Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Mother Hen

Monday was a holiday in Palau so we took the day to go diving with a group of friends even though there are animals under water. This is one of those peer pressure things where I'm basically FORCED to agree to go because I'm all thinking that I don't want to go diving ever again and then someone's like, "Eli, we're going diving on Monday. You should come if you want." And then I'm all, "OK COUNT ME IN!!! WHAT CAN I BRING!?! LET'S GO TWICE!!!"

Then Daniel has to go too because the next time I see him I'm all, "we're going diving on Monday" and then when he tries to say anything I just scream over his voice repeatedly until he gives up.

So on Monday we went diving.

Diving was fine, besides the animals and being under water and stuff. And we did see some giant mantas that if you catch me in a very honest mood I might admit were pretty cool. But then later if you try to repeat what I said to other people I will immediately interject with totally slanderous gossip about you in retaliation. So just beware.

The best dive spots in Palau are about an hour-long boat ride away from the main cluster of islands that we all live and work on. And typically this boat ride is really pleasant and beautiful. It weaves between hundreds of small jungle islands and the whole time you feel like you're in Jurassic Park and you start wondering if you're going to see dinosaurs and you KNOW you're going to avoid hiding in the outhouse if ever there is a need to hide.

By the time we finished our dive it was raining pretty hard. And it continued to rain for the majority of our ride back to the big city.

I sat at the very back of the boat with Daniel and our good friend Natalie. And the back of the boat was a particularly cold and miserable place to sit in these conditions.

Ok, let me just anticipate your angry comments and biting emails now. I KNOW GUYS. I've been complaining that it is always hot in Palau no matter what always. And you have spent a great amount of energy feeling sorry for me over that.

WELL, sometimes it's a little cold. But only when riding on a boat, while wet, during a rain storm. OK? This is honestly the only situation in Palau in which I have not been on the verge of heat stroke. So I haven't really lied to you.

Also while I'm defending myself, I promise I don't really slap children in grocery stores and I won't slap yours. Adults, maybe. But not children. So let's all just calm down.

Because it was cold on the back of that boat, I was shivering. And complaining ever so slightly.




Natalie and I sat down next to one another on the floor of the boat to help block ourselves from the wind. And we were facing Daniel, who sat on the back bench, all alone, with the same chipper look on his face that he always annoyingly has, like he was enjoying a warm day on the beach.

So Natalie and I did the natural thing and we started directing all of our complaining to him, hoping to bring him down.

After five minutes or so of this, Daniel then did the strangest thing that has ever been done by a man.

He got up, sat on top of both of us Indian leg style, wrapped his 14 foot arms all the way around both of us, and then said in a soothing yet incredibly creepy voice, "now, now. Mama hen is here to take care of her chickens."

Sometimes I feel like Daniel and the Queen of Colors are basically the same person.

Daniel's legs are the length of two football fields. His femurs could be used as walking sticks for an average sized adult. His feet . . . you know what, I don't need to exaggerate. HE WEARS A SIZE 17 SHOE. Daniel is a giant. And I've always known this. But when I saw him sit on top of and completely cover TWO GROWN ADULTS, it was the first time I really realized how large of a person he is.

Natalie and I were momentarily speechless by what was happening. And then she looked at me and said, "I know we should be weirded out and should try to push him away . . . but this is really comforting and I'm kind of getting warm already." I tried to pull away a couple of times, but when I did, he just tightened his grip and whispered, "come now little chickies. Shhh shhh shhh. Mommy has you and won't let you get hurt." And after a few tries, I just gave up and relaxed and actually had to agree that I was getting warmed back up.

After ten more minutes of Daniel making owl sounds in our ears (he doesn't seem to know the difference between an owl and a hen) and singing, "hush little baby don't say a word" over and over and over, Natalie whispered to me, "Daniel is going to make a really good mom one day."

And guys, she was totally serious about this. And when she said it, I thought, "he really IS going to make a good mom one day." Even though I have previously thought he was going to make a really bad mom one day. See this and this and this and this.

