Mark and I have spent our entire relationship trying to find something we have in common.
He tried watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey with me, but had to stop when his eyes started bleeding.
I tried scuba diving. No dice.
He wants to get into my blogging, but insists my posts are too long. I guess they are. If you decide to only check them ONCE A MONTH.
And I would love to get into his music more except that any time I listen to one of his songs I either a) get a lesson on how to put chords together which puts me to sleep or b) I half listen and half wonder, “Who did he write this song for?” Neither are ingredients for an enjoyable evening.
I was pretty sure we were just going to call it a truce and return separately to our own little corners of the world.
But Mark keeps trying.
And this week he tried to get me to go climbing. Rock climbing. Like, pull off the side of the road, walk aimlessly into wooded areas WHERE SERIAL KILLERS LIVE, find a rock taller than God and climb.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that Marie and extreme sports aren’t exactly a match made in heaven. But this man is desperate for us to find something we enjoy together, and I love him. So I said, yes. Yes, I will climb up a tall, scary, jagged, TALL rock because I love you. But you might want to tell me there’s a Big Mac waiting for me at the top. You know, for motivation and all.
I went. I got fitted for shoes and a harness. I was ready to go. I was ready to climb.
Except, for one thing. I’m terrified of heights. Terrified.
Confession: I refused to climb on monkey bars as a child because, God forbid, I fall from such a treacherous height.
I was determined, however, to forget my past and claim a new future. I was going to be a rock climber. Even if it was just for a day.
Adam, Mark and I drove down to the ‘Noog (aka Chattanooga, and I’m having the hardest time remembering who calls it that. Is this a Greg-ism?), pulled over on some small road and started hiking through the woods looking for a rock to claim. According Adam’s guide book, the rock we were looking for was only 40 feet away.
I can walk 40 feet. I’m a regular Shredder now. And I have an amazing heart rate. I was ready.
The guidebook forgot to mention that those 40 feet were completely vertical. Straight. up.
“Mark,” I said between wheezes, “is this it? Is this rock climbing? Am I rock climbing now?”
“No, this is just the trail to get us to the rock.”
“But, this trail,” wheeze, wheeze, “isn’t flat. Are you sure this isn’t the rock?”
With that last wheeze, Mark and I looked at each other knowing that this would not be the activity that would bind us together for eternity.
We finally made it up Mt. Everest the trail where we found ourselves face to face with a rock wall. The guys started putting their stuff down.
When I first saw the rock I wondered, “Where are the things you grab on to so that you can climb the rock? Like the peg things at Climb Nashville.”
But this is nature. And there are no peg things. There’s just rock. Rock and prayer. And that prayer being, “Please, God, let me find something to hold on to”.
Unfortunately, my faith is not that strong. I would not be a rock climber. Not today.
“Mark, I’m not going to climb,” I said. Still wheezing.
I didn’t want to say it. I wanted us to bond. To be that cool, fit, rock climbing couple. Because a couple that climbs together, stays together, right? I hated that I would be disappointing him. That his dream of a shared hobby would be crushed.
I’m a horrible dream crushing wife. Whose feet were staying on earth.
“Are you sure?” Mark asked.
“Hate you? No way! You’re out here! You’re with me! That’s really all I need!”
Seriously? All I have to do is be “around”? I don’t have to have near death experiences in order to impress you, or earn your love?
Dude, that is so something you should tell me before sending me out into serial killer wilderness to have an asthma attack WITHOUT any Big Macs in sight.