It sounded like a good idea at the time; the adrenaline rush, the wind rushing through my hair, the view that only birds get to see. Plus, I’d always wanted to conquer the fear of heights that kept me from peering over the railing into the abyss of my local shopping mall’s food court. I figured jumping off a mountain 5,000 miles away from home, while tethered to a devastatingly handsome Swiss guy and his hangglider would be a pretty good way to do that. As it turns out, I was wrong. I still can’t look down from the top of my kids’ backyard jungle fort, but at least I can say I jumped.
I haven’t launched myself off an actual mountain since that day in the Swiss Alps, but I’ve jumped off plenty of figurative ones since then. I’ve moved to new cities, taken new jobs, made new friends at each stop. I took the proverbial plunge when I married Brian. I’m currently in the free fall of parenting and don’t expect my parachute to deploy until somewhere around my girls’ mid-30’s. And lately, I jump every single week when I risk spilling my thoughts and my images onto your computer screens.
If you’re a woman, chances are good you’ve been Photoshopping yourself since you were at least 12 years old. Every single one of us has stood in front of the mirror at some point since adolescence and liberally applied the concealer. And you can’t tell me you haven’t been on a date and done the oh-so-discreet spinach-in-the-teeth check in the reflection of the butter knife. The desire to enhance has been around since the discovery of mirrors, which pretty much means our Neolithic ancestors would have given up their best set of blunt tools to have a fully retouched, color corrected and perfectly exposed family portrait hanging above the fire pit. If only they’d had Adobe Photoshop, I’m sure there would have been a lot less tribal violence and political upheaval.
Considering my age, I probably overuse the terms, “dude” and “like.” For instance, when my husband leaves his boxers laying around I’m all like, “Dude, if I have to pick your boxers up off the bathroom floor one more time, I’m going to use them to wrap tuna sandwiches for your lunch at work.” FWIW, I cn transl8 a txt msg in2 eng, ROFL. Or if I hear about something that went viral, I know it’s not a medical issue most of the time. And I’m not totally oblivious to the whole social media thing, although I did have to ask someone to explain hashtags to me the other day. #I totally get it now.
I have no earthly idea how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop. It’s certainly worth knowing because at some point in my Trivial Pursuit-playing future, I’m sure to take the game-winning pie slice with the answer to that mystery. It’s just that there are so many variables involved. Like tongue surface area; am I licking the Tootsie Roll Pop or is Gene Simmons? Or how about technique; are we talking about vertical licks or some kind of swirly, involves-a-lot-of-spit technique? It’s a conundrum that has confounded me since childhood.