Adventures in Nature and Arm Noodles

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I received a message from Mancandy that goes as follows:  “I think I’m going to buy some workout equipment.  I’ll come up with a routine for us.”  That seemed pretty innocent, so I text back something along the lines of, “ok” and thought nothing else of it.  Mancandy is a man of action, but only for a few minutes.  His “love” of running lasted a few weeks at most.  His “love” of the gym lasted a few months at most, none of it during the time I’ve lived here.  On his way home he texted me that we were going to go pick up the equipment a little ways from the house.  I put on a bra and considered myself prepared.

We set off to pick up “equipment” without an address.  He knew a city name (which neither of us had ever been to) and the trip would take well over an hour.  Mancandy did not seem concerned about the lack of details, he went through an ATM lickety split and off we went.  I love a road trip, especially to an area I’ve never seen, so this was much more my barrel of monkeys than his.  The light was beautiful as the sun started to ease down behind the hills, and the rural countryside with pretty pastures and old barns was lovely.  I occasionally tried to hint that we might want more information before we committed too far to the drive, but I was waved off.  We were to just give him a call when we got close.  This made me nervous, but there was very much an air of “let it go”, so go I let it.

When my phone’s GPS announced we were within 5 miles of the tiny town Mancandy gave Muscleman a call.  No answer.  A voicemail was left and we sat in silence.  I very much wanted to say “I told you so”, but I decided to give Muscleman the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe he was pooping.

A few minutes later Mancandy’s phone beeped.  A text came through asking where we were.  Mancandy text that we were pulling into town.  We got a return text to go to a storage building right past a home improvement store.  Couldn’t miss it.

We missed it.  We plugged the storage company’s name into the GPS and we ended up at a Dollar General next to a feed store.  We drove back and forth a few times to see if we’d overlooked something.  We hadn’t.  Mancandy called Muscleman again.  No answer.  Tried again.  No answer.  I wanted to say something along the lines of “must be a really long, involved poop” but I didn’t.  Because I’m a lady.  He called again and left a voicemail.  He then decided we should go back toward the main part of town and look around.  As we pull out the phone rings.  Muscleman begins talking.  There are nods and yups and sounds goods.  I’m told we should go back the direction we came.  The storage buildings would be past a church, next to a hardware supply store, and were the only things around so we couldn’t miss it.

We didn’t miss it.  We’d been miles past it when he bothered texting us the first time.  By this time I’m a little irritated, but I’m alone in my frustration.  Muscleman told us to follow him up to an old storage unit off the beaten track.  When he opened the unit Mancandy let out a tiny squawk of excitement.  There were pieces of workout equipment all over.  There were a few odds and ends in the unit as well as a kayak and a motorcycle.

By this point, I had been holding my bladder for a long time and had hoped I could run to the hardware store, but it was closed for the evening and I was getting desperate.  Now I’m well aware that most of my stories involve my need to find a bathroom pronto, but that’s not on purpose.  It just seems to happen that way.  When I stood up and started moving my need to pee went from gotta go to GOT TO GO NOW, WOMAN!  I decided I’d take my chances with surveillance cameras and told the boys I was going around back to pee and they should stay up front unless they wanted a show.  They just blinked at me.  I took that for an affirmative response.

By this time twilight had fallen hard, edging toward night.  The storage buildings were well lit and far enough from the road that I had privacy.  We even had napkins in the truck so I was pleased with my luck. These buildings were long but squat, like chicken houses.  There were several in a row, side to side, and I decided walking behind to the last building was my best bet of covering up should someone new drive up.

As I’m walking around the side of the furthest building I came face to face with a pasture edged with woods.  A loud honking snort exploded in front of me and I let out a strangled yip and backpedaled.  Before I turned to try and escape from the honky monster I realized it was a small herd of deer.  I’d startled them and they were alerting and fleeing, white rumps flashing through the trees.  I had to stand still and breathe deeply for a moment to keep from laughing really hard and possibly wetting myself.  I snorted out a quiet chuckle and kept walking.

I found a small area that didn’t appear to be covered by cameras (none that I could see anyway) set beside the building in shadows.  I began the ungraceful task of trying to get undressed just far enough I didn’t dribble on myself but also not so far as to be unable to cover up quickly if needed.  I had my shoulders back against the building, my knees bent, and my body stretched back at an angle.  One hand kept me balanced, the other kept my clothes out of the way.  It was not graceful or stable, but it worked.  As I relaxed a loud, shrill shriek sounded right above me and a dark object flew at my face.  I was past the point of no return and my brain was torn between not getting pee on my clothes and not letting my face be torn off by the crazy shrieking thing hurtling at me.

