4.02.2013

probably not my finest hour



It was Monday evening. I took a deep breath, gave the pedals one more push, and coasted down the little black trail as the stress of Monday drifted away in the 42 degree breeze. I looked behind me, and James gave me a smile as he coasted on his grey bike. I picked up my pace over the little wooden bridge and took in the chilly spring air. My frozen ears and nose told me it was still winter, but the tiny lime green blades of grass crawling over the ground to the right of the path told me spring is coming. The river rushed passed me, rejoicing in its freedom from the ice, and the birds twittered and tweeted and bounced from tree to tree. Aside from the roar of rush hour traffic, I felt a little like Anne of Green Gables riding my bike through the forest of Prince Edward Island, hugged on both sides from the tall trees reaching to each other over the trail. All was right with the world.

Or so I thought. 



Several miles down the trail we decided it was time to turn around, as the wind was biting a little harder, and the sun was setting. We rode back to the park where we parked, our lungs and muscles burning a little more than they had on the way down. I peddled up one last hill and coasted down near the parking lot, a happy smile on my face. I scanned the faces of the people running the opposite direction, one sticking out to me more than the others. I biked toward him as he ran toward me, and soon I was close enough to confirm what I had feared all along.

HE'S A FORMER COWORKER.

Yes, from the job from hell. We all knew this day would happen sooner or later, but why he had to come ruin my peaceful ride, I will never know. He was the guy who walked past my desk multiple times a day with a frighteningly peppy "good morning!" for 8am. He was always a nice guy I suppose, but also super awkward. I have nothing against him, but I have everything against the memories his presence drudges up.

As we got within feet of each other, our eyes made contact for a good 4 or 5 seconds, neither of us acknowledging the other one's existence. I was relieved. I rode my bike as fast as I could to the car, parked a safe distance from the trail and its runner. I told James what happened and described the guy, though it wasn't exactly hard to miss the guy with the sunset gleaming off his bald head like light in a magnifying glass. He's not one to be easily missed.

We opened the trunk of the car to put the bikes in, and I plopped in the passenger seat, still reveling in the relief of bypassing an awkward conversation with someone I never wanted to see again. I waited for James to get the bikes situated so I could go home and thaw out in a hot shower. Except I kept waiting. And waiting. And then I waited. James still wasn't sitting next to me, and there were weird noises coming from the trunk. My anxiety started to rise as James, the calm one in the relationship, started muttering VERY RARELY used words under his breath. I turned around to see a very unfortunate display of chains and pedals contorted together in one giant mass of heartbreak. He said everything was under control, but judging by his mutterings and my vantage point of the situation, THE BIKES WERE BROKEN AND ALL WAS LOST.

I jumped out of the car to offer my pedal/chain unjamming expertise or lack therof, but I was met with protests of "Michelle, no! I can handle this!" I didn't fight it because one: chances are I'd mess things up even worse, two: my thighs were still numb, and three: I was committing the abominable sin of wearing LEGGINGS AS PANTS since I knew 99% of my time in the public eye would be spent on a bike. The leggings were ultimately the deciding factor because my hips don't lie, especially in a thin pair of leggings. I eased back into the passenger seat and watched the passersby, when what did I spy with my little eye but a tall, lanky frame in the rearview mirror.

THE COWORKER.

He had finished his run and had oh so conveniently parked directly behind us. I looked straight ahead and slowly and discreetly slid down the seat and hoped I wasn't visible. James' strongly-worded mutterings were getting louder and more frequent, and suddenly I heard a very familiar voice at the back of the car say "good evening! Do you need some assistance?" Not only was the coworker here, but he was TALKING TO JAMES. My heart pounded  and my blood pressure was at an all time high. I knew this was the moment I should get out and say hi. I knew I should be friendly. I knew he recognized the car since we had talked about it before, and I have some easily identifiable bumper stickers on it. I knew I had been caught caught red handed.

So I did what any one in my situation would do.

I slinked down to the floorboards, and I hid. Yes, I HID IN THE FLOORBOARDS. And I am not ashamed. It was Monday, I thought my bike had died forever, and my thighs were numb. Not to mention, I was WEARING LEGGINGS AS PANTS. But just like that, the bikes suddenly became unjammed, and the coworker walked away. As soon as I knew he wouldn't be walking back over, I slid back up into the seat. I realize I was taking a giant risk by him seeing me, but I was more concerned with my possibly broken bike.

