that, for me, high school was something of a, um, barbed wire strewn minefield covered in shards of very sharp glass. In other words: yucky. I felt isolated. Alone. Lonely. Misunderstood. Ugly. Simultaneously disillusioned and jaded about the world I lived in while also feeling awkwardly, painfully, teeth-achingly hopeful about the future --- and just getting OUT of there alive, whole, without any permanent scars.
And I did. And so did you. And we're all here now, looking back and NOT REMEMBERING WHAT YEAR WE GRADUATED. I don't care what year I graduated, is what I'm saying. I'm just so happy that I did. That I can look back at that time and know that I don't ever have to do it again. I have the most wonderful, syllable-challenged husband that a girl could ask for. I've got a handful of great friends - both old and new and everything in between. I'm interested in these people. I'm invested in these people. I believe in them. And even if they don't always agree with me (though in the case of CAN-TA-LOUPE they came through with flying colors), I love them all dearly.
It's a great place to be.
Now tell me: how do YOU settle your bets and debates?