When we got into the car to drive back home I asked Daniel how it was possible that he was not cold on that boat ride. He responded, "because I'm a MAN, Eli. Men don't get cold. You should try being one every once in a while."

Said the "man" who sat on his two friends and asked them to refer to him as "mother hen" only moments before.

~It Just Gets Stranger


  1. I think that the post where he cleaned up your puke off inanimate objects and you should also go in the "pro" column for his mothering abilities. : )

  2. Eli, you are amazing. But anyone who can be a man/hen, is beyond amazing.

    PS, you can slap my children in the grocery store if it looks like my hands are full.

  3. Can you tell Daniel that I love him for me? Thanks.

  4. O my! i had a really good laugh. Eli, you sure know how to deliver your stories. Daniel is such a good friend or should i say brother?

  5. That's . . . unusual. But I kind of dig it. Also I don't think you should be too hard on him for not seeming "to know the difference between an owl and a hen" since you don't know the difference between wolves and foxes. Also, Daniel, doesn't have any place to tell you "try being a man sometime" if he knows how to crochet, reads girly books and watches girly movies.

    1. FYI: I think he learned to crochet when he was 4 yrs old *a very fast learner*. His 8 yr old brother had heart & lung surgery and their loving grandmother (the great and original GeeGee) taught his brother to crochet as it does not require you to move your arms and it helps the time pass.
      So word to your mama: don't mock the crochet ability...

    2. I need to learn how to post as Anonymous... but I guess everyone would recognize a Mama Bear through the lines!

    3. That's sweet. It's funny how things that happen at that age mold you. I am not the Anonymous above, but I am a Mama Bear too! ;)
      When you are ready to publish, it says to "Reply as:" and then "select profile", choose "anonymous" or you can choose "name" and put anything you want...like "Mama Bear."

  6. http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20130401170121AACILzp

    Hahaha have you seen this!

  7. Yet again, this is why I love Daniel. I haven't even met him.

  8. Does Daniel need a new best friend/chick to care for? I think he sounds like the most wonderful guy. I might be in love.

  9. I don't think you should have closed the book on slapping people's kids at the grocery store...just sayin'.
    My husband is not from the US, but in his culture, men kiss (even other men) on the cheek (of the FACE).
    My son is too embarrassed to do that and my DH is always telling him, seriously, "Real men kiss each other on the face! You need to grow up."
    Hahaha...it makes me laugh each time!

  10. I love Daniel! :) I'm cold all of the time, so you need to ship him back to Utah so that I can use him as a blanket and carry him around everywhere like Linus in Peanuts.

  11. I am totally with you on the water and critters part.
    And I refuse to watch Titanic.
    Jaws and The Poseiden Adventure has scarred me for life. It irritates me that people don't believe me when I tell them there are sharks in the city pools!!

  12. I love Daniel. I will look for him when he's back in the states and if my plans work, I'm setting him up with one of the funnest girls ever. You Eli, I'm sure you're a great person but sometimes you remind me of a teenage girl on her period. Thanks for the story!

    1. "a teenage girl on her period"!
      Twice up the barrel, once down the side!

    2. Especially when you scream like a girl when someone scares you.

      And sea life is super awesome. What's the point in going underwater if you can't play with the fishy's?

    3. Eli marry me.

  13. I laugh a lot while reading your blog, but this post takes the cake. Wow.

  14. in tears laughing at this post and imagining the scene...

  15. That is hilarious! We could use more "mother hen" types here in Wisconsin. :) I have a Palau boat story for you, too: some friends were in the Rock Islands--there were 2 boats & for one coral reef, you had to count the waves to go over and not damage the boat. First boat got over fine. My friends' boat had a drunk driver who miscalculated and ripped a hole in the boat. They waited in the water for an hour while the first boat went for help & one friend thought everyone needed to stay positive and tried to get them to do a sing-along. Except the only song she could think of was "American Pie" with the line "this will be the day that I die..." The Palauans thought she was insane & other friend never quite forgave her for her song choice...