Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You Can Take the Girl Out of Connecticut...

...but you can't take the healthy fear of death by catastrophic ice-induced fall out of the girl.

Yes, it's true. Just because I'm from the North doesn't mean I go frolicking about in the ice--as I reminded myself tonight.

Having promised caramel brownies to my office for tomorrow, I set out for a trek to Subterranean Safeway after my gym session for the evening. Bear in mind that the reason I had to go tonight was because it was way too inhospitable outside for me to go yesterday. It was cold. Not precipitating, not glacial. Too cold.

So tonight, once I no longer had a choice in the matter, I made my way up the hill that is Wilson Boulevard to Safeway. There was only one really treacherous part-- one semi-icy intersection. Not bad. When I found out that my Safeway does not sell the caramels I needed for my brownies, I came up with Plan B-- go to CVS on my way home. It closes at 10. I left Safeway at 9:20. Fine, right?

Wrong. Not fine.

(To cut the suspense, I will tell you here that I made it to CVS in time to buy a ridiculous quantity of Werther's caramels. I wanted a stiff drink by the time I got there, but I made it.)

Anyway, back to my death march. Actually, no. March suggests that I stepped with some kind of deliberate motion. Which I did until I really got going down hill and the sidewalk really got frozen.

You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you take a step and that foot is suddenly not bearing any weight or making contact with the ground? I hate that feeling.

Which is why I decided to walk on the very edge of the road. I waited until the light had changed to stop the flow of traffic and prayed the tiny strip of shoulder that became my trail to safety was not also frozen. Because wiping out alone on the sidewalk is bad. But wiping out in the company of an SUV on the road is worse.

I made it to the next block relatively unscathed. Sweet. Right? Wrong. Bridge. By which I mean sheet of ice.

Remember, I had a backpack and another bag full of groceries. There was not a lot of potential for me to regain my balance if I lost it, which seemed increasingly likely the longer I stood on the one unfrozen square foot of sidewalk on this block. And remember too, I am still going downhill.

At this point, I decided that I had several options:

a.) Cry. Specifically, stand in one place and cry until my tears melted some of the ice in my path. I had already considered this once.
b.) Save myself the inevitable fall by sitting down and sliding on my butt to the end of the ice, which was probably 50 yards away. I'm not kidding; I had already considered this once as well.
c.) Hail a cab to take me half a block to CVS. Hubris prevented this. Also the disturbing lack of cabs. But then again, that meant there were fewer vehicles to run me over when I wiped out and tumbled ass over bandbox into the road.
d.) Sally forth.

And sally I did. Or, more accurately, I skated in my running shoes down the sidewalk, with the aid of the guard rail of the overpass and several newspaper boxes. Seriously, I have never been so grateful for The Onion or those stupid real estate guides. Were it not for that strategically placed bank of newspaper dispensers, I would have been on my butt sobbing in the path of a Ford Explorer.

Lesson: Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Because tomorrow there will be freezing rain, and you will have to walk--downhill-- through it to get home.

1 comment:

ksirico said...

If it's any consolation I watched both my supervisor and the head of the TD&P program wipe out in front of the UT yesterday. It was a little too entertaining...but very satisfying.