Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Walk in the Park

My husband, Jody, likes to walk. I like to sit. Knowing it might strengthen our marriage and that he would continue to ask me, I agreed to walk two half-mile laps around the park. A cool fall breeze was blowing and crisp leaves crunched beneath our feet.

I was a little surprised when he asked if I was ready to walk again the following day. I didn’t want to overdo it.

“Why not?” I answered. “Let’s do three laps.”

The cool air was replaced with sticky humidity. The wind was nonexistent, making the sweat across my forehead hang like drops from a rusty faucet.
The first lap wasn’t so bad. We distracted ourselves from the weather by picking up trash along the path. We soon noticed a Chihuahua leading a woman toward us. She was apparently “Miss Walker – of-the –Year”, complete with portable CD player and headphones (iPod’s had not quite made it to South Georgia yet).

We nodded and smiled as we passed each other. We soon conquered the incline on the east side of the trail.

I grew hot and sticky as we began our second lap. I became frustrated that I didn’t dress more appropriately. I started to chafe from wearing jeans and the sleeves on my sweater wouldn’t push up past my elbows.

“It’ll be over soon,” I said to myself, “and I’m starting to feel a bit thinner already.”

I noticed that Jody was still picking up trash he missed the first time. I thought to myself, “What’s a little litter on the path of life? So what if we overlook a gum wrapper or two, as long as we reach the goal?”
Miss Super-Walker (who apparently wasn’t aware the track runs clock-wise) whizzed past us six times. I worried that if she kept up her pace we’d find her passed out on the sidewalk our next time around.

I started hoping Jody would forget that I suggested a third lap.

“One more time around,” he grinned.

He didn’t forget. I tried plan B: ignorance.

“We’ve already been around three times.”

(It was lame but I was desperate.)

“Nope,” he smiled. “You can do it. Just one more time around.”

I pictured him in a striped sweater, shaking pom-poms.
“Gooooooooooooo, Leanne!”

I wanted to punch him out.

“Okay”, I thought. “One more time. It’s not really that bad.”

Little Miss Perky with her jazzy CD player was coming towards us again. What’s this, her twelfth time past us? I started to hate her. Jody tried to make me feel better by chatting, but his chatting irritated me like nails scratching a blackboard. Couldn’t he see I was dying? Why wasn’t he looking for a phone to call 911?

Half –way around. I didn’t remember getting that far.

There she was. How did she do it? I prayed her dog would bite my leg so I wouldn’t be able to finish the lap. No good. He found a squirrel. Stupid dog. The crunch of the leaves irritated me. They were stupid. Beads of sweat dripped in my eye. It was stupid. As if my day wasn’t bad enough, that stupid hill loomed before us. How did it suddenly get so steep?

Jody bent over and picked up cigarette butts as he skipped along the stupid, stupid trail. What was he so happy about? Maybe he knew his beloved was about to keel over and he could collect the insurance. No, wait. There is no insurance. Maybe there’s another woman. That had to be it. It was his plan all along. How wicked!

He must have had another woman on the side ever since we moved here. Somehow he knew I would suggest three laps today. That’s why he was so excited. He deliberately made me jog, no run, around this ridiculous park. Maybe it was that CD girl with the dog. Every time we passed her he probably gave her a wink and said, “It won’t be long now.” I’ll bet he met her one of those mornings I wouldn’t walk with him. It’s my fault. I haven’t been the wife he needed.

I glanced at my husband in his ragged shorts, stained tee shirt and dirty baseball cap. Nah! It wasn’t another woman.

“Honey, you did great! I’m so proud of you!”

“What? We’re through?!”

“Sure. How do you feel?”

I watched as Miss Perky whizzed by us for the thirty-third time. I looked up at my handsome husband of sixteen years and saw unconditional loyalty and love pouring from those blue eyes and realized that I was the luckiest girl in the world.

“Well,” said my husband, “How do you feel?”



  1. That was really cute! I see we have a similar sense of humor!

  2. Ha Love it! Am so not motivated to get to the gym as I type this. Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!


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