Friday, November 23, 2012

Walking Disaster

I have an uncanny knack for attracting calamities.  Things happen to me that would never happen to the average person.  The upside is that I've developed an excellent sense of humor and ability to (usually) roll with the punches.  Typically, I can laugh things off and find the funny in the awkward, stressful, or just plain weird moments that find me.  As my Thanksgiving gift to you, dear readers, let give you an account of two such instances that happened yesterday.

My family has a tradition of going to the St. Louis Zoo on Thanksgiving morning.  My Grandpa used to take my Dad and his brothers and sister every year and it's something that my Dad started doing with me and my sisters.  I was lucky enough to be off work this year to partake in the tradition.  I love going because there's always so much laughing and if you know me, you know that laughing is one of my favorite things.  So I spent two hours wandering the zoo and it was awesome.  As an aside, have you guys been to the new sea lion habitat?  It's pretty fantastic.  I was going to dive into the pool with them because my sister assured me that you could but I accidently forgot to wear my swimming suit that day, which is weird b/c I almost always wear it under my clothes.  You never know when a swim will sound refreshing and it's always good to be prepared.

This Sea Lion looks suspicious to me.  The way he's looking at me out of the corner of his eye like that makes me think he's guilty.  Something is definitely fishy here, besides his breakfast.

They were playing with frisbees that had a marriage proposal on them.  How cute is that?  No word yet as to whether the sea lions were then invited to the wedding.

I want to challenge these sea lions to a swim race.

But I digress... So I parted ways with my family around 11 and was walking through the Living World when I reached in my pocket to get my keys and only pulled out one keychain, no keys.  So I calmly speed-walked to the penguin habitat where my family was and asked them not to leave, just in case I couldn't find my keys, though in that moment, I was pretty confident that I knew where they were.  I'm going to try to explain this next part to you while still maintaining some level of dignity but it's going to be hard.

At one point, while in the sea lion area, my dad took a picture of me and my sisters imitating sea lions.  That's not the embarrassing part.  He then sent the picture to one of my uncles who replied, "Now you just have to get one of them to roll down the hill."  Evidently, when my dad and uncles and aunt were little, they would log roll down the hill near the big cats area.  So after he got that text, he read it out loud and (now I don't know what this says about me) but he and my two sisters all immediately said I would probably do it.  The even sadder part is that I was thinking internally that I would do it.  Have I no shame?  So then, of course, I had to do it.  I laid down on the ground at the top of the hill, while two employees looked on in wonderment.  This is what happened next...

This was even more fun than it looks.  That's a promise.  It's hard to roll in a straight line though.

As a personal trainer, I'm actually pretty proud of this picture.  I have clients do a movement similar to this to gain core strength.  Nailed it!

I'm sure you're shaking your head right now, in dismay and sadness, at the things I do, but I think it's important to note that those two employees said that seeing this made working on a holiday worth it.  Like I said on Facebook, I like to brighten people's days, one log roll at a time.

But I digress again... As it relates to the original story, I assumed that my keys fell out of my pocket while I was doing this.  So I calmly ran to that hill and searched up and down and along the sides, but to no avail.  No keys.  At that point, I started to freak out b/c it was 11:20a and I had to be in St. Charles by 1:45 at the latest.  To add a little extra pressure to the situation, my Thanksgiving plans included meeting the boyfriend's family for the first time.  Nothing like making a great first impression by either:

A)  Being two hours late
B)  Showing up unshowered, in a sweatshirt and jeans and possibly with leaves in your hair from rolling down hills like a small child.

So when I didn't see them there, I ran to the other spot in the zoo where I got a little rambunctious... The Children's Zoo.  See below.

This dude is definitely a hungry, hungry hippo.

A friend told me after I posted this on Facebook that Hippos are the leading cause of animal-related deaths in Africa.  She described it as a fun fact and we later decided it seemed weird to consider anything about murderous hippos being fun.  Although, I do look happy enough to be eaten by this guy.

 I thought maybe that when I was climbing in and out of this Hippo's mouth (like any 29 year old woman does inside a CHILDREN'S zoo), my keys fell out of my pocket.  Alas, no such luck.  No keys.

At this point, it was about 11:40a or so and I was a mess.  The zoo Rangers hadn't had anything turned in, so we left and I rode home with my family to get my spare car key from their house and my spare apartment key from my friend.  I'll spare you the rest of the details because this is getting long and I'm tired of typing.  Needless to say, the boyfriend was so awesome about the whole thing.  Unfortunately for him, this kind of weirdness happens on an almost daily basis to me so he should prepare for future shenanigans.  No need to tell him that though.

The story ends with me eventually ending up at his family's house (only one hour late!) and I hopefully made up for my tardiness with my charm or more likely, my homemade peanut butter cups.  As a bonus, my keys were turned in which makes me happy b/c I really like the heart keychain that I had on there.

The second shenanigan of the day was on my way back to my apartment in the evening.  I'll attempt to make this story shorter since this is turning into an epic novel of a blog post.  Earlier in the day, at the zoo, I left my purse in the car and just stuck my keys, debit card and phone in my pocket.  When I got home from the zoo, I forgot to take my debit card out of my jeans to put back in my wallet.  So on the way home from the boyfriend's family yesterday evening, I needed to stop for gas.  I pulled up to the pump, opened my wallet and only then remembered that I didn't have my debit card with me.  I also didn't have my checkbook, credit card and I don't ever carry cash.  I literally had maybe a quarter of a tank of gas left and there was no way I'd make it home without putting anything in.  I managed to scrounge up $1.55 in change from my car and the bottom of my purse.

So I went in to pay before I pumped that gas.  I felt like I owed the cashier an explanation as to why I was dumping all of this change on the counter to I told her what happened.  For grins, and to give context as to the kind of day I was having, I also explained the key story from earlier in the day.  She was not so amused but the gentleman next to me in line was delighted by the story and took pity on me.  He offered to put a little gas in my car, which I declined.  He then more authoritatively told the cashier to put $10 on the pump that I was at when I didn't accept his original offer.  He said it would make him feel better knowing that I'd definitely be able to get home.  This my friends, is a good guy.  This is exactly the type of thing that makes the world a better place.  I'm always inspired when people perform random acts of kindness for strangers.  That is what life is about.  So now, I'm inspired to pass it on.  I try to do good things and spread kindness anyways but I could be better.  You never know how much one little thing can mean to someone.  So do me a favor and pass it on too?

So that was a little glimpse into part of my Thanksgiving.  I'm a very lucky, blessed, happy girl.  I hope you all enjoyed your holiday as well.

Peas and Love Pilgrims,


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