I learned several valuable lessons yesterday morning. Lessons I'll take with me to the grave. Those kinds of lessons that taunt you whenever you're about to repeat the same mistake that helped you learn the lesson in the first place. Come with me, will you, and let me share the experience, so that you too, can learn from my mistakes.
It was around 7:30 AM. My Check Engine light had been on all weekend and I knew I HAD to get my car into the garage that day to get it checked out before I could really drive it much again. My mom has already picked up the girls for daycare... Steve has left for work, and I'm here alone. So I weigh my options. I COULD call my dad (who doesn't start work until 9:00), and ask him to meet me at the garage so he could drive me back home after I drop my car off. "But," I say to myself, "it's still not THAT hot outside (85-degrees). And it's not THAT far. Maybe I should just walk home so as not to inconvenience Dad." Hmmm...
Finally, I figure, screw it. I'll walk. God knows it's the most exercise I'll have gotten in months. So I whip on a bra under the T-shirt I had worn to bed, and throw on a baseball cap.
Now here's where Lesson #1 comes into play... I couldn't find a pair of matching socks to throw on with my sneakers, so I just slid into my everyday flip-flops, telling myself it's not THAT far to walk, and I wear flip-flops all day long. What difference does it make WHERE I'm walking. Uh, yeah. Bad move. But more on that in a bit.
Then I realize I'm going to buy a pack of cigarettes and a Snapple at the gas station before heading home. I don't want to CARRY that stuff for a mile, so I guess I should take my purse with me. It'll look weird carrying my purse while walking along the road, but easier for me in terms of transporting my purchases. Great.
So I get in the car and start driving around the corner to the garage. As I'm approaching the garage, I realize that there's something I'd never really taken notice to before. There's no shoulder AT ALL on the side of the 4-lane highway on that side as you approach the garage. None. No where to walk at all, and a huge cliff on the other side of the guardrail, making it impossible to walk. Uh, shit?
I check the other side of the highway and see that there is indeed yards, sidewalks, and other areas over there to walk, but that would involve me running (literally) across the 4-lane highway to get to the other side, while wearing flip-flops, carrying a purse, and hopping the median in the center. Um, double shit?
So as I pull into the garage parking lot, I see that going in the same direction, there IS indeed a shoulder to walk on on this side of the highway, which would mean I wouldn't have to cross-over. Granted, it would be taking farther away from my house, but only about a quarter of a mile before there's a side road I could cut down, putting me on the nice, quiet back road to my house. Awesome.
So I give the mechanic the keys, explain the situation with the car, buy my smokes and my Snapple, and head out walking AWAY from my house. So I'm cutting through other businesses parking lots, etc. knowing that side road is just a little farther up.
I realize I'm screwed. I get to the end of a business's parking lot and see that all of a sudden, there's no where to walk. No other parking lot, no sidewalk, no shoulder on the highway. Nothing. Son of a BITCH!
So I realize I have no choice but to go BACK to the garage, run across the highway and head home. Sigh. By now I'm sweating profusely (it was up to 90-degrees), I kept getting gravel in my flip-flops, and because I had been too lazy to stick my contact lenses in, I have my glasses continually sliding down my nose, requiring me to keep pushing them back up. At this point, I'm wondering why the hell I hadn't called my dad, like any other sane person would've done.
So I turn around and walk BACK to where I just came from, cursing under my breath the entire time, and ignoring the odd looks I'm getting through the windows of the businesses whose parking lots I seem to be stalking.
So I make it back to the garage. This is it now. I HAVE to cross the highway. Crossing the highway itself would be no big deal, but frankly, I'm going to feel like an ass hopping over the median in the middle. Sigh. So I take a deep breath, will my flip-flops to stay on my damn feet, and RUN to the middle of the highway. Whew. Made it this far! So I hop the median and am now standing on the other side of it. OK. Good so far.
Now I have to wait while various cars, trucks, SUVs, minivans, and tractor trailers zoom past, looking at me like I'm a flaming idiot. Me in my baseball hat, flip-flops, glasses, old clothes, and carrying a fairly large plaid tote. Nice.
Finally, I see a break in the traffic and I RUN to the other side of the highway. I DID IT! I DID IT!!! But now I still have to get home.
So I start walking again, this time through people's front yards, driveways, parking lots, etc. I'm much safer at this point, but I still feel like a jackass at how ridiculous I probably look. I'm praying no one I know drives by and recognizes me.
A few hundred yards up, I come to a place where, if I cross back over the highway again, I can take a side road that will lead me to the nice, calm, rarely traveled back road to my house. The thought has me filled with glee. So I ready myself again to get across the highway at the first break in traffic. The one GOOD thing is that there's no median this time, so at least THAT part is out of the equation.
Finally, a space opens up and I go charging across the highway. I notice there's a car at the stop sign of the road I'm running towards. He's waiting to turn onto the highway. As I'm running, I hear someone yelling. I look over, and as luck would have it, it's a guy I graduated from high school with. Sigh. He's laughing and making some comment about running across the highway. I laugh back, blushingly profusely, and sort of wave. Hey, at least he's sort of a geek, so it's not like some HOT dude from high school was seeing me in this situation, right?
But anyway, I have now reached freedom. Freedom to walk casually, without seeing many cars or people, without worrying about getting creamed by a tractor trailer or some dude in a minivan that's late for work, and without wondering who was driving past that might know me. Ahhh...
So what does one do in this situation? She lights up a cigarette. So there I was, walking along in 90-degree heat in cut off sweat shorts and an Air Force T-shirt, a pink and lime green Guiness beer baseball hat, brown flip-flops with pink stripes, glasses, and carrying a large blue plaid purse, while a cigarette hung out of my mouth. Sweet.
I won't even get into how halfway home, I got stomach cramps because I had to um, "go". My mind flashed back to my MIL's shrub shitting incident and I willed my body to just hold it in until I got home to my own commode. There was no way in hell I was going to be grouped in with THAT whole fiasco.
Words cannot describe my excitement when I walked into my house. I had just walked a mile and a half (in flip-flops) and was dripping with sweat. I flopped down on the couch and started thinking about the lessons I had just learned in the past 45 minutes...
Lesson 1: Don't wear flip-flops to walk a mile and a half on the side of the highway. ESPECIALLY if sprinting across the highway (twice) is going to be required at any point.
Lesson 2: When it's 90-degrees outside, take the 5 minutes to throw on a tank top and put your contact lenses in. Glasses suck when you're sweating.
Lesson 3: Wear dark shades when doing something like I did. At least if someone you know passes you, there's the slight chance they can't ID you for sure.
Lesson 4: Take a crap BEFORE you leave on your adventure.
Lesson 5: If there is someone you know who is more than willing to DRIVE you somewhere, for the love of god, take them up on the offer. Call your friend, relative, etc. and tell them to meet you at the location and drive your ass back to your house.
Lesson 6: Exercise really does suck. Just don't do it. It's just not worth it.
So there you go. Read the above carefully and remember it the next time you think you might want to walk somewhere "just to get some exercise". Trust me on this one.
I'll be back later with pictures from Hannah's birthday party! It was a smashing success! :)
Quote of the Day:
Gambling: The sure way of getting nothing for something.