Sunday, August 5, 2007

Limitless Opportunities Sunday, August 5, 2007

I wake early and check the forum to see if there are any changes in the plans for the day. I notice that I am the only person left who is willing to show up for “wrenching” day. The whole purpose for me to attend is mostly to be an observer, and possibly pick up a few tricks on how to work on my own bike. I write the guy a note, tell him to enjoy the beautiful day riding, and I will raise my hand again next time there are more people.
Now, my spouse does not like change what so ever and usually gets irritated when I change established plans. It doesn’t matter that the reason for the plan is no longer valid; he is irritated non-the-less. I go about my morning. I feel the opportunities are now limitless on what I choose to do. I attend to a few personal matters that have been occupying my mind. My spouse has been putting around the yard doing what it is he loves best; gardening. I am lulled into a sense of wellbeing.
At noon, I notice that he is stomping out of the house, riding boots on, and sporting his riding jacket. The motorcycle is rolled out of the shed, the engine started and idling. I call out the window and ask if he intends to tell me where he is going and when he will be back. I am blasted with a litany of accusations. The list includes the fact that I have changed plans; it appears I have other things on my mind, and I am attending to my own “shit”. Hmm, I’m thinking, what a perfect time to point out this character flaw. The last time we had this discussion about his pouting when I change plans; he denied that it was so. I take a deep breath and dive right in. “Right there” I say. “Look at what you are doing and all because I changed plans.” Another list of accusations spill forth. I listen to them all, and tell him that if he has evidence to support any of what was just said, then I will pay attention. Until then, I refuse to accept any of it and will not allow it to be put on me. The engine quits. “If you want to ride, kickstands up in a half hour.” We have a few words about possible destinations. He dismounts and walks off into the gardens.
I dress for riding, roll the bike out of the shed, and am ready by the assigned time. As we leave the yard, he announces that we are heading over to the “shop”. I wonder why we need to stop where he works, but since he is already ahead and on down the road, I can’t ask. We pull into the back of the plant; he dismounts, walks around a few trailers and comes back to the bike. “I take it we aren’t going to ride into Massachusetts,” I say, as you don’t have your helmet with you.” He mounts and indicates we will go back home for his helmet. When we leave home again, he takes a road that is not one that will take us to Massachusetts, and suddenly he takes a right turn into a cemetery. I follow part way in and watch as he rolls up and down the paths. I turn facing out. I realize I am being punished for changing plans. I refuse to be mistreated in this way. When he rolls by again, I announce that I am going home. As we leave the cemetery, he turns right; I turn left and head for home. As I roll into town, I decide to pull over in a shaded spot and wait. I will give him ten minutes and then I am truly heading home.
Just as the second hand sweeps to my self-imposed time limit, he pulls up beside me. He looks innocently at me and asks why I made a wrong turn. He isn’t fooling anyone. He has had time to think. So have I and I deliver the rules. “If we are to ride, I will not follow behind you irritated. It will only get me killed.” I then hold up my fingers one at a time. “We will not ride on dirt roads. We will not pull into strange places for obscure reasons. We will not stop at places without clear reasons for doing so.” We agree and begin to ride in a direction that will take us to Massachusetts. We had agreed that we would surprise our daughter in Plymouth. She has called and asked where we have been. It will also be a good opportunity to experiment with some new routes, not to mention a chance to kiss the baby too.

We are not long on our way, when he asks if I’m hungry. I’m not. He wants to stop so I suggest ice cream. The Ice Cream Factory is up ahead. He pulls in. We look at the menu and he orders a very large grinder. My punishment is not yet over. This will take time to eat. I decide that two can play this game and I look the menu over. “I’ll have the lobster roll please.” The $10 lobster roll should get his attention that I can punish too. He doesn’t flinch. Is that amusement in his eyes? We eat slowly. A few elderly patrons arrive and place their order. We watch them from the picnic bench nearby. Some bikers roll in. On guy is tall and skinny, with a long gray ponytail down his back. He’s listening to his iPod and the other two seem to have to repeat everything twice. He gets an ice cream cone and as I watch him eat, it is evident he has no teeth. Charming.

The toothless rider has given me enlightenment. Since I’m still irritated, I take a cue from him. With my elbows on the table and in full view of all the patrons, I play bad mannered biker chick and pick my teeth. My husband watches patiently and when I’m done, throws his arm around my neck and pulls me in for a full long kiss, again in full view of the elderly couples near by. My my. I wonder what he would have done should I have belched. Suddenly all is good and we are off to Plymouth.

We high tail it on 495 to the Carver exit. We want to check out route 44. It’s a comfortable ride. As we reach the interchange with route 3, Andy pulls over. I give my daughter a call. She is not home and is in fact on her way to a family function with her in-laws. My friend is right. Surprises usually backfire. Low and behold, I discover something new. Plans are allowed to be changed if the man is doing the changes. No sooner than we learn the news that she is unavailable, my husband has a new plan to visit the water’s edge. This is a lesson for another day. The teacher is tired, and since she has no trouble with changed plans, looks forward to the refreshing breeze along the ocean’s edge. Aren’t limitless opportunities delightful!

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