Monday, January 3, 2011

(don't) walk this way

Remember how when you were younger you did really stupid things? And then the next morning you'd wake up and think,"Wow. That was a really stupid thing I did."

I was always under the assumption that once I became an adult, those moments of stupidity would dwindle down to almost nothing.  Sure, every now and again I'd have a slip and do something silly, like buy a pair of boots at full price, or maybe play hooky from work to go tan and get highlights.  But for the most part, my stupid days would be behind me. I have a job, I have a family.  As Florence + the Machine (almost) said...the dumb days are over.

Or are they?

Earlier this summer, I had a moment of stupidity that probably rates a 10 on my "I Can't Believe I Did That" scale. I've only told a handful of people about it because, quite frankly, I don't want the world knowing how ridiculous I truly can be.

Oh well, here we go...

It's summer 2010.  Hubs and I drive over to the nearby shopping hot spot for a nice patio dinner and Friday celebratory drinks.  The weather is lovely, a pleasant 82 degrees and sunny. Despite it beings shorts and skirts weather, I'm dressed in my trusty flip flops and a light pair of jeans. A gray cotton jacket lays over my shoulders just in case we're out late enough for it to get nippy.

Hubs and I are immediately seated on the patio. He orders a Guinness, I order a red wine.  We sip our drinks and laugh about the week that is now behind us. I get another drink. Hubs asks me to slow down, the food's not even here yet.  I don't listen. The food arrives.  We eat, and I have one more drink.

We chat some more and somehow a subject comes up (because I brought it up) of how we will raise our children once we decide to go down that path.  Since we already have our two daughter's every other weekend, we feel like we have a pretty good handle on kids.  However, having your own children 24/7 is an entirely different ball game.

Look, Hubs and I have this conversation all the time under sober normal circumstances, and it usually goes fine, with a little bit of tension. I tend to get the teeniest bit defensive about my upbringing anyway...add in three glasses of wine, and well, ya know.

Here's what happened after dinner:

Me: (drawing circles around the rim of my glass) So...what do you think will be the hardest challenge of us having our own kids?

Hubs: (chewing his steak) Um, I don't know.  I just do know that when you have a child, you find things to argue about you never would have imagined.

Me:  Like what? (sluuuuuuurp of wine)

Hubs: (sighs) Babe, I don't know. It's been a long time since the girls were babies. (thinks for a moment and then leans forward) Okay, like this.  You were raised to never have sugar cereals as a kid, right?  I was allowed to eat pretty much whatever I wanted.

Me: (crossing arms as hairs prick up on the back of my neck) Mmmm hmmm.

Hubs: I don't have a problem with sugar cereals.  I mean, I was allowed to eat brownies for breakfast.  But when our kids want to eat Lucky Charms for breakfast someday, we might have to compromise because of how silly it is that -

Me: (cutting him off) Okay, Hubs. (single finger raised and wagging) First of all, sugar cereals can be VERY harmful. Do you realize how addictive sugar is?

Hubs: (rolls eyes) This coming from the person that lives on Dr. Pepper.

Me: (gasps and clutching hand to chest) How DARE you! 

Hubs: (chuckling) Babe, this is silly.  We've talked about the sugar cereals issue before and you even told me that you were always jealous of your friends that got to have S'mores for breakfast.  And I've agreed that maybe a little guidance in food is a good thing, unlike my upbringing.  We'll find a middle ground between our two childhoods, remember?

Me: (near tears) Dr. Pepper isn't THAT BAD.

Hubs: (folding napkin in his lap and signing the check) This was a bad idea.  We shouldn't talk about this kind of stuff when you're...

Me: (both hands up in the sky) Oh, oh, PLEASE!! (holding up empty glass) Are you EMBARRASSED OF ME?  Because I'm DRINKING A GLASS OF WINE after a busy week?  When we have children will wine be forbidden?  I thought only MY parents forbid things.  Now look who's suddenly jumping on that bandwagon!  (sitting back in my chair, quite satisfied with myself for taking a stand against such hypocrisy.)

Hubs: (stands up) I need to go for a walk, I think.  I can't be around you like this.

Me:  FINE!  Go!  Maybe I'll leave, too!

Hubs stands and walks away to ponder how in the world he managed to marry such a complete lunatic.  

I, in what I now refer to as my Cabernet Haze, stand up from the table and begin walking back to the car. Then I decide if I'm going to really show Hubs how much I don't need his judgments, then I needn't ride home with him.  I will just walk.

And so I begin.

Ten minutes later, Hubs pulls up alongside me in the car.  I am nearly to the edge of the shopping center where the true roads with cars on them begin.

Hubs: (rolls down window) Get in the car.

Me:  No.

Hubs: (firmly) Get in the car.  You can't walk on this upcoming road, it's a 50 mph street and there aren't any sidewalks.

Me: (shrugging) Don't care.

Hubs: Kim, get in the car. Seriously.

Me: No!

Hubs: (sighs) Fine. I don't know what else to do.

Hubs slowly drives away and for a moment I think, perhaps I should have gotten in the car, but then I remember the horrific tyranny display at dinner and decide I'm better off walking.

I reach the edge of the shopping complex and can either turn left or right. I scratch my head and think, isn't there one more road I have to turn left to get to, and then the next road takes me home?

