Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Hour In Wyoming

Most days when somebody brings doughnuts to work I either:  1.  spend my day trying to avoid eating one or, 2.  spend the day rationalizing why I should be able to eat one.  Then there are the days I  crave a doughnut and nobody brings any to work.  I really wanted a doughnut this morning. It’s Friday. Isn’t there some unwritten rule that on Fridays somebody will bring a box of glistening, sprinkle-covered lard to the office?

You may wonder why I don’t just bring doughnuts myself. It’s the guilt. I would not be able to live with the guilt of bringing in a box of artery-hardening fat. Because if I brought doughnuts to work, I would feel obligated to eat one. Doughnut guilt is rivaled only by mother guilt in its all-consuming power. If somebody else brings them in, it’s out of my control. It’s not my fault there is a box of luscious, lardaceous, little cakes on the conference table. I only bear the guilt if I actually eat one. Then it just comes down to creative rationalization. If I walk by that conference table five times and the doughnut with the chocolate frosting, cream filling and sprinkles is still there, it means I should take it. Or, if even one of those doughnuts is still there at 12:30 p.m. it’s a sign that I should eat one. (That saves me from acting on the temptation most times because if there’s a crumb left by 10:30 a.m. it’s a miracle.) Now and then I use the reward system with myself. Remember three weeks ago when you went out for Mexican food and only ate one bowl of chips? You deserve one.  One of my favorites is, You worked out five extra minutes on the elliptical last week. Go for it. And then there’s the I won’t have a glass of wine with dinner tonight so I can eat this doughnut. (That’s just delusion.)

Yesterday after work, instead of my 35 minutes on the dreaded, hateful, torture machine we hit the Nordic trails on the mountain. It was an hour and a half of skiing on pristine snow. But it almost didn’t happen. Three blocks from home, as we were nearing the stoplight, I looked down at Dean’s feet. I wanted to be sure he hadn’t decided to wear his ski boots and risk my life by catching those big, square toes on the accelerator and missing the brake pedal when the need arose. I didn’t want to get up close and personal with folks innocently heading to the Mini Mart for the doughnut I didn’t get today. I was relieved to see he was appropriately clad in his tennis shoes. “You remembered your ski boots, didn’t you?” “Crap!” he said as he cranked the wheel, whipped into the right lane, missed the exit off the road, hit the brakes, and stopped at the light I had worried about only two seconds earlier. At least he wasn’t wearing the boots.

We retrieved the boots and arrived at the trails a little later than planned, to find our co-worker, Matt, waiting impatiently for us. About 15 minutes into our ski, I realized I hadn’t put on my ski socks. I was wearing the little thin socks I wore to work. You might wonder why that would matter. It matters because I have pilfered Abby’s skis and boots and the boots are about ½ size too big for me. Even on the days I actually remember to wear my heavier ski socks with the special sock liners, my feet slip around a bit in her boots. To keep my feet from slipping around as I skied, I was forced to curl my toes under and grip the inside of those boots as hard as I could. It didn’t help much. But that’s okay. I built up a lot of muscle in my toes last night.

As we skied further away from the main trails, the snow got softer and the tracks completely disappeared. That’s not a big deal if you are Dean and Matt and have worn your backcountry skis with nice metal edges. Backcountry skis that make a nice wide track and are heavy and solid and allow you to glide along, breaking trail, barely breaking a sweat. Nice wide, solid skis that allow you to ski in your zen-like state as you take in the breathtaking view, admire the pristine snow, and absorb the silent beauty. I did not wear my backcountry skis. I wore Abby’s classic skis. Classic skis are perfect for groomed trails with nice packed tracks. Not for breaking trail. I did not reach that state of peaceful tranquility as I skied. There was a lot of heavy breathing and carrying on complete conversations with myself as I tried to stay upright in tracks of soft snow created by the two men gliding peacefully ahead of me in their nice, wide, solid, backcountry skis.

Mean Me: What were you thinking, Cathy? Why didn’t you bring your backcountry skis? You watched it snow all day from your window at work. You knew the trails wouldn’t be groomed.

Nice Me: I know….but wasn’t it beautiful? It was so soft and fluf

Mean Me: Fluffy shmuffy. You screwed up.

Nice Me: Geez. I’m sorry. I guess I wasn’t thinking.

Mean Me: And holy cow! How could you forget your ski socks? You know those boots are too big for you already and you need to fill the extra space with thicker socks.

Nice Me: Okay! I said I was sorry. What do you want me to do? Go back down and get them?

Mean Me: They were in the box with your boots for pity sake. How could you miss them?

Nice Me: I remembered Dean’s boots—sort of. That must count for something.

Mean Me: Crap. Where’s a track I can follow?

Nice Me: Was that my ankle twisting? Uh oh. I hope I’m not getting a blister.

Mean Me: That’s what you get. You’re the one who brought the wrong skis.

Nice Me: Give me a break. I’m doing the best I can. I’m sweating worse than if I was on the elliptical.

Mean Me: You wanted a workout so stop whining………………..Idiot.

Every now and then Dean and Matt would stop and wait for me. I’d see them up ahead, standing, relaxed, resting on their ski poles, and gazing out upon the vista. I’d trudge up. They would comment on the beauty of our surroundings, sigh, rave about the conditions of the snow, and ask me how I was doing. Awesome, great. I’m great. Isn’t this just the best snow ever? Then they’d glide off, I’d curl up my toes, grip my boots and follow.

Mean Me: If you would have brought the right skis and remembered your socks you would have been able to keep up with them. You would have been able to stop and rest now and then and enjoy the view right along with them. And you could have even taken pictures.........if you would have remembered your camera.

Nice Me: Shut up.

That’s why I wanted a doughnut today. I deserved it.◦


Art Elser said...

Cathy, you are a very funny woman. I have to laugh at the situations you seem to stumble into. I thought I was the only one who did stuff like leave the right socks at home or suddenly find that I'd left the water bottle on the kitchen counter.

But I don't seem to have a nice me to make the mean me behave. I just have a mean me telling me what an idiot I am. ;-)

And yeah, you should have eaten the doughnut. The extra sugar would probably have reminded you to bring the right socks and skis.

Cathy said...

Art, I am almost positive that next time there are doughnuts in the office I will eat one. Definitely almost pretty sure.