S is “hosting” an international officer for CLC3. I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but it’s happening. He’s a member of the Slovenian Army (or whatever their official name is), and here for the whole course without his family. They will be coming to visit at some point for a month, but otherwise, it’s just him and a hotel room. There are 13 other officers from various other countries around the world, which I find to be totally cool, and each of them is paired up with an American officer for various reasons. As far as I can tell, whatever the international program is called takes them to see and do some things (like see Washington, DC, go to Williamsburg, etc), but they ask for volunteers to “host” so that they get a chance to see and do a little more, have some “off” time away from class and the hotel, get some help getting around base and town, etc. I met him the other night at a social mixer for the families, and then we had him over for dinner last night. He was really sweet and brought both of the girls a present, and we got to learn some more about Slovenia and soccer (haha). We, of course, told him he was welcome over any time (and to just give me a heads up so I can cook enough dinner), and reminded him that if he needs help with anything, to let us know.
Well, he asked if he could get a ride to the mall so he could get his watch strap adjusted. This, of course, is no big deal. S was just going to go, but because the weather was supposed to be on the poor side, today, I suggested we all just go and I would walk around with the girls to get a little exercise. About an hour before we were going to pick him up, he called to find out if there was room for one more (thanks, Sienna, for making that possible!).
So, we pick him and a female officer from Jamaica up. She needed to get her cell phone repaired or replaced or something (I’m still a little fuzzy on what was going on there), so she went one way, we went another, and eventually caught back up with her. Whatever was with the phone was going to take hours. Our Slovenian friend was on the hunt for some shorts and flip flops (after getting his watch fixed), and the mall had nothing for him.
In fact, the mall had nothing for anyone. I was amazed at how many stores this mall lacked. In other words, if you want to go to a mainstream store, you’re going to have to hightail it up to Richmond. The only children’s clothing store was The Children’s Place (blech), and the Macy’s was the size of a postage stamp.
S mentioned that he always buys his shorts at Costco and that we would be happy to make the trek. Slovenian friend was up for it, Jamaican one was not. She wanted to stay and shop, so we said we would swing back by in a couple of hours to pick her up.
Now, why is all of this relevant, you may ask?
Well, this morning when we were planning all of this, I assumed we would be seeing the inside of the mall for, oh, 1-2 hours, then come home where I would make some lunch. As we were leaving the house, I grabbed a peach, and that was all I ate this morning. 1-2 hours at the mall later, and we were extending our field trip to double the time away from home.
Do you know how hard it is to eat out on this diet?
So, we head to Costco. E is starting to complain about being hungry, so we tell her we will get her a hotdog at the food court. We get there, and E wants a piece of pizza. Which is my favorite. Our Slovenian friend gets a chicken bake and keeps trying to get us to try it. “No, thanks, I’m fine.” Meanwhile, my stomach is grumbling. S broke down and got a hotdog, but ate it without the bun. And I got nothing. (Okay, I admit, I had a tiny bit of the end of S’s hotdog, but only because I was going to pass out if I didn’t eat something). It took a tremendous amount of willpower to not just say “it’s only one meal,” or “I’ll just eat E’s crust,” or the like.
Especially since we didn’t even get home until 2 hours later. That’s right. We left the house a little before 11 and got back at 5.
I ran into the house and quickly started to make dinner: New York strips, sweet potatoes, and summer squash. I don’t think I have ever cooked a meal so quickly. And now, more than an hour after eating, I am still feeling full. And fat. But happy.
Oh, so happy.