Good Ideas Gone Bad

My husband usually has great ideas. He is a man of exceptional vision and a talent for creating and building things, like springhouse roofs and fences. Sometimes, I don’t get the picture as easily.

For example, years ago we remodeled our kitchen. He wanted to recess the refrigerator into what – at the time – was a wall between the kitchen and a hallway. I didn’t understand what he was describing and insisted that this would not look good at all. He showed me diagrams and I still shook my head and was pretty adamant that this would not work. But since typically Matt has good ideas, I told him I would trust his judgment.

               When the project was done, the recessed refrigerator created more floor area for our kitchen table and made the kitchen a lot more user-friendly. It really was a good idea and I always credit him for yet another inspiration.

               Every once in a while, though, he has an idea that’s not so great.  One year, Matt wanted me to accompany him to California on a business trip. I have been to California and I knew two things: first, I hate to fly and secondly, I didn’t much care for California. There were a variety of reasons for this that I will not go into at this time, but it didn’t leave me with a lot of good memories.

               He listed all the wonderful things we would do, and eventually I succumbed and flew to San Francisco with him and he was absolutely right. I loved almost every minute of our stay there, even when he had to attend work functions. I was thrilled with the food, the shopping, the coffee, the wharf, the trolley cars, and our mini-trips to Sausalito and Alcatraz. And the wine!  That was amazing, too.

               Once again, he was right in dragging me into his idea. What he didn’t mention until the last minute was that the trip included a 5K charity event for which he had signed both of us up. Both of us. Meaning, me, too. Okay, maybe that doesn’t sound like a bad idea to you, but if you know me, you know that for me, running a 5K ranks right up there with things like root canals and gall bladder attacks.  In other words, I hate and avoid them.  While I have supported many 5K events, I have never actually participated in one.

               Including this one in beautiful San Fransicso. I went to the event, dressed in my best running gear (or at least, the best I could find in a whirlwind shopping trip) and got my number pinned to my clothing. We started off and I was walking, naturally. I tried to walk at a quick pace, but I was soon losing many of the group as they jogged away. Matt gamely walked with me and we got about a half K (whatever that is, it felt like ten miles) when he said he had to use a bathroom.

               In San Francisco, there are lots of public toilets, but they are all pay-toilets.  It was a Sunday morning, so very little was open, but there was (of course) a Starbucks. I had wisely tucked a twenty into the pocket of the new running shorts, so I went in to ask for change. Naturally, you had to purchase something, so I bought a latte, gave him two quarters from the change and found a bench to wait.

               While I sat, sipping coffee and contemplating the beautiful city scape, runners and walkers were passing me by – going both ways. Apparently some of them had finished the first half and were on their way back. I was rather conspicuous, sitting with the large number on my chest and back, sipping from a Starbucks cup. A few (who still had breath to speak) yelled encouraging words, like “way to go!”

               Matt emerged from the public toilet and we decided it was too late to walk the entire 5K (just how long is that, anyway?), so we turned and walked back to the start/finish line.

               When we approached, me clutching my now-empty coffee cup, a small group began applauding and I heard “there’s the coffee lady” several times.  My one and only 5K run was actually a half-K coffee walk. And, believe it or not, I actually got a blister on my heel from the morning’s stroll.

               Matt admitted that signing me up for the run had been a not-so-good idea. But he’s quick to point out that without that event, I wouldn’t have gained notoriety as a coffee-swilling non-runner.


  1. Jackie Glawe

    I LOVE this story!! I would have definitely been walking, gotten the coffee as well, however I probably would have been the one who also had to use the restroom. (Pay toilet). I actually have a funny story about using the pay toilet on the Wharf in San Francisco so this brought back that memory for me!

    • Susie

      You must share your funny story! Perhaps in your writing??

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