Spring-y 70+ degree weather is predicted for the week, throwing me into what will surely be a premature transition into my favorite season of the year. We always get this great weather in mid-to-late March, only to be pummeled–pummeled, I tell you–by wild-ass storms in April. And I spend my free moments pondering the shapes and colors of looming thunderheads, ever watchful for incipient funnel clouds, despite the fact that tornados mostly don’t happen where I live, and if they do, they’re small and they rarely do anything more than knock the roofs off a couple of tin sheds out in the country. Wahoo.
It has long been my suspicion that in another life I was a storm-chaser. I find the idea of it exciting as hell, but believe that the actual doing of it would probably terrify me into cardiac arrest. Lately I’ve been thinking quite a lot about the near-total lack of adventure I’ve pursued in my life. Unsurprisingly, I grew up in a family of timid and unadventurous people. The most daring thing we ever did as a family was go camping a couple of times with relatives and friends. My parents were both bookish and somewhat shy, and apparently passed those characteristics on to me. I’ve lived mostly in my head for the majority of my adulthood, more prone to be-ing than doing.
The most adventurous things I’ve done were mostly prompted by love, like leaving home at 19 and moving 3,000 miles away to be with my boyfriend, who had been farmed out to school in Idaho by his parents, who secretly hoped this would extinguish our relationship. (Actually, their efforts to keep us apart only intensified our bond, something to do with instinctual adolescent rebellion, a major factor that his parents failed to appreciate.)
Perhaps not so adventurous (but a little stupid) was moving to San Francisco three months after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Divorced, bored with my hometown, and wanting to escape the scene of most of my humiliations and/or personal crises, I decided to move in with a friend in the city who wanted to get a bigger flat. It was a great place, but located in the heart of the ridiculously named Sunset district, where I saw the sun for what seemed like a miniscule 30 or 40 times during the year I lived there. Eventually I dragged my country-mouse butt back home to friends and family, having discovered that big city life was not my cup’o’java.
Having cancer was kind of an adventure, but not a voluntary one, so that doesn’t really count. Going back to college at 40 was a sort of adventure, but mostly an intellectual one (so there I went again, living in my noggin).
I’ve never climbed any big mountains, sailed on the open sea (cruise ships so don’t count), traveled across a continent, run for public office, or even run away from home. Most of the scary things I’ve done have involved overcoming personal fears (e.g., public speaking, teaching, performing in a comedic act at a fringe festival, being present for both of my parents’ deaths, starting my own business), the sort of experiences one generally doesn’t write home about.
My unfortunate early morning adventure tomorrow will be at a periodontist’s office, getting a second opinion on the first periodontist’s recommended $7,000 gum graft to save five of my teeth that are evidently in peril. So much for a lifetime of good dental hygiene . . .
And so much for this meandering, maundering, whine-y post that is boring even me into a state of semi-consciousness.
Try again later. (Wish there really was a bad donkey to write about . . . )