Now I look at the cake and calculate how many miles I'll have to walk to persuade my slumping metabolism to suck that many calories off my butt, and the thought of beer is directly followed by wondering how many times I'll have to get up during the night to go to the bathroom after I drink it.
But there's still "Presents!".
Anyway, upon this momentous occasion, I have been thinking about the things I haven't done. Not in a 'bucket list' sort of way, although there are some I intend to get to sooner or later. This is more of a list of things I haven't done that, when I mention I haven't done them, people look at me and say, "Seriously? How can you be who you are and live where you live (i.e. in Montana, the U.S, or on the Planet Earth) for this many years and never do that?"
So here goes:
Ten Very Common and Unexceptional Things I've Never Done
1. Karaoke - Nope. Never. This particular craze came along after I'd been forced to go out and get a real job as an athletic trainer that entailed spending most of my evenings and weekends watching high school kids play games and hoping none of them went and hurt themselves and forced me to put down my hotdog. I did sing once with a band in a bar, but I don't think that counts. Heartaches by the Numbers, in case you're curious.
2. Ridden a Full-Sized Roller Coaster - Which I would be happy to do, if roller coasters were built underground. They are not. They are built from the ground UP. I hate up. Up makes me queasy and sweaty and I can't bring myself to pay good money to inflict flu symptoms on myself. Ditto for Ferris Wheels, which I have experienced but will never experience again. Ever.
3. Seen Titanic, Lord of the Rings, Avatar or the most recent Star Wars movies. Mostly because my couch sucks me up and refuses to let me go after I get off work. And in the case of Titanic, because I have a pretty good idea how it ends, and it's not good, and if I'm going to shell out half a day's pay for entertainment I want at least the main characters to live happily ever after. Which is also the reason I've never...
4. Read a Nicholas Sparks book. See #3. I've also learned to avoid Larry McMurtry, who takes perverse pleasure in offing my favorite characters for no particular reason except that's how life was back in the old days in the West. Reality. Bah. Who needs it?
5. Watched an episode of 'Lost', '24' or most any other current TV show. I have one television and a five year old child. It's very hard to hear witty dialogue or even loud explosions over the high-pitched whining noise. (But I want to watch my 'tooonnnnsss'!) And if the kid is otherwise occupied, my husband usually has control of the remote, which means watching Jeremiah Johnson or something based on a book by Larry McMurtry. Yeah, we're back to #3 and #4 again.
6. Gone Down a Waterslide. This I'm gonna fix. Soon. My kid is big enough now, I have an excuse. But I will probably have to be really uncool and plug my nose, because I've never figured out how to plunge into water feet first without ending up with a gallon or two in my sinuses.
7. Swam in the Ocean. I've been to the beach on several occasions. Mostly in Oregon and Washington where the average water temperature in July is slightly lower than this iced Pepsi I'm sucking down as I type. On the two occasions I found myself on a warm beach, I had no swimming attire with me. The people of Galveston, TX are thankful I chose to abstain, under the circumstances. I really want to fix this one, too. Preferably while taking surfing lessons on Maui.
8. Ridden a Horse on the Beach. I know, I live in Montana. But I did live in Oregon, and we did go to rodeos out on the coast at least a couple of times every summer, and we always had horses conveniently located in the trailer hitched to our bumper. Once, when we had time to kill in Long Beach, Washington, I tried to talk my husband into taking them for a spin on the beach. He pointed out that Ember was terrified of our pasture sprinklers and went to great lengths to avoid stepping in the puddle they left in front of the gate. He seemed to think this meant she would not enjoy the pounding surf. Go figure.
9. Drank a Martini. Mostly because beer is cheaper and just as effective. However, I've been informed by the writing community that I could be ousted for this oversight, so the next time I'm hanging out with literary types in a tony bar, I'll be ordering one. Which ought to give me a good two or three years to save up the money to pay for it.
10. Seen Live Chuckwagon Races. This might not be what you consider common, but I grew up with the brisk Alberta breezes whipping across the border and ruffling my hair. Chuckwagons are a dime a dozen on the Canadian plains. I also have not been to the Calgary Stampede, which is just pathetic, given that it's only three hours from my house. And unfortunately, I won't be going this year, either. But chuckwagon races, I can do. The pro tour is hitting Lethbridge next weekend. I intend to be there.
I wonder if they serve martinis?