Thursday, May 27, 2010

Swingsets Are Fun...But Not For Pants

So I went to the swingset by the ruritan today.

I put on another tank top, some pants that come down to my calves, and some white socks with hiking shoes (my fashion sense is awesome like that all the time). I slathered on some of our ancient sunscreen that definitely lost its effectiveness about five years ago. I was going to walk to that swingset and it was going to be flipping awesome.

I walked down my street, and at the end of it, my brother's girlfriend's car pulled in, and she and my brother asked where I was going. "To the playground by the ruritan," I announced, looking extremely dorky in my white Washington College hat, sports bra straps sticking out, carrying a water bottle in a plastic bag. My brother's girlfriend told me to hop in and she'd drive me. I wasn't going to refuse in this heat. Before she dropped me off, she wrote down her cell number and said to call her if I needed a ride back. I thanked her and was on my way. I wasn't going to need a ride back! I was going to get exercise in the most fun way possible, and then walk all the way back with a feeling of contentment that would make the Buddha jealous. I practically skipped to those swings. It didn't bother me that some were wrapped around the top bar, much higher up than the rest, or that one was sideways. These swings just needed a little love.

Even though it was hot as hell (meaning the place this time, not as a curse) and my Chapstick kept flying out of my pocket, it was great fun. Every time I swung up, I touched the branches of the tree in front of me with my toes. And this was a pretty big tree. It was great because I was in the shade for half of every swing. While I was swinging, this school bus, the big yellow kind, pulled up to the fire station across the street. I waved at the kids in the windows. Then a bunch of people who were way too tall to be kids got out, and I felt awkward.

I thought about being in elementary school, because that's where these swings used to be before they tore down all my childhood memories and moved the school. It was very nostalgic. I remembered having egg hunts, getting in trouble for swinging upside-down, those long conversations I had with my friends while we just swung and swung away. All the nostalgia almost took my mind off how much it hurt to grip the chains. I only looked at my watch every two minutes, which is pretty good for me. One time I even went four minutes without checking.

When I had swung for half an hour (because swinging really is strenuous, no joke), I slowed down and jumped off when I was still swinging pretty high (because that's what I always used to do when I was little. It made me feel cool and dangerous, like swinging upside down). It was then that I realized something....


You think I'm exaggerating, don't you? Okay. Well.

These are my pants from the front. They resemble how the back of my pants used to look.

Nice pants, aren't they? A nice color and all that.
Well, these are my pants after spending half an hour on the swing.

Check that out.

WHAT THE HECK DID THE SWINGS HAVE AGAINST ME?? I just didn't understand. I thought what we had was special, and then the swings had betrayed me. Feeling very hurt and disillusioned, I wondered what I should do. I could call my brother's girlfriend, but I didn't want to give up on getting that extra 2-or-so miles' worth of walking back. And I didn't want to get whatever that was all over her car.

So I trudged the whole way back with my blackened pants. I wonder if those people in the fire department garage thought I fell in a tar pit or something. There were lots of cars that went by as I walked, and I really hoped they did not notice me. Also, I saw two squashed birds. I thought birds always escaped being squashed, but I guess I was wrong about two things today.

Well, I am back now, and my face is returning to its normal shade as the fan tries heroically to cool me off. I have changed pants and I feel much better now. I am going to try to treat my poor wounded pants, which I should have known were bad luck since they are also the pants I broke my wrist in when I went to Europe (there is a small hole on the front left pocket from where a part of the bike tore it. If you don't know the story, I fell off a bike into a ditch while in the Netherlands on a 20-day trip visiting 6 West European countries, and it hurt a lot but we couldn't get it checked out because People to People couldn't stop for medical things, not that I hold that against them because they are great, and I told myself to suck it up because there was nothing wrong and I was just being a baby, and then 2 days after I returned home we got it x-rayed and SURPRISE my wrist was broken.). But if they survived that ordeal, hopefully they will survive this one.

But let my experience be a warning to you: Old swingsets may be fun, but not for light-colored pants.

Also, I tagged giraffes in this post because giraffes are awesome.

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