I decide I've got it figured out, and turn left.

This really isn't so bad.  Yes, I'm in flip flops, and my purse is getting a little heavy, but so what? It's a beautiful evening, the sun is in the perfect place and - 


Goodness, people are rude.

I walk down the road, half-drunk and feeling good. A few people even ask if I need a ride, but I refuse. I am making a point. 

Fast forward ten minutes.  The sun is getting lower in the sky, and my head is beginning to clear from the wine.  In fact, I'm having a hard time remembering why I'm so angry at Hubs.  He did have a valid point.  Many times in our marriage Hubs and I have discussed the melding of our two upbringings so that neither person feels left out or walked on.  And it is true that I always did want to try Cookie Crisp as a young girl.

This is stupid.  I'm going to walk to the end of this road, where I'll turn right to go home, and I'll call Hubs to come and get me.

A few minutes later, I arrive at the end of the road, just as I expected.  Now I turn right and should arrive at our house any second.

Easy peasy. Don't need Hubs after all. He was kind of mean to me, and now that I've started this, I've got to finish it or he'll make fun of me forever.
(Drinking drastically increases your pride levels, by the way.)

I quickly do a mental calculation and estimate that I'll be home in fifteen minutes.

So I walk.  And walk. I can make it.  The blisters on my feet aren't that bad.  The sun has a good 25 minutes left. Wait, was that a BEAVER?

Jesus, my purse is heavy. Why do I carry so much shit all the time? My legs are starting to sweat.  Damn these jeans.

Twenty minutes pass, and I'm approaching a street. HA! Made it!

But this is...what the hell?  I'm at the HIGHWAY.  As in, the INTERSTATE.  And then it hits me.  I have walked in a huge ginormous half-circle.  Let me show you picture.

In the drawing below, the Black line indicates the correct route from the restaurant to our home.  The Red line indicates my Tour de Stupidity.

And that big empty space in the middle of the circle?  That's the Kansas Speedway. Yes, the gigantic Nascar Kansas Speedway out in the middle of nowhere.  

But wait. Hubs is always saying to people that we live right next to the Speedway, right?  Of course, "next to" in a car isn't exactly the same as "next to" in flip flops and jeans.

By taking that left turn back at the shopping center, I have walked in the complete wrong direction and have been way too distracted in thought to figure it out

The power of wine is a serious thing.

At this point, I know I'm sunk. I have a LONG LONG way to go.  At least another 45 minutes. My feet are killing me. It's getting dark. I'm dehydrated. It's time to call it a day.

I dig into my purse and frantically retrieve my phone to call Hubs. A blank screen looks back at me. It's dead. My phone battery has died.

I begin to hyperventilate. Where is Hubs, anyway? Why isn't he looking for me? Of course, it fails to dawn on me that even if Hubs is looking for me, it's very unlikely he would venture two miles in the wrong direction to pick me up.

No one is coming for me.  I am truly on my own.  The only way home is to keep walking.

So I do.

Gravel is flying up into my flip flops, I'm sweaty and smelly.  Cars are fewer and far between now, and I truly am in dangerous territory.  A psycho could come along and kidnap me, and no one would know.

A mere 35 minutes later, I am a quarter mile from home, walking in three foot weeds on the side of a busy road.  I feel dejected, tired and most of all, very stupid.

Suddenly, a mini-van (!!!) pulls up to the side of the road and rolls down its window.

"You need a ride?" a woman calls from the van.  "It's just me and my daughter.  We're on our way home from getting some ice cream.  Just us girls!"

I'm tempted to finish the last quarter mile since I've made it this far.  My bloody feet disagree. I don't even speak, just nod and slowly climb into the van.

I still don't know who that woman was, or what she must have been thinking, but she acted as if nothing was amiss. She light-heartedly says "nice night for a walk!", but otherwise keeps her mouth shut and lets me be.

When I finally walk in the door, Hubs is less than thrilled with me.  He assumes I had gone to a bar to drink considering he's been driving everywhere (well, almost everywhere) looking for me without success.

When I tell him the truth of what happened, he's either dumbfounded with shock, or thinks I'm totally lying.

Hubs: (flabbergasted) We've lived here three and a half years and you STILL don't know how to get home from four miles away?  God, you could've been hurt walking on that road by the Speedway, Kim. Or somebody could have just picked you up and taken you.  All of this because you wanted to be stubborn and ridiculous. (shakes his head)

Me:  I know.  But YOU got up and walked away at dinner!

Hubs:  (throws hands in the air) For two minutes to clear my head! You knew I wouldn't leave for long. I never would just walk away and leave you.

Me: I know. I was just upset. I'm sorry.

Hubs: (standing up) Well, you definitely made your bed and got to lay in it all in one night. I begged you to get in the car. You took this one way too far, and it completely bit you in the ass.

Me:  (looking downward) Not so much my ass as my feet.

So take it from me, bloggies.  When you find yourself in an argument with your husband or boyfriend, remember these tips:

1) Cabernet Haze is real.
2) 4.5 miles is a long walk in flip flops.
3) No one can find you if they don't know you're lost.
4) It's much easier to say "I'm sorry" when you don't have eight tons of dust in your teeth.

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