Sunday, February 26, 2017

I Should Have Listened...

As I limped into the Jordan YMCA this morning, I should have listened to the whipper snapper at my side.

I'd been telling her that while I would swim with her, she couldn't bully me into trying to swim like her swim team instructors make the team swim.

With our annual beach vacation fast approaching, I'd stepped up my own, age-appropriate workouts all week, reduced my food intake and had practically forsworn liquor (except for Book  Club.) My FitBit tells me I approached 100K steps in the past seven days.

So I was justifiably sore, hungry and a little cranky. I was thinking that a water workout would help me keep active but with less stress.

I'd also just introduced Alison to an Indianapolis institution when we tagged along with most of Team Ogden to Acapulco Joe's. We had attended the YAT play, Anne of Green Gables, which included a performance by Hannah Ogden on Saturday afternoon. The play was awesome. The food that followed included some stuff we'd not had in a while or, maybe ever in Alison's case. We weren't half way to Kroger when our gastrointestinal systems started growling a similar song.

But I digress. As we headed to the indoor pool, I said, "OK, Ali. I'm going to swim, but there's no way I'm keeping up with you."

"It's OK, Mom. You're old and you're in pain. I won't push you."

Turns out I didn't need her to push me. Before 30 minutes had passed, I was done. My arms were lead pipes. My legs were wobbling like Auntie Jen's Christmas Jello Salad. I could barely drag myself out of the water. I laid there for a few seconds. Up popped my red-headed otter.  "You OK?"

"Yeah," I said. "I might puke, though."

"That just means  you're doing it right," she said, pausing for a moment to be sure I didn't collapse in her lane. "Uh, you know you can't just lay there, right? You're a fire hazard."

I couldn't even muster the energy to look at her. "It's fire hazard or puke hazard. Pick one."

I took swig of her water and grabbed a float she uses to focus on leg muscles. I used it that way, too. In no way was it a life preserver as I paddled up and down a couple more times. Here's how dazed I was: As I struggled out of the shallow end, I hallucinated that my friend Carol Dellinger, a medical doctor, was in the far lane. I'd just seen her at my Book Club, so I was sure it was her. She must have been sent there to save me, I reasoned.

"Carol?" I said.  She didn't flinch. That's how I knew it was an illusion and once again, I'd have to save my own sorry ass.

So I dragged myself upright and headed to the locker room. I got into the hot tub thinking that would help. Nope.  I was even more lightheaded when Ali came in to check on me.

It was later, when I was sitting in the handicapped stall of the women's locker, bathed in sweat and soaking up the coolness of the bathroom tile when I sort of came back to myself. Actually it was the sight of neon pink sneakers in the stall next to me that made me think I'd better get up before they sent someone in after me.

In the locker room, I saw  Carol again. This time, she saw me too and even spoke. That perked me up a bit. I wasn't as far gone as I'd thought. We got out to the car and Ali remembered she'd left her swim bag inside. I kind of passed out again in the car while I was waiting on her.

When you've worn yourself out swimming, a stick-shift Mustang isn't really the car  you want to be driving. But there we were. I'd let Alex Ogden drive the Subaru from the play to the restaurant the day before and I longed for him to wander by the YMCA lot. No such luck. Not even as a mirage did he wander by.

Somehow I got us home without killing anyone -- including the white cargo van driver in front of me who had forgotten that he/she had a gas pedal. Or had ever learned how to maneuver that beast through the narrow, cars-parked-on-both-sides streets of Broad Ripple.

I collapsed on the couch -- still wet -- and slept for two hours. Ali revived me with gourmet Ramen and hard boiled eggs.

We're on tap to attend a swanky Oscars party tonight. Neither of us should be in our best fighting shape. I had Book Club on Friday. Jeff had a craft beer tasting party that went past 2 a.m. last night. Last week I was making fun of my coworkers, a handful of whom were comparing weekend warrior stories that all began with, "So I was drunk in an Uber and..."

This week, I think I'll just put my head down and work.

Random pics from the past several days.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Soundtrack of Us

The Captain is going to be out of town next week, a week that contains the 19th year since we stood in front of a bunch of friends and family and agreed to try for a life of wedded bliss.

There's been bliss. Lots of bliss. A few stumbles. But lots of bliss.

We took Friday off last week and pretended that it was the 14th. The day of hooky was kicked off the night before and led into a full weekend of such excess that I don't know that I'll be able to survive our 20th.

I doubt I'll be able to come up with a better gift, either. Ali helped me put together a playlist for Jeff that tracked our first days right up to yesterday.

If you know me, you know I'm early musically illiterate unless we're talking country music. Jeff is a walking musical encyclopedia and Alison is working her way toward a doctorate from the House of Merle.

So, it was unexpected; not just because it was 19 songs to mark each of our years together (plus two for our dating years) but because we'd agreed not to exchange gifts at all this year. Our gift was going to be the day. I mean it was a whole day off of work doing whatever we wanted to do!

Ali and I were both excited to hand over our creation, but on the way to school, our discussion turned to chatter about her ride home the afternoon before. The mom giving her a ride had had a near miss when another motorist pulled out in front of her.

I asked her if she'd accused the mom of bad driving as she does me in similar instances. She addvised me that, "No. She's a good driver mom. Not like you."

Ali and I have an agreement. I don't try to catch her cursing and she pretends she doesn't curse. She told me the near miss wasn't the mom's fault but instead it was the other driver, who she called a "jackmonkey" rather than a "jackass." 

I told her that most of the times I am involved in near misses, it's not my fault, either. She rolled her eyes and said, "No Mom. YOU'RE the jackmonkey."

On that happy note, I crept back home and presented the gift in the guise of a CD case. The cover art was one of our favorite wedding pictures. I had to use a Spotify play list to actually play the music as I didn't think far enough ahead of the execution and Jeff would have discovered Ali and me trying to actually make the disc. Ali had great suggested titles and good edits, as well.

It was well-received.

As we walked back from our two-hour French pastry shop brunch, we reminisced a bit. By our calculations, we're still at least in touch with 98 percent of the people who attended our wedding and/or reception and we have only fond feelings for almost all of them.

Two of them, in fact, Eric Yocum and Tracy Wiseman, were even with us for part of the weekend. Two who we met only a few years ago, Duane and Kirstin Jasheway, were with us Thursday night. 

We started off at The Nook for Thursday dinner; The Gallery Pastry Shop for brunch, NorthSide Social for dinner, the Deli for breakfast, steaks on the grill and dessert back at The Gallery. And there were a few bottles accompanying the culinary trek.

We walked enough to hit our step goal, but I'm pretty sure a qualified fitness coach wouldn't have approved the ratio of celebration to exertion. I suppose19 years together is a good excuse.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.