I woke up early and got busy making Big Guy's favorite cake; German Chocolate. I let him sleep in.
Well, he didn't really sleep in since he could hear me banging around in the kitchen and taking doggies in and out. Because he was awake, I asked him if he wanted me to fix him a nice breakfast, (obviously not breakfast in bed like I had so many times in the past), or go out somewhere.
Big Guy suggested going out, so as soon as the cake was done, we were off to a favorite restaurant.
We were lucky enough to be seated in a booth right under a lovely art photo taken in an area where my Big Guy grew up. The photo depicted a beautiful sunrise over the flint-rocked hills as seen looking out from between some trees and over an old, barbed wire fence. It was truly a vision of "God's Country" which was what my Big Guy always called this area.
We were also lucky to score our favorite waiter; a young man who we had known for several years.
After a fun discussion about whether or not he was old enough for a Senior Citizen's Discount, Big Guy ordered his favorite and I chose my usual. We visited with another friend seated nearby, until the food came.
The food was delicious as always but while we were enjoying it, something unexpected happened. A waitress was walking by, trying to juggle a few too many items, when just as she started to pass our booth, her juggling routine went awry and everything tumbled out of her arms spilling to the floor with the exception of a small pot of very hot "tea" water; it ended up splattered across Big Guy's bare forearm!
Big Guy immediately checked to see that the waitress was Ok, since the brunt of that very hot water had tipped over on her hand as she had tried to catch it before it fell. Then every other waitress/waiter headed to her rescue and helped clean up the mess. Each one noticed the water splattered on his shirt and asked my Big Guy if he was Ok and of course he wouldn't even acknowledge that it had touched him, much less the fact that he had been burned.
Anyway, breakfast continued and Big Guy seemed pleased then we paid the bill, left a good tip and were headed for the parking lot where he beat me to the passenger door and had it open and waiting for me to climb in. When we were finally seated in the truck, I asked him how he would like to spend his day and he said maybe we could go play Bingo.
Bingo! We hadn't played Bingo in years. In fact, I can count on one hand the times we had played in the past twenty five years.
We never really had been Bingo Fanatics but enjoyed playing for fun. In fact, the first time my Big Guy and I ever played Bingo together is still fresh in my mind.
During my second year of college, we had become good friends due to many theater play's we were part of and the fact that we were also the college billiard champs and spent a lot of time together playing in tournaments and practicing. One time while we were at another college tournament, Big Guy asked if I would ever consider going out with him on a date; a real date and not just to play pool to practice for a tournament. It didn't take a second for me to tell him, "I would like that very much!". I had already become terribly fond of him by now and could tell by his subtle teasing that he liked me too.
It wasn't until that following Spring, however, and after Big Guy was attending another college, when he called me up and asked if he could take me on a date one weekend while he was back for a visit. If you have read the story I posted on here, "A Big Black Hairy Valentine", you will know a little about how we communicated during this time period.
Excited about our date, I asked a friend if she could babysit my three children for the evening and then commenced to try on an assortment of outfits until something finally made me feel date-worthy. I even fussed over hair and make-up, which for me was normally only done during college plays. I was a no-fuss, no-frills kinda gal but I hadn't been on a real date probably ever so I wanted to look nice.
When Big Guy drove up, I barely allowed him time to knock on my door and sprang from the house to head for his car. He quickly cut me off so he could play the gentleman and open the door.
"You don't need to do that, I'm perfectly able to open my own door!" I said as I reached for the door handle.
"Please, I want to!" he said as he also grabbed for the handle with a giant hand.
Trying hard to pry his giant hand off of the handle, a small wrestling match begin to ensue, "No, really, I am a capable person and don't understand why you should feel the need to open my door when I could just as easily open it and save you from getting out of the car!", my voice started to escalate.
Because he was much stronger than me and able to gently take over the handle, he opened the door, "Please allow me to treat you like a lady, at least for today!" my poor confused Big Guy pleaded with me.
With tightened lips and squinted eyes I agreed, "Ok, you did it this time but just remember I am perfectly capable of opening my own doors!" I scowled at him most un-lady-like.
Then I climbed in and he proceeded to drive.
"So where are we going?" I asked, wondering to myself if we would eat dinner somewhere nice, maybe see a movie or go to the only club in town to dance.
"I wanted to take you some place where we could have fun," he began, "so I thought we would go play Bingo!" he seemed rather excited and happy with the idea.
"Ummm, don't only old people play Bingo?" I asked with some skepticism.
"Oh no, of course not! There are a lot of people our age who play!" he smiled.
Now with a concerned expression on my face, "I've just never heard of young people playing Bingo and only remember my grandparents playing.", I reasoned.
Of course I didn't know much about Bingo since the only time I had ever played was in grade school for a holiday party and we were given dry beans as markers. I didn't win either since I was too shy to yell out even if I had a Bingo and the prizes were always a new pencil or an eraser. But he seemed so confident that we would have fun and continued to assure me that there would be lot's of people there in their twenties like us.
We drove downtown to the Elks Club basement where Bingo was being held and to my Big Guy's surprise, not a single person under age fifty five was present. Yep, everyone was either gray haired or bald!
I laughed as the lady selling the cards explained that this was "Senior Citizen Night" and then she admitted to Big Guy that there were just a few young people who attended even on regular nights so it was almost always Senior Citizen Night.
When Big Guy explained to the lady that we were on our first date, she allowed us to play anyway and then she told the fellow with the microphone who called the numbers and he shared that information with the entire room.
We had so much fun with all of those elderly people who smiled sweetly at us throughout the evening and though neither of us Bingo'd, it was the best date ever!
So here we are, nearly thirty years later, planning another Bingo date. But Bingo wouldn't be starting for at least another two hours, so to kill some time, we drove out to our farmstead and walked around, enjoying the gorgeous spring weather and looking over the blooming annuals and Red Bud trees. Then Big Guy suggested we go back into town and check out an auction down the street from the Bingo hall.
Even though we arrived hours after the auction had started, there were many interesting things left including some antique items, hand made quilts and vintage clothing. After looking through the musty smelling, but beautiful old quilts, we gravitated towards a table with shallow boxes full of costume jewelry. I picked up a really pretty pink necklace and showed it off to Big Guy, who insisted on bidding on it for me. I told him not to bid more than eight dollars for it but he won it for ten.
After deciding there was nothing else we wanted to bid on, we payed for the necklace and headed back to the truck. As I climbed into my seat, Big Guy again holding the door open for me, I glanced into the visor mirror to look at the necklace. Suddenly I notice a small tiny black bug, crawling slowly on my neck. I screamed and pinched the bug between my thumb and forefinger and jumping out of the truck I flung it into the air and shook my whole entire body wildly. I'm sure, anyone watching probably thought I was having some kind of a fit or seizure! My Big Guy came running and I told him that we needed to go home immediately. I didn't know what Bed Bugs looked like, but now I was certain I had them.
Poor Big Guy kept trying to assure me it was probably just a bug from the farm but I was so convinced it was a Bed Bug from all those smelly old quilts and when we got home I stripped my clothes off and tossed them in the laundry, jumped in the shower and scrubbed my head and body frantically. Then when I was done, I had him look me over, head to toe to make certain there was nothing crawling on me anywhere. He joked about me inspecting him as well so I told him that wasn't a bad idea since he had also been looking at those old quilts. When he removed his shirt, to his dismay, I screamed again and plucked another bug just like the one I had found on me, off of his bare chest. I tossed it quickly into the toilet and flushed and then insisted he shower as well.
In an hour, we had showered, washed our clothes and inspected each other thoroughly for any more bugs and then when finally satisfied that they were all gone, we were off to play Bingo.
Bingo was like we had remembered. Mostly all old people. I stared at the young couple who were seated across the room from us and smiled as their expressions changed while they played their cards together. I even won a game but only because I switched cards with Big Guy right as the game was starting, but don't worry, I gave him the winning money since it should have been his Bingo.
Three things I learned this weekend:
First and because I've had time to look them up, the bugs were not Bed Bugs but merely small American Spider Beetles and could have come from anywhere and are basically harmless.
Second, when Big Guy and I go to Bingo from now on, we are no longer considered young people, but still find ourselves having just as much fun.
And third, even though I have shared nearly thirty of Big Guy's birthdays with him, he has not changed. He is still the wonderful, considerate and gentle giant that I fell in love with, who concerns himself with the pain someone else might be going through more than his own; he wishes to make someone else he loves happy even when it should be his turn and he still insists on treating me like a lady even when I do not deserve it most of the time.
I love you Big Guy! Happy birthday and many more Bingo's!