Love means never having to say IKEA
I was talking to a friend of mine from Salt Lake last Monday and I asked him what he was doing over Memorial Day.
"Aw not much," he said. "I think I am going to just stay home."
"What not camping, no ATVing, no fishing," I replied. "You never miss a chance to go camping."
"Oh I am going camping, but I am going tomorrow," he said.
"Really," I said quizzically, figuring he was going early to beat the crowds and then would return when everyone else was headed out. "Where are you going?"
"We're going camping in Draper," he said.
I didn't say anything for a moment. He lives in Sandy and I was trying to figure out why he was traveling to camp about two miles away in a newly bustling city.
"I guess I don't get it," I exclaimed. "What the heck are you going to do in Draper, less than five minutes from your house."
"We're going IKEA camping," he said. By his tone I could tell this was not his idea.
At first I thought he had joined some kind of new camping cult that had formed in Salt Lake. Then I realized what he was talking about and I had visions of people with light sabers and Indiana Jones hats hung over their brow hanging around tents jousting and playing board games.
"Tell me you're not going to do that ridiculous 'camp until the grand opening' thing at their new store?" I said knowing all along I was just asking for a truth I didn't want to hear.
"Yeah, Jill talked me into it," he said. "I guess they are giving away all kinds of stuff to the first few people in the door. She wants some of it."
I pictured him, in his tent in a parking lot when he would much rather be hanging a line in a lake somewhere in the Uintas.
"Are you crazy?" I asked.
"I love my wife," he replied. And that was the only excuse he gave for the idiocy of staying overnight right next to I-15 throughout the rest of the conversation.
Love is okay if you don't have to prove it by camping out on a newly constructed parking lot for two days with fresh oil wafting into every cell of your body. But after giving him my condolences for a week well ruined I began to think about my past and if I had ever done anything like that for a woman. That is besides getting married which is the longest camping adventure I have ever been on (and I have done that twice).
I realized I had.
At Christmas time in 1970, the movie Love Story was released to movie theaters across the nation. However, unlike the way things are done now with movies starting on thousands of screens across the country, distributors would only release blockbuster movies to theaters that had bid the most to get them. Usually that was one theater per metropolitan area. I can't remember for sure, but I think Love Story was only being shown along the Wasatch Front at the Utah Theater in downtown Salt Lake. The movie pulled long lines for every showing, in fact some people had to wait in line through three shows to see it.
I was one of those people. On New Years Eve 1970 I stood in line on a cold, snowy night for six hours to see that movie. It was an excruciating experience. At almost 19 years old, you'd think I'd have known better, but a light jacket and some wimpy gloves were pretty macho for a guy who had to stand in 15 degree temperatures with the wind blowing down the street. My girl friend at the time was very tall, very thin and cold blooded, and so I was trying to keep her warm as well.
Okay, that part wasn't so bad.
Anyway we stood there in line, mostly with other almost 20ers, talking and laughing as the line would move one show house full at a time. At first we thought we would get in after only waiting through one show, which was about two hours. We had already missed the first one we intended to get into by fifteen minutes. The snow kept coming down; soon our eye lashes and hair were covered. Everyone in line looked like living snowmen by the time the last showing, at 11 p.m. started.
And I was glad to get inside. The movie seemed great at the time, probably because I was just thankful I was getting thawed out. But I saw it recently on television and it looked pretty hokey by todays standards. All I really remember about the first time I saw the movie now is that line about "Love means never having to say you are sorry."
Well I found myself pretty sorry that I stood in that cold line for so doggone long.
I guess I have become jaded. My old age (note I am not using wisdom here as a reason) tells me that I would never wait in line for a movie, to get into a store or anything else for that long again, regardless of the weather. In fact if the line is too long at the grocery store these days, I will go home and eat what we have rather than wait to have something better.
But not my friend. He must still be living in the 70's, when we were young and had a lot of time to waste.
Oh what we will do for love.