YES, I TOOK A PICTURE. YOU'RE WELCOME.

He had been standing next to James. I had been THAT close to speaking to him again.


I'm just counting my blessings it wasn't PFF.


Oh, and the bikes are fine. We all came out relatively unscathed.


Except my pride. It's rather sore this morning.

19 comments:

  1. I needed a good laugh before work this morning!
    & you never fail to disappoint, my friend. :)

    Also, thank you kindly for taking the photo! It made reading your post all the more fun.

    Happy Tuesday.
    much love,
    colie.

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  2. hahahahahah. I love that you got photographic evidence. And that you said that your hips don't lie. I told my parents and Ammon that on Sunday night as we were watching reruns of the voice. That Shakira has already done so much for our generation. So much.

    Wearing leggings as pants is absolutely acceptable whenever you're doing physical activity. You totally get a hall pass. And thank all things good that it wasn't Passion. That would have been insanely awkward.

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  3. MICHELLE. Monday's bad luck really came back to haunt you in the worst way. You failed to mention you were wearing leggings when all of this went down!!

    By the way, I was wearing them, too. But I was hiding in my bed.

    So glad the bikes are okay.

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  4. Oh. My. Goodness. Your life. It's ridiculous. This is seriously something you would see on a sitcom. Can you please get your own TV show?! I would watch every week, and then re-watch when all the seasons come out on Netflix.

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  5. That job WILL follow you everywhere! LIKE A BLACK CLOUD!!!

    I once was picking my brother up from the school when I saw a bunch of boys I went to high school with going in to the gym to play basketball... I was not wearing a bra (it was after 5pm, what did you expect???) and the second my brother shut the car door I sped out of the parking lot so fast that I probably left a smoke cloud. Stuff happens.

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  6. AHHHHHH! I would have done the same. Sometimes I am not even nice enough to hide. I just play the "If I can't see them, they can't see me" game. Which is another term for "I know you see me but I'm choosing to do the look-away, and I'm well aware of the rude implications of my choice. Respect the look-away."

    So glad you avoided talking!

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  7. The first blog I read today. I will read nothing else because this was perfection. YOU HID.

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  8. The only way this could have been worse is if it had been PFF. Although if you HAD seen PFF she probably would have copied your outfit the next morning.

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  9. That photo would have been even better if he saw you and was waving goodbye as you took the picture. ;)

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  10. Thank you. THANK YOU for bringing light to this ridiculous LEGGINGS AS PANTS trend. I feel like there are lots of emperors (like The Emperors New Clothes...please tell me I spelled emperor right. It doesn't look right...) walking around and no one is telling them that they're NOT WEARING PANTS!!!

    I've strongly considered going to the mall in a t-shirt that says "Leggins aren't pants" and seeing what happens. I also want to flat out ask someone if they know that they are out in their undergarments. Next thing you know we'll be walking around in our skivvies proud as punch that we're up on the latest fashion trend.

    Sorry. Rant over. I loved the whole story, but especially the first paragraph. Vivid descriptions are one of my favorite things.

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  11. I usually just keep my head down if I recognize somebody lol

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  12. "So I did what any one in my situation would do"...and took a photo of the awkwardness to share online. :P You're outstanding, a true blogger!

    Also? Your opening descriptive paragraph on the bike? Mmmmmmmmmagic. It was like music to an Alaskan resident's ears...GO AWAY SNOW NOBODY LIKES YOU.

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  13. You kill me. Utterly kill me. I would watch your show if your life were a sitcom.

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  14. I was laughing so hard when you slid to the floor! For the record, since you were participating in an athletic activity, I see the leggings as a forgivable choice. :)

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  15. I would've just played with my phone and avoided eye contact but I suppose hiding in the floorboards works too haha - killing me smalls.

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  16. First, I want to applaud your first picture, obviously an action shot. I surely would have fallen to my death trying to take a picture while riding a bike.

    Also I'm glad your bikes are okay and that you avoided an awkward encounter like a champ!

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  17. Hahahhaha! This is hilarious! I'm laughing in Nepal:) We made it!

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