I leaned my full weight on my shoulders and smacked out with my hand while gulping air to shriek back and pinwheeling with my other arm.  I wasn’t sure exactly going on, it was just loud and there was a lot of panicked movement on my part.  At the last moment, the creature swerved away and up, flying back up to the top of the building.  I had apparently interrupted the evening rest of a large bird (crow maybe?) and he was at the top of the building cursing at me.  I, due to my panic, had emptied my bladder to the point of negative and was smashed against the building.  I had no idea if I’d kept my clothes out of my own way, for all I could remember I might have sat down right in my puddle.  After using the napkins to clean up and standing up I reached down with great trepidation.  Fortunately, I was dry.  I considered it a minor miracle that I managed to not embarrass myself.

It felt as though I’d been gone 30 minutes but neither Mancandy nor Muscleman seemed fazed by my arrival.  Muscleman was telling Mancandy about his time in the Marines (which excited Mancandy who is also a former marine).  When there were attempts to tease me about my unladylike behavior I explained they ought to be impressed because mother nature tried to make me pee on myself or have a heart attack twice and neither had happened.  They didn’t seem to know what to say to that, so Muscleman started telling us stories.  He is a ladies man, old fashioned, believes marriage is forever (he’s been married four times but it just doesn’t seem to stick on him and the irony of that entire concept was lost on him), loves motorcycles, doesn’t drink much anymore, has internal damage from an ex-wife feeding him rat poison, has refused to run since he got out of the marines because” fun runs ain’t fun man”, doesn’t understand genetics because his son has more hair on his back than a gorilla but no other men in the family on either side have hairy backs, wants to sell his motorcycle for a steal since it doesn’t have a title, loves women but is pretty sure we’re all killers, and likes making fun of the young guys working out at the local gym.

He was so excited to have an audience we stood getting eaten by mosquitos while he rambled.  When I glared at Mancandy long enough he finally broke away and wished Muscleman well.  We started the long drive home with a ton of gym equipment in the back of the truck and a VERY excited Mancandy.  I heard all about squats, and racks, and lifts, and pull ups, and gains, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.  I was promised the ability to eat more carbs and be less strict with my diet.  I heard all about the proper way to stand, the best way to get a title for a boat (or motorcycle) that doesn’t have one, musings about how quickly we could build up our strength, and the need for caution since we have crappy backs.  It was decided that our schedule should be lifting every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday with cardio on other days.

On the days we lift I don’t make excuses.  No matter how crappy I feel I go out there and sweat and make unflattering noises.  I put off showers after working outside and sweating.  I don’t complain.  I’ve made some small improvements and while I don’t look forward to it, I also don’t dread it as much.

However, there has been a slight issue with his occasional need to patronize me.  For example, when I struggled to lift a particular weight Monday (my arms are noodles of weakness) he kept fussing over me and finally patted me saying “you know, at some point, you’re going to have to lift less than me, it’s inevitable”.  Up until now, I’ve done every single exercise at the exact same weight he lifts.  I’ve done every rep.  We’ve gone toe to toe, and while he may do certain things with more ease, I get it done.  Now I refuse to do less.  He can stick that tone up his rump.

Yesterday was Wednesday, we were supposed to work on legs.  I worked outside most of the day and was sweaty, itchy, and ready for a shower a couple hours before he got home.  I waited impatiently and pounced as soon as the door opened.  We needed to work out so I could stop itching.  I was told, casually, that we were going to skip working out.  He was worn out.  I thought briefly of punching him but refrained.  I stomped up to my long overdue shower.  I should have gone out and done it anyway.

I feel quite strongly that after the weirdness of getting the weights and having to listen to hours upon hours of Mancandy jabbering on the benefits and delights of working out, I should not be the only one ready to go no matter how tired or irritated I am.  If he has decided this is a passing fad I may injure him.  Also, I’m craving a banana concrete with Reece’s peanut butter cup chunks mixed in from Sonic (if you haven’t had one yet stop reading immediately and go get one).  Working out is supposed to allow me to have that occasionally.  And I NEED some freaking chocolate people.  So I’m just going to go out there whether he does or not.  I’ll make it my own thing.  And if he quits not only will I get to eat sugar or bread occasionally, I’ll get to pat him and say “sometimes you will just have to lift less than me, it’s inevitable”.

3 thoughts on “Adventures in Nature and Arm Noodles

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