December 3, 2010
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I just booked a room for Reuben and my first vacation away from the baby. Suddenly, the reality that we get a true vacation has hit me and I’m giddy with anticipation! Don’t get me wrong, I’ll miss our baby immensely. But since post-baby vacations have proven to be rather short on the relaxation element, I will enjoy the ability to sleep in, go on leisurely walks around the town, and enter bars.
This new vacation prospect has me remembering our “babymoon” — the last vacation we had before our daughter was born. That was a trip to Phoenix, then a drive to Southern California via Palm Springs and Joshua Tree National Park.
One very (seemingly) mundane memory sticks out for me from that trip. During our SoCal part of the journey, we made a stop in San Clemente, a town where Reuben spent several childhood years. Somehow, during those childhood years, Reuben developed a total and absolute hatred of all vegetables. It’s an infamous characteristic of his that he is passionately devoted to. And yet, there is a place called Mr. Pete’s where Reuben has a fondness for fried zucchini.
Sometimes when vegetables are deep-fried, they lose all semblance of being a vegetable. But, I tasted these, and they are definitely zucchini-ish. You can taste it. I imagine Reuben can too. So, why, one must ask, will Reuben eat Mr. Pete’s fried zucchini when he loathes all other vegetables (including other zucchini) on the planet?
I think it’s nostalgia. Whatever strong force drove him to hate vegetables also drove in him a fond memory of this burger joint around the corner from his childhood home. And that nostalgia overcomes his dedication to vegetable disgust.