I hate ice.
Except in my frosty beverage. Then, I love ice.
But this is the time of year that I HATE ICE.
Did you hear me, ice? I hate you! You scare the crap out of me.
You make me nervous and tense. You give me a headache. You make me walk like an old lady.You make me feel like an old lady. I toddle. I mince. I shuffle.
There is no confident stride with ice. No easy, swinging gait. No hurrying.
You make me feel like I’m a pig on a slippery surface — and I’m a farm girl who remembers seeing pigs walk on slippery surfaces — that moment of great surprise and indignation when their hoofs sort of gave out from under them and they had to kind of catch themselves with a squeal and a grunt. Yeah. That’s me. A squeal and a grunt.
Today I saw a young woman, a girl, really, about 16, walk into the museum as I was leaving. She was wearing skinny-girl jeans and tall boots with heels. The kind that look smart and stylish but also tight and impractical and painful. She was striding. She had the confidence of someone who didn’t expect to fall. And if she did, she would leap up, dust herself off, giggle a little and blush. Or someone would race to help her, because yes, she was cute. (Note: The one problem she might encounter would be those awfully tight jeans. No matter what your size, those things are hard to move in.)
Now if that were me — but it wouldn’t be, because I wouldn’t be wearing those boots — but let’s just say if it were — I would fall in slow motion and roll a little, praying as I went down that I wouldn’t break anything. Praying that I wouldn’t have to go to the hospital and spend three months in a body cast. Praying that my insurance was great for these kinds of accidents, and praying that I would be able to get up again.
That’s a lot of praying. There’s a lot of me to fall, and to pick up again. It would hurt. It wouldn’t be pretty. There would be blushing, yes, but also huffing and puffing and extreme embarrassment and concern about the aches and pains to come that hadn’t yet sorted themselves out. Mostly there would just be the aches and pains themselves to contend with.
There would be a moment — I am sure of this, especially if I were by myself, say, in the parking lot at work — when I would just want to lie there on the cold ground and look at the sky and rail at the universe, and God, and myself, for having to deal with such a painful and inconvenient situation. I would throw a lot of F-bombs around. I would worry about what would happen next. Then there would be a begrudging acceptance that at least I don’t live in Iraq or Sudan and if I have to go to the hospital or even just the doctor or start physical therapy, I can do that, and I don’t have to go home to my shopping cart under the I-35 bridge or the Dorothy Day Center. I would try to get up. There would be more cursing and rage and despair, but eventually, I would be back on my feet and I would proceed to mince, toddle and shuffle off into the sunset.
Ok, this might sound like a big metaphor for life. And sure, if you want to read it that way, be my guest. It’s fine, and kind of complimentary. Probably quite accurate. The thing is, to continue the metaphor that’s not intended — Iwould be able to deal.
But I would still hate ice. And I think you might hear a whole lot more about that feeling as this winter goes on.
Oh, ice. You plague me.
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