It’s 7:15am and the sun isn’t even close to coming up yet. These few weeks between the darkening of fall and daylight savings always throw me off. Some days I sleep until 8 or 8:30 because I think it’s much earlier. Not today though. Two days after an apocalyptic election and I am up before the light starts shining between the trees. And, thankfully, today I will watch daybreak from my own house.
I made it home yesterday around 5pm, which means I’ve been in my own space for just 36 hours. I’m not sick yet. That usually happens this week of any election year but I think I may have knocked out my inevitable illness a few weeks ago. I’m also not parked in bed. Usually I’m exhausted and sleeping. I’m tired, no doubt about it. But all things considered, it hasn’t been as brutal of an election year as I am used to.
I was telling my wife that this year I can really recognize all the different levels of campaigns I have worked in… going from being a do-er to being a manager of the do-er’s to being a manager of the managers of the do-er’s. It’s nice to not be as physically involved as I used to be when I would stay up for days at a time and never leave a campaign office. But I have a new stress and exhaustion and it lives right between my two ears. The trade-off of not being in the office all the time is being on the hook for everything. If something screws up in those offices… it’s eventually my problem.
Anyway, I digress. Last night we went to dinner, just Rhonda and I. It was time to spend and evening with my wife and I was looking forward to anything. I got anxious when she asked me where I wanted to eat for a number of reasons. The first one is that my decision making ability has been completely depleted by the elections. By last night, I just needed someone to tell me what to do. Second, I know exactly what follows that question, what path my brain goes down, and it isn’t pretty. It goes like this: Well, what are our options? Then, listing the ‘options’. Next comes the realization that they are the same options they have always been – all four. Then the acute irritation with where we lives resurfaces and I get unreasonable. Then…
However, no sooner had my face made it apparent that I was chewing through option one and was well en route to my usual fever pitch, my wife suggested ‘Hey let’s go to Revolver.” Yes! Where did she come up with that one?
Revolver is a restaurant forty miles from us that is fabulous. They opened about five years ago. I actually read about them in Bon Apetit before ever knowing that they existed. Their menu rotates, incorporating seasonal organic foods from all local farms. We’ve been their three or four times and every visit has been deliciously memorable. And you have to have reservations. Not because it gets packed – it doesn’t. They just only have so many seats so they fill them up and then call it a night.
We were happy to sit at the corner of the counter last night because we were ready to eat and there was more open space for our feast than if we’d sat at a table. Here’s a brief sampling of our dinner: pickled cow’s tongue with roasted beets and soft boiled farm egg, rabbit with nicoise olives on fresh spun fettuccini, veal, onion bisque, cinnamon meatballs, etc. The list goes on and on really, including some extraordinary Oregon pinots. We spent $250 on dinner, and didn’t order the whole menu either. True, we ordered things we only really wanted to taste. But that’s how we roll, my wife and I.
I would have liked to have taken the girls with us. But I know my process and the process of my wife as well. Getting ourselves aligned first is how we then get aligned again as a family. So that’s what we did for two hours – got aligned. We talked about all of our upcoming travel, what was going on in her office, what we should do for the weekend and all the things we needed to figure out. I told my wife that in no way was my head in a place to solve anything, but I was happy to make a list of the things that needed to be solved, so that’s what we did. It was a perfect date night. Hey, it was actually a perfect date DAY too because we met at Arby’s for lunch. Heh heh heh the juxtaposition of Revolver and Arby’s is cracking me up.
Once we got home, Ava made her request that we be sure and do some family things this weekend. Done and done. (What five year old expresses themselves like that?) Some of the ideas she has… Surprise mom and Lily with breakfast on Saturday, go to the movies, go bowling, go to the mall, go on a trip. You get it? She’s picking anything we’ve ever done as a family before.
I get it Bird. And I’m picking them all.