Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It gets weird when it gets cold

I was enjoying mountain biking for hours every day, alone and with my friend Holli, until I did something horrible. Although really it's my mother's fault for thinking she had a tough stomach.

For days before my mom's visit, I was trying to think of places we could eat that would be, how do I say this, lighter than the typical Asheville fare. Asheville has a lot of places with fried things stuffed into BLTs on the menu. But mom landed in a wonderful mood and said she felt excited to "eat Southern" while she was here.

Boy, did she not know what she was getting into. My parents, who live in Vermont, subsist on chicken and lovely salads. Whenever I'm home, and I wander into the kitchen around 6pm and ask my dad what I have to look forward to, it's always the same thing: "Chicken. And a lovely salad."

A few bites of Misty Knowles Farm thigh and salad that won't stay on the fork later, the show's over, and I'm left pining for the days of my childhood when we ate noodles four times a week and it always felt like a treat.

But I take my mom at her word, and when, after touring the Biltmore Mansion, mom wants to treat us both to a Carolina dog, I give her no warning. We each down a hot dog covered in onions and Chile and sauerkraut "n' stuff". I'm fine. I'm conditioned for this type of thing now, but mom's not. And she's not fine.

The only reason I take mom to the Biltmore is because I read in the pamphlet that you can rent bikes and "whiz around 8,000 acres of trails." That sounded like fun. The bike rentals are 15 bucks so I bring my own bike on top of the car, you know, to save the 15 bones. But after her dog she's not feeling up to biking. She barely even notices the Orchid house.

So we go home, and make a few stops, and by the time we get there I've forgotten that we ever intended to bike. I whip into the garage and I scalp the bike and the roof racks right off the car. It's a terrible, loud, wrenching moment that will end up costing a lot more than the 15$ I would have saved if we had whizzed around the 8,000 acres of trails, which we had not.

Yonton and Dave come out of the house, and we all stare at the damage strewn about the yard. I do not cry. I am very adult about it all. "This is my fault," I say calmly.  But I'm thinking to myself, "THIS IS ALL BECAUSE YOU THOUGHT YOU COULD EAT SOUTHERN AND THEN YOU WERE FELLED BY A CAROLINA DOG."
Two days later I'm at work pouring cider in a snowstorm and someone hits my car and crumples up the side, so it has to go to the shop anyway. Without a way to get the bike, which is damaged but ridable, to Bent Creek to ride, I grow fat and irritable. I'm a shut in. The rental car they've given me is one of the GM Recall vehicles and it shuts off on the highway. The climbing gym is too small and walking is too slow.  Running, that agony, is out of the question. I've forgotten how to exercise without the bike and when I don't exercise I'm not very nice to strangers in coffee shops who make mouth noises as I'm trying to study.

A few weeks later it's all been repaired, the car and the racks, so I take the bike back to the Biltmore and whiz around the trails myself. It's so fun. Mom would have really loved it.
Dave and I are driving up to Charlotte with our friend Mike, to attend the Inspiration Ball put on by all the kayakers we thought were dead in Tajikistan. On the way we stop for dinner at a Chick-fil-A.

I don't like Chick-fil-A because I don't like their stance on we-all-know-what, and I don't like how they sued that Vermonter who made the "Eat More Kale" T-shirts. (And won.)

But I ate it anyway. I swore I'd never do it but I did it. I ate a chicken sandwich and some waffle fries and I drank a milkshake. And then I went to the ball and felt beautiful and laughed a lot and enjoyed my curled hair.

But deeds like this don't go unpunished, and I threw up all night long. In somebody's house that I didn't know very well. I'd had a few drinks, sure, but I threw up long after they'd been geysered out of my system. And since I'd eaten the Chick-fil-A in a hurry because Dave warned me it "gets weird when it gets cold", I hadn't necessarily chewed it very well going down, so it came up in big pieces.

Some lessons you have to learn the tough way. I park on the sidewalk now. And for dinner, a lovely salad.


KatieD said...

It does not matter how much I run, breathe or drink water: I want to kill the people making mouth noises.

Jill said...

Oh, I missed your posts! They always make me laugh and nod my head because your stories are always so real but told much better than most real stories ever are. I hope you're back to stay.

Lindsey - A.K.A Mama Bouchard said...

Melina, We are so very different in our ways of thinking, but that is one of the things I love about blogging. We can share who we are and show others how to look at things in a different way. You inspired me to "a year in the great outdoors" with my family. Your pictures and words moved me to want more of that in our lives. It does look a little different since my girls are 8, 5, and 2, but they are loving the concentrated effort to explore the outdoors beyond the plastic playground in our neighborhood. I was so disappointed when you decided to write less often, where would my motivation come from? So, I did the rational thing and found you on Instagram. I totally get the writing less thing based on your reasons though. :) Anyway, all of this to say thanks for being you and sharing it with all of us. I look forward to your next adventure. Please keep the beautiful pictures coming because I miss home...(Winston-Salem, NC). ---Lindsey

rosedel said...

So glad to hear from you! You make me smile and laugh and feel young. And that, my dear, is no easy task! So sorry it was vomit that inspired you this time. That chicken place is one of my favorites, though. But then, I have never been a "lovely salad" kinda girl. :)

Sian said...

Yay a new post! Sorry about poorly tummies and damaged vehicles though x

Jana Cottrell said...

I've so missed your writing and this is why. You tell stories in such a great and interesting way. Sorry for the vomit though, never good.

Elissa said...

"it gets weird when it's cold" - i can't get over that line. what does that mean anyways? dying.