365 Body, Mind, Spirit | Week 26








A cold in the head causes
less suffering than an idea.

Jules Renard

A while back I joked I would one day run out of things to photograph on my walks. Someone suggested in the comments that I take pictures of my surroundings as well as my feet. I thought it was a great idea, but since I already upload 7 pictures weekly, I thought it would be overkill to add an additional 7 pictures to one post. I also didn’t want the people who follow me on Instagram to think OMG we get it, Real Woman of Genius. You invented walking daily and neighborhoods and instagram.

Then Instagram released their new video feature and I thought, well, that might something I could do one week. Videoing a few seconds of my walk right before I take a picture sounded like a great idea.

It was, as it turns out, the worst idea ever.

I’m trying to think of an idea I’ve had that was worse, and the only one that comes to mind is having a shot of Gold Lager after three beers in the summer of 1995, but even that rewarded me with a funny story. So, yes, this is the worst idea I have ever had.

The Instagram video feature, at least on my cellphone network, relies on the energy produced by donkeys and treadwheels. I have never wasted so much time uploading 15 seconds of video. At first I didn’t think it was a problem. I took the video, noticed it took eons, and checked to see if I could take a picture while it uploaded. No. Not without my picture posting first, which defeated the purpose. So I stood there waiting for videos to upload so that I could then take a picture. This added a ridiculous amount of time to my walks.

It also gave two homeowners and a random hot guy plenty of time to question my sanity.

On Tuesday I was still under the mistaken belief I could walk up to my picture spot, video, and then take a picture. I don’t know how long I stood in front of this house waiting for Quick Draw McGraw to live up to his name, but it was long enough for the homeowner to come out and confront me. I had just taken the picture–I thought I could see movement out of the corner of my eye–so I took one shot and then started moving. I heard him call out to me, so I did what anyone would do in my position.

I pretended not to hear him. I thought he would let it go since I was walking away, but he was not about to let a pansy picture taker walk away on his watch. So he yelled, again, “Excuse me?” I could tell by the way he had his plaid button down shirt buttoned all the way up to the top and tucked perfectly into his Dockers that he meant business. I had no choice but to reach into my bag of tricks and pull out my friendly-but-ditzy card.

“Oh, hi! Sorry about that; I didn’t hear you. Have a nice night!”

“Well, now, wait just a minute! Excuse me? Helloooooo! What were you doing on my property?”

(Technically, sir, I was on property you are required to maintain for the city but you seem like the kind of fellow who talks big and thinks little, so I’ll pretend you are much smarter and scarier than me.)

“Oh, sorry! You see, I go on daily walks and I take pictures of my feet to mark the days. Kind of like a journal.” I said this with my friendliest, blandest, un-serial killer smile. I even managed to flip my ponytail and I’m pretty sure my aura exuded casserole. It pained me greatly, but it worked like a charm. Sometimes you just need to know and accept your audience.

“Let me get this straight. You take pictures of you feet?”

I admit his snorts and shoulder shrugs and eyerolls almost caused me to slip out of character, but I managed to smile wide while gritting my back molars into a fine dust and affirm I take pictures of my feet.

On Thursday I had just given up trying to take a picture of orange roses from where I was standing on the street when I heard the front door open. This time the homeowner (a woman) went back inside when she saw me leaving. It’s just as well, because not 10 minutes prior I had my most