Last Saturday, Bear wanted to have an adventure.
“Get up,” he said, gesturing at me where I was lying on the couch, crying as I watched the fifth episode of Grey’s Anatomy (I started watching it for the first time last week—I’m always late to everything cultural). “We’re going to have an adventure.”
“What?” I said. “But Alex is finally showing a soft side! I think he has feelings! And this woman is about to die! What will happen to her kids?”
“Fine,” he said, “But we are going to go for a drive.”
“A drive?” We definitely don’t have a car.
He seemed to be thinking on his feet: “We’re renting a zipcar. We’re going to explore Brooklyn.”
“Oh, cool. But don’t we have to be somewhere in an hour and a half?”
“Doesn’t matter. We’re going to explore Brooklyn for an hour.”
He found a zipcar nearby. Near enough by. I threw on boots and sweatshirt. Off we went.
After ending up on the wrong side of a major road for a while, we found the garage, and the tiny red zipcar that Bear could barely fit inside. He wanted to drive anyway, which was fine with me since I have never actually driven in the city except for that one, terrible time, in the U-Haul, in Union Square, when I nearly killed those young mothers pushing their infant children in strollers into the middle of traffic. And a bunch of scrappy NYU kids with purple hair. They almost died, too.
So Bear drove. He drove out of the parking lot. He drove up to the light. He nearly drove us onto the BQE, but then he turned at the last second, saying that he thought it was going the wrong way. We wanted to head out towards Red Hook, and beyond, towards the ocean, wherever that is.
We took a shortcut through a parking lot, and went around in a circle and ended up in the same parking lot, because of all the one way streets. We would have ended up in the parking lot a third time, but Bear went the only other way, taking the ramp to the Manhattan Bridge. There was a cop to one side and an SUV coming up fast behind us.
“Wait—” said Bear. “I have to turn off—we don’t want the bridge.”
“Go straight!” I yelled, watching the SUV gain on us.
“No, I have to turn—we have to go the other way.”
“GO!!” I screamed. “GET ON THE BRIDGE NOW!” I may have pounded the dashboard. I was saving our lives.
He got on the bridge. “Why did you yell at me? I didn’t have to go this way! Now we’re going into Manhattan!”
“I was saving our lives! You couldn’t decide, so I decided for you. I acted.” I am a woman of action.
“If you’d stopped yelling, I would’ve done the right thing. I thought maybe you knew something I didn’t.”
“I knew we were going to be crushed by an SUV. And then arrested by that cop.”
“That’s not true.”
“Well, I didn’t think we needed to wait and find out.”
We were stuck in traffic on the Manhattan Bridge.
“Hey look!” I said, “There’s our building!” A little, dirty brown box. I could see our whole neighborhood from here. So cool. “Look how high up we are!”
30 minutes later, we were stuck in traffic in Chinatown.
“Look at all this cool graffiti, ” I said.
Bear said, “How the hell do I get back to the bridge?”
There was no easy answer. He did a K turn in traffic, which was pretty impressive, and went back the way we’d come. But getting back on the bridge was even more complicated. The entrance seemed to be in a totally different place than the exit. We followed signs with bicycles and stick figures on them through crowds of tourists and residents, and finally the little, narrow, insignificant ramp was in sight, when a huge bus pulled in front of it and cut us off.
Bear yelled some inappropriate words, which is very unusual for him. Allow me to translate: “HORRIBLE STUPID MEAN BUS! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS AWFUL THING TO ME?!”
“We’re going to have to pay a $100 fine!” he said, mournful now.
“If we get the car back late. And we have ten minutes to get it back.”
“Okay, okay. We can do this. Just wait for your opening…”
The bus inched along. We blocked traffic, waiting for it. Horns honked. Everyone classically furious—unwilling to do their part in debunking stereotypes about New Yorkers. And then the bus passed and Bear zipped into the ramp lane and we were safe on the bridge! No traffic this way. We were back at the garage in five minutes.
“We have a little extra time,” Bear said. “Do you want to explore the area before we take the car back?”
“No!” I practically shrieked. “Never again. This was the worst adventure ever.”
We returned the car. We got out. I turned towards home, but Bear grabbed my hand.
“Come on!” he said. “Let’s go this way!”
“Are you serious?”
He was. The adventure wasn’t over. We walked to the first Brooklyn Shake Shack and ordered burgers. They were delicious. It snowed a little. Which seemed adventurous of the sky.
I looked at Bear and thought that he was the best person in the world to hang out with, watching the unsuspecting snow fall onto the dirty sidewalk. I made such a good choice, marrying him. Our lives, suddenly inseparable, are this fantastic adventure.
And the thing with the car and the bridge and Chinatown? Oy. At least we tried. Maybe one day we’ll actually make it to the ocean. Wherever that is.
(will it look like this, when we get there? I really hope so. source)
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When’s the last time you had an adventure? Tried to have one? Any failed adventure stories? I want to hear them!
Unroast: Today I love the shape of my lips.
Note: It is Body Image Warrior Week! Fashion and body image blogger Sally McGraw, of Already Pretty, came up with the idea and put it together. Just in time for NEDAwareness Week, we’re taking some time to talk about why body image awareness is also important. A bunch of us are participating. You can find out more here and get involved, if you’re interested. And stay tuned for a post from one of the participating bloggers, which will be featured on ETDC tomorrow.