Her and Me

She shakes her head a lot. As the receiver of my unfiltered ideas, that’s to be expected. Poor woman. How is she supposed to express love and encouragement to a person whose mind is so clearly restless and disorganized? If I am the careening car, she is the white line, the rumble strip, and the guiderails.

I put her in this awkward position because she loves to be outdoors like I do, but she, quite reasonably, wants to have fun in the woods, like Type 1 fun, the sort where you smile and, in the moment, can say you’re enjoying yourself.

I like that kind too, but I also like Type 2 quite a bit, the kind of fun you only feel after the fact, like maybe when the pain stops, or later, at dinner, when you can look back on the adventure and pick out the parts that were fulfilling. Back in the moment, they were likely the ones where you thought, “WTF am I doing here?”

So I said, “That Seven Sisters hike that C mentioned doing, I was thinking about doing it as an out and back.”

And she said, “Why not put a car on each end, just in case the first half is harder than you expected?”

And I said, “Because I like to get out there, feel a little bit in-over-my-head, and then finish what I started anyway.”

And she said, “I’m just saying give yourself an escape hatch. I feel more comfortable doing it that way.”

And I said, “Yeah, but discomfort is sorta the point.”

And then she shook her head.

Sometimes I chafe at her excess of caution. Sometimes I compromise begrudgingly, accepting that some part of an escapade is better than none at all. Sometimes I am deeply grateful for her saving grace and forethought.

Sometimes she lets me drag her along. Sometimes she gets irritated by my push-push-pushing impatience.Sometimes she gives up and turns me loose to find my own misery.

And that’s why l love her.

That’s her and me.

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