Last Friday night, Jason and I headed into town for a much needed date night to celebrate school starting, and therefore having 8 1/2 fewer hours of the day to divert kids away from electronic devices.
On the drive, we engaged in our usual exchange:
“Where do you want to eat?”
“I dunno. Where do you want to eat?”
“I dunno. What sounds good?”
“I dunno. What sounds good to you?”
We had at least three more “I dunno’s” to go when Jason abruptly broke pattern. I looked up from my hungry shlump in the passenger seat to see that Logan’s Main Street and every major side street within view was in gridlock.
“Oh no!” I gasped as I suddenly remembered what weekend it was.
“What? Where’s all this traffic coming from?” Jason hadn’t made the connection yet.
“They’re ba-ack!” I mimicked the creepy intonation of the little blonde girl from the Poltergeist flicks and pointed at a slew of co-eds wearing Aggie blue and J-walking in front of our car.
“Oh yeah,” Jason grimaced.
We love living in a college town, except for the weekend before fall semester when a ginormous population of carnivorous college kids flood into town like an army of termites, devouring our restaurant tables, roads, parking spaces, and any/all household supplies on store shelves.
I know I shouldn’t loathe their existence because I was once one of them and one of my own offspring recently contributed to a hostile takeover of a small college town in central Utah, but when you finally get a rare night out and you’re suffering with the hungry grumpies it’s difficult to be tolerant.
The good news is the onslaught of cars and co-eds saved us from resuming the “I dunno” conversation and quickly narrowed down our restaurant choices since almost every eatery we passed had lines out the door.
“Are you sure you want to eat out?” Jason said as he prepped for an illegal U-turn.
I was torn. On one hand, sitting yards away from gabbing roomies dishing about hotties they met at orientation and their awesome summer on Facebook might be more than I could stomach while trying to eat. On the other hand, my neglected kitchen and empty fridge, due to weeks of either being in the chiropractor’s office or on the couch with an ice pack to my neck to treat my herniated C5 vertebrae, had little to offer in taste or ambiance.
“I can’t go back home. I have serious chiro-cabin fever.”
“Cafe Rio it is then.”
We’re Rio lifers because it’s tasty, affordable, fresh, and pretty quick even when the line is long. I was hoping for more of a pampered dinner experience that night, but it wasn’t worth all the bother. The students were feeding in force at Rio too, but we managed to snag a table in the corner next to a bunch of guys who were more about eating than chatting.
Once I got a little food in me, I actually got a little excited and nostalgic as I looked out over the young, energetic crowd.
College is a fun time of life and having students in town brings back a lot of great memories. Memories of a carefree, youthful, happy time when I had no idea what a herniated disc was because that was something old people had.
At least now I have a good excuse to lay on the couch and watch college football.