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July 20, 2008

I'm ditching the ditch, cool?

July 19. Day 19.

This morning I stopped by a consignment shop where I bought a painting, but it was already an insanely good deal ($5 for a small still life with flowers) and I didn't feel like asking for a dollar off, just to ask.

Later, I blew an opportunity at dinner. I ordered nachos without beans for the table and -- oh, gasp! -- the order came with beans. Send them back? However, by the time I spotted the beans, a pasty mess spread across the bottom of the plate beneath the nachos (interesting approach), everyone had devoured almost everything, and I'd also had my fill. So the kitchen messed up. We all mess up. And they were yummy, so who cares?

Most of the rest of the day was at the beach, and there's not much more I could ask for there. "Excuse me, sun, would you mind setting an hour later since I'm having such an awesome time? And waves, why don't you lap at my toes at a slightly more obtuse angle. There we go. Ahh."


Could it be that I spent an entire day without asking?

But now, as I hear the clicking of the keyboard as I assemble this procrastinatory, throat-clearing introduction, I realize what it is I asked for. I asked for a break.

For between the antique shop and the beach, I went for a bike ride in Tecolote Canyon. For those who have never been there, this is San Diego's equivalent of [insert ugliest natural landmark in your city here]. A narrow ditch running between arid, gnarly knolls on one side and a golf course and various large fenced electrical apparati on the other. Occasional dog poop peppers the route. It was the first time I'd ventured there, and definitely not my ideal locale for a picturesque hike or bike ride. The scenery, coupled with the headache I got from riding over the rough terrain, was enough to make me want to stop.

So I did. "Guess what," I told Mr. A. "I have a headache. I want to head back, slowly. Why don't we meet at the car in an hour?"

May not seem like a big deal. So I cut out early. Big whoop. But the truth is, Mr. A's fitness puts me to shame. I practically pant up the six steps that lead to the intercom gate. He zooms up all three flights, holding six bags of groceries in one hand, and my hand in the other. An eight hour hike is exhausting for me. For him, it's just the warm up. And, coup de grace, I recently asked him to check out my bicep. He wrapped his fingers around my arm, and I beamed at him proudly. "Ok, you can flex now," he encouraged. "I am flexing!" I wailed.

When we starting dating, I would have charged onward, redfaced, heaving, in the spirit of "keeping up." Even now I push myself to keep up, basically because without his prodding I'd be a complete sloth and, I'm afraid, two dress sizes bigger. Not to mention that it can be fun. But there's a line between healthy discomfort and pain, and I've learned to discern it.

Gained: Two extra strength Tylenols from the glove compartment. A great afternoon at the beach, post bike ride.

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