Monday, January 18, 2010

I ♥ &

The other day I was writing a reminder on the white board for Andrew and decided to leave him a rebus love note. He happened to be standing over my shoulder at the time.

I drew an eye.

“What is that?” he asked, “An amoeba?”

I narrowed my eyes in pretend anger and drew a heart. ♥

“Oh, okay. I love…I think I can figure this out.”

Since he had insulted me with his amoeba comment I decided not to make it so easy for him. Sure, I could have drawn a U and had it be over with, but instead I decided to have him sound out his own name.

I drew an ampersand. &

“I love and…” Andrew said obediently.

And then I had to stop and think for a while. All I had left was –rew and I couldn’t think of anything for that syllable. And then inspiration struck. I drew a little stretch of road.

“I love and…wavy lines with dotted wavy line in the middle? I love and…ribbon? I love and…squiggles? I love and…I don’t get it.”

I decided to spell it out for him, so I labeled my picture RUE.

“Okay, okay,” Andrew said, totally digging the whole rebus thing, “Are you…eeeeee? Are you…extraspecial? Are you…eeeeeediotic? Are you…I still don’t get it.”

“Rue,” I told him, “The French word for street.”

“Oh! I thought we were still doing the picture thing.”

“Well, I thought you’d recognize the word since it’s on like half the street signs here.”

“So that’s a street?” he clarified.

“Yes, that’s a street.”

“Okay. So. Here we go. I…love…and…street.”

“Noooo! Rue!”

“Oh. Okay. I…love…and…rue. I love Andrew!”

He celebrated for a minute before turning mockishly mawkish.

“Awwww,” he crooned and gave me a little hug, “You know, I…think you draw a really nice ampersand.”

“Awww,” I crooned back, matching his tone, “That’s the nicest thing you’ve said all week!”

This spurred on an impromptu stick-figure drawing contest.

Later that night Andrew was getting my vitamins out for me.

“If I wasn’t here you’d probably never take these,” he said.

“That’s probably true,” I consented, although who leaves who reminders on the whiteboard?

He examined the bottle.

“These expire soon,” he said, “We’ve been married a long time!”

I looked at him for an explanation.

“It’s just weird that we’ve bought things in our marriage that are expiring,” he said, then thought for a minute before adding, “Things like besides milk.”

We’re on year five, which is like a fifth of my lifetime, so I suppose that is a long time. For us. Man, our eternity calendar is getting full.

What’s interesting is that we both claim to enjoy camping, yet we can count the number of times we’ve been camping since we’ve been married on one hand. That’s something we’d like to change. It would probably help if we had our own camping equipment. Like a tent or something. Anything.

Luckily we have good friends like the Houses who lend us their equipment, with the condition that we sweep out the tent before returning it.

Since I had Miriam strapped to my front, making me, for all intents and purposes, 13 months pregnant, that became Andrew’s job. He took everything out of the tent and then I held up the back end of while he swept it out. Then he rolled it up while I collected trash. Within a few minutes the whole campsite was picked up—amazing how fast that happens when everyone helps.

We were loading up the car when I noticed I didn’t have my cell phone. I had left it in the tent before we went hiking. There’s no reception in the  wadi so it was pointless to have on my person during daylight hours; at night I had used it as a flashlight.

“Do you have my cell phone?” I asked Andrew.


“Oh. What did you do with it?”

“What do you mean?”

“It was in the side pocket of the…”

We both looked at the tent, rolled up tightly and in its carrying case.

“Did you check the pockets of the tent before you packed it up?”

“Well, I took all my stuff out of the pocket I used. I didn’t check the other pockets of the tent. I mean, who even uses those…besides me…and, apparently, you?”

“Oh…let me think…everybody?” I suggested. “But it’s okay. We’ll just unroll it when we get home. I’m sure it’s inside.”

We tossed the tent in the trunk.

*Ring, ring!* it said.

We looked at each other and grinned.

*Ring, ring!* the tent said again, impatiently.

Apparently my cell phone gets reception while rolled up in a tent and  sitting in the trunk of a car but does not get reception while in my hand around the campfire.

Obviously Andrew and I need more practice camping. We’re hoping to get to do that more once we get back to America, which means that we’ll have to buy a tent, which means that we’ll have to find jobs. Then we can have our stick-figure drawing contests by the light of the fire and roll up our cell phones in our own tent.

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