While writing today's blog in honor of my husband's 32nd birthday, I was overcome with a sense of deja vu. Hadn't I just done this exact thing? After digging through my saved drafts and old writings, I soon realized that I had done this before---on his 31st birthday. It has been an entire 365 days of toothless grins, broken French, snowy mountains, panic attacks, and fondue dinners since we last celebrated Matt's birthday. Time is so very fleeting.
And now, in celebration of the Swiss ski season finally coming to an end (sunbathing's more my sport) and in honor of my husband's 32nd birthday, I figured I would share a piece I wrote nearly three years ago after Matt took me skiing in Colorado. Happy birthday, Matthew. I love you to the moon and back.
When I heard my head crack against the frozen mountain, a few initial thoughts went through my concussed mind before I happily forgot the name of our president. First and foremost: “Holy shit! I just hit my head on a mountain!” Secondly: “I wonder if the new brown boots I bought will compliment that expensive boho shirt I charged to my Macy’s card.” And lastly, “I’m gonna hurl.”
Although this stream-of-consciousness thought process was not much different than my usual Friday night bar outing (minus the holy shit, cracked my head on mountain spiel), some things became very evident when I finally knocked some sense into myself…
I’m not a skier. Of all the lessons learned in my heinously unflattering snow suit, it is that I do not belong in one. Although it only took one foot into a pair of long underwear to realize I would much rather be tugging on patterned tights, I can now safely say that stilettos are still my preferred footwear.
Lesson numero dos: Smashing your face into a mountain isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Gangs of Colorado hippies told me to “shred those slopes” and “master those moguls, dude,” but this dudette left looking like the receiving end of a Chris Brown date.
Lesson Tres: Alcohol is some sort of a doctor "no-no" when suffering a moderate to severe concussion. As if grinding my teeth against ice wasn't punishment enough, now they go and take away Happy Hour. Here's an idea, doc---take away my skis. I promise I will try and manage.
I guess, in part, I am somewhat to blame, though I think God and his whole "on the third day let there be mountains" bit are slightly more at fault. I agreed to let my boyfriend (who at the time I didn't realize was Evel Knievel in Columbia snow pants) coerce me higher than the Grateful Dead at a Woodstock concert. Standing there on the peak, close enough to fist pump Jesus, it all became so clear to me: I don't belong that close to heaven.
Whoever wrote that ridiculous song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was obviously not standing on a mountain when writing it. Nevertheless, it was actually the base, not the summit, that landed me in a makeshift emergency room where people were asking me all sorts of confusing questions and sticking tubes up my cold, runny nose. You could say I was scared, I suppose, but I really don't remember much besides bright lights in my dilated eyes, beeping machines with a dull, boring rhythm, and his adorable, worried face. I would fall down a thousand mountains to see that face, and climb yet a thousand more just to bitch at it.
Lying there in that hospital bed----a broken, mixed-up ski bunny----he held my hand, my heart, and my puke bag, and reaffirmed that he was the love of my life long before that bitch of a mountain nearly took it from me. Fourth painful lesson: I can live without skiing, but not without him.
As I limped off the airplane with my bruised brain and guilt-stricken boyfriend, I knew I would survive this unfortunate blunder. Sure, I fell hard---but looking at my Evel Knievel, I realized I had already fallen much harder.