Saturday, August 23, 2008

Here - Have Some Bear Spray

It was all going so well.

I'd walked everywhere for five days. My family was on board with it. Other people were accepting the need to work around my slower pace.

Then it started raining.

5:50 pm yesterday found us all getting ready to go to dinner at our friends' house. We had planned to walk the two miles over there, but dh looked out the window and shook his head. "I think we'd better drive, sweetheart; otherwise Rick and Shelly are just going to be taking us home in their car late tonight."

I shot him a look.

"I think we'd better," he said again.

"You're undermining me!" I said.

"I totally support what you're trying to do. I'll support you walking everywhere else, but tonight we need to drive." He has on his reasonable man face; the 'I'm putting my foot down about this' one.

I went and hid in the bathroom - where I always go when I need to think. (The one place I won' followed.) I was furious. In my head I was saying things to dh like, "You always do this! You never really support me. What you want is always more important!" I was fighting back tears. Somehow these days it only takes me seconds to go from calm to enraged. It took me about five minutes to come up with the obvious solution. I washed my hands, fluffed my hair and returned to the living room.

"I'll walk. You follow in the van with the kids in about 15 minutes."

Problem solved.

We had a great time with Rick and Shelley. They are some of our oldest friends in town and they put on a great spread, as well as some of the funniest conversation to be found in this town. Some hours later, stuffed and content, I looked out the window and saw it was dark. "We should get going," I told my husband.

"Are you walking?" Shelley asked. She'd already heard about my crazy scheme.


And that's all it took to get Rick and her started. Story after story of assaults and incidents with drunks looking for trouble in their neighborhood. A rape that occurred only blocks away. And when they were done with that, they turned to tales of rampaging bears!

Right before I was about to walk through that area.

Dh is shooting looks at me: "There's no way you're walking home through that."

I'm shooting looks back at him: "Oh, heck yes I am!"

Rick's solution. "I'll get you some Bear Spray, Jennifer." He goes off and comes back with the can in the picture up top. It's HUGE - at least a foot tall!

"Where the heck am I supposed to stick that?" I sputter, picturing myself walking through town with this big, fat can of bear spray held out in front of me at arms's length like some exterminator that's gone around the bend. I don't have a single pocket on me that's going to contain something that large.

Well, in the end my three sons went with me - one on his bike, two on foot. No crazy drunks bothered us. No one attacked us. And if there were any bears around they must have seen the bulge in ds' pocket and run like heck.

I swear, my life has a way of swerving over into the realm of the ridiculous way too often these days.

But I completed day five and have not set foot in a car! Wooo-hoooo, me!


DebMc said...

I applaud your decision to be car free for a time. It changes your perspective, doesn't it?

I can't do it these days because of where we live, but we once lived in Europe and lived car free for several months. Learning to juggle the groceries on the way home was a challenge, but we did it! Quite an education for these Texans.

DebMc aka Happy from WTM

Jennifer said...

Yes, even when I can see clearly I have too much in my shopping cart, I can't seem to put any of it back.

teressa said...

Having had a personal bear interactions many years ago, I can assure you that the fear would never have given me time to deal with a foot tall can of bear spray. running away worked!

I love your experiment. And if they stop construction on the main road to the store I too want to try and bike it for a week!