Oh so this is one of those stories I keep meaning to tell, but then didn't because I wasn't doing this whole blog thing, and then forgot to put on that long list yesterday, and am now glad I forgot because it's pretty much too awesome to NOT tell.
As you may have heard, I quit my job in preparation for grad school and gave myself a little staycation in my adopted city of Chicago. It was going to be great- I was going to spend every minute in my running clothes or a bathing suit, running by the lake or being on the lake, boating with that very very neat man I used to date. But then! Something happened to my knee, either tendonitis or my IT band or maybe both, so the running was out. and THEN! That very, bizarrely, obsessively neat man dumped me. Now, it was not, all things considered, a crushing blow. We were not meant to be. But I wasn't done yet! and I wanted to be part of the decision! and I wanted some more time on the boat during Chicago's meager, measly summer!
But of course, HE dumped ME.
On the street.
In the rain.
Can you get any more cliche?
So then my staycation took on a whole new focus, what with me trying to fill up my time without spending ANY MONEY. And that was how I ended up spending an afternoon weeding my friend's yard. In truth, it was incredibly satisfying and obviously cathartic, and, not really surprising, really fun, but it's probably not something I'd have volunteered to do if I actually had anything else to do.
We're out there in his yard, two grad students with too much time on our hands, listening to a country station that seemed to flip solely between Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts (which I believe is a group, not a person, but would be an awesome person name), and it's a little rainy, but fine. And he is, I swear, the chattiest person I've ever known, and not really with me, necessarily, but with everyone who passes us, which is one of those traits I wish I had just a little more in myself. ANYWAY GET TO THE POINT.
So the mail lady comes by, and we start talking to her, obv, and apparently she had just been on vacation. To the Caribbean! Now, if you know me, you may have heard I have a weird quirk in which I don't like to know the exact location of places if I can help it, meaning I'm not entirely sure where the Caribbean is. I haven't been there, but I have been to the Virgin Islands. I don't know where those are either, but I asked if she went to St. Thomas, bc I mean, how many places can there be islands on earth?
Well, turns out she had been to there! And, y'all, for real, this is how she tells us about this cruise of hers, because my telling you just won't do it justice.
"Yeah, it was a real nice cruise. Real nice. I don't know how much I loved that St. Thomas. But ooh, I sure did love Blackbeard's Castle! That's in St. Thomas, right? Well I loved it. It was real full of tourists and so many steps. You would not believe how many steps! We just kept going and going, down so many steps! And you wouldn't believe it, an old man died! he was just walking down all those steps with his wife, walking real slow like, and then wouldn't you know he just fell right over and died! I saw him all white looking, he was just right there in front of me. You know, with all those steps, they should really do a better job of deciding who's too old for all that climbin. But no one asked me. I made it to the bottom, and it's pretty scary down there. I liked that part a lot. It was sure more interesting than that island the cruise owned. That was just full of tourists."
Did you catch that? that, that part in the middle, where the man DIED? HE DIED, RIGHT THERE ON THE STEPS. RIGHT THERE IN FRONT OF HER. I'm telling you, right now as I type this, I'm using more enthusiasm than she had for his death. But she sure was enthusiastic about all that Caribbean rum. Priorities, I guess.