Dayton, however, is like Columbus without the restaurants or good shopping, so it puts me in quite a conundrum. I never can think of any fun activities to do. I always imagine there are people throwing pottery or bicycling, laughing jovially in their sweaters, mocking me as I stay in my apartment. I know some of this is seasonal, but I want to be one of those people who goes to the pumpkin patch or the flea market just to browse, carrying little paper Starbucks cups holding hands with their significant other. Do you know there are people who pick their own apples and then make homemade apple butter? And most of them aren't even Amish! My coworker and her husband took a cheese-making class a few weekends ago. I really need to up my game.
So, when my boyfriend came up from Cincinnati to spend a lazy Sunday with me, I struggled to think of fun coupled-y activities that didn't include beer, sitting in a restaurant, or worse, just watching "Wife Swap" on Lifetime. I'm basically really lame, but as Patti Sanger will tell you, no one wants to date a lame ass. My boyfriend and I are still in the stage where he hasn't discovered my true nature yet, so I needed an un-lame, romantic-ish couples activity to further cloak my desire to remain in a semi-comatose state during the weekends. I ended up recycling a past date and decided it would be fun to head to Young's Dairy in Yellow Springs, then look around Yellow Springs at all the little hippie shops. Cute, right?
In the car ride up to Yellow Springs I proved to be, as always, a charming car companion. I spent the better part of the ride yodeling along to Dave Matthews Band, hi-pitch and off-key. Then I found some gangster rap, and impressed my significant other with my smooth rhymes and slick moves. I then dazzled him with conversation, like, "how do babies think if they don't know language?" So, I'm sure my bf was especially grateful to exit the car when we stepped out into the pungent air hanging over the grounds of Young's Dairy. Obviously, having remembered all the fun I had at Young's during my previous activity date, I bolted straight for the goat barn. You can touch them and play with them, but I'm kind of surprised the goats get much love at all because they just look like puppy-mill puppies, inbred and slightly stupid. It doesn't help that their eyes are so far apart they can see around corners without turning their heads. After petting the goats and running from the chickens, I decided I wanted to feed the goats (kind of a disney princess thing, natch) but the pellet dispenser demanded quarters which neither I nor my date had, so naturally I just scooped out the remnants left in the dispenser from the last paying customers and scraped together a decent handful. I'm telling you, I'm nothing if not a lady.
After enjoying dairy fresh "Cow Patty" ice cream, my boyfriend and I left Young's and drove a few miles up the road to Yellow Springs. For those of you who don't know, Yellow Springs is a town for aging hippies, full of ma and pop places, organic eateries, and head shops of all kinds. The best part about Yellow Springs, however, is that it is a hippie haven, but it's located in the heart of bumble-fuck nowhere Ohio, where John Deere mailboxes outnumber their plain counterparts. This combination is mind blowing and exotic, like if you were to see Giselle Bundchen shopping at the Family Dollar in Rio Grande, Ohio.
So my boy and I wandered around, enjoying the local flavor. We walked into a jewelry store which boasted spoon rings, but left without buying anything because they didn't have toe rings. I grumbled that they should have specified as the sign was misleading. We also enjoyed a toy store, where the excited clerk told me that LOTR Legos are coming out. I told him it sounds like another reason a whole population of people will never have a reason to leave their houses. This was all fun. The cherry on top of the entire day, however, was finding a small herbal remedy shop. We walked inside and looked at the various healing herbal teas. I was thinking I might have to buy some Lady Grey and then I was distracted by little yellow pellets that looked like the fertilizer Scott's Lawn Care used to spray across my parent's lawn. It turned out to be bee pollen. I asked the man behind the counter what exactly you did with it. And he said you ate it and we only didn't know about it because "the western pharmaceutical companies want to pimp their synthetic products." Sold. You're supposed to do two teaspoons a day, one at breakfast, one at lunch, and apparently it boosts immunity, speeds your metabolism, is full of nutrients, and "energizes you faster than a Redbull." I'm going to try it for a week, I'll let you guys know. If it does everything it says, I'm pretty sure half of my paycheck will go to this stuff, but that's fine, because apparently you can survive on just bee pollen and no other food.
So while I'm not particularly good at coming up with fun, folksy, couple activities, I'm fairly confident this bee pollen will boost my creativity. Expect entries about a day spent weaving bonnets or making soap in the near future.