Today was one of those days when my husband and I were feeling a bit goofy. Even more so than usual, and that caused trouble.
We were running some errands sans kids and enjoying ourselves. It had been awhile since we had any time out alone and we were making the most of it. After a stressful week, we practically bolted to the front door to escape the house and our parenting responsibilities for a short time. Relaxation set in almost immediately as we pulled out of the driveway with our favorite 80’s station blaring on the radio. I can’t quite recall what started it, but we soon found ourselves laughing at everything. You know, one of those giddy moods that can make even the most routine, mundane things suddenly seem hilarious. This was the type of laughter that made other people stare at you and wonder what you were on.
As we drove through the parking lot of our first destination, Stuff Mart, we waited patiently as an elderly man crossed our path in one of the store’s loaner electric scooters as he made his way to his car. We parked and walked toward the doors of the store. As we passed the car where the man with the scooter was, he was just finishing moving from the scooter to the driver’s seat. He called out to us and asked if we would be kind enough to return the scooter to the store lobby for him, and we agreed.
Now, you need to keep in mind our immature, goofy, drunk-like mood when I describe what happened next. I’m not even sure who’s idea it was (I say it was my husband’s, he says it was mine) but one of us said it would be fun to use these scooters. Well, that quickly escalated into “Let’s race these scooters” and caution was thrown to the wind. Luckily, the Stuff Mart Greeter had momentarily stepped away from his position so it was easy to get started. After agreeing on one lap around the store, we were off.
Yes, we were sober. But even sober people do dumb things sometime.
We started off neck and neck as we passed a long cardboard display of potato chips. Unfortunately, I was distracted by a cart of clearance items and slowed down to browse. My husband’s laughter brought me back to reality and I turned my attention back to the race. Luckily, the scooter I was using had a full battery and I was able to catch up to Jayson. Perturbed by my advancement, he took a shortcut through the girls’ clothing department, narrowly missing one of my daughter’s classmates who was shopping with her mother. A flash of embarrassment shot through me, but I kept on going.
As we approached the craft department, two ladies from our church stepped into the aisle, right into my path. The look of astonishment on their faces was priceless. I said the only thing that could have been said at a moment like this. “HONK! HONK!” They stepped, rather, stumbled, back as I rounded the corner, Jayson hot on my tail.
I have never know my husband to be a NASCAR fan, but he surely has been studying some races because he started to try some fancy maneuvers, complete with vroom-vroom sounds. He bumped my scooter and let out a maniacal laugh, which sent shivers down my spine. It was in that moment that I finally questioned the sanity of what we were doing and had second thoughts. But letting my mind wander like that led to my downfall.
As my attention was scolding myself for acting so foolishly, my husband made his big move. Consumed with a passion to win this electric scooter race through Stuff Mart, he cut me off. Trying to swerve to avoid him caused me to flip my scooter. As I fell, my head crashed into a tall, wire-framed cage full of bouncy balls. My head hit the floor, and my knee somehow twisted and was trapped under the weight of the scooter. Blood ran down my face from the scratches on my cheek from the wire cage. Intense pain shot through my knee. The whole moment felt it was in slow-motion. Balls from the display danced around me as I tried to make sense of what had happened.
And my husband kept going.
Don’t think badly of my husband. He did come back to check on me eventually (and announce his victory). He followed the paramedics after they arrived. By that time, a small crowd had gathered. I tried not to make eye contact with anyone, fearing I would see someone I knew. Humiliated, I was treated at the scene but refused to be transported to the hospital. I am now home, with a bandaged face and frozen peas on my knee, which is the size of a cantaloupe, and a very bruised ego.
This was probably the most embarrassing moment of my life. I can read the headlines tomorrow: “Local Woman Writes Blog for April Fools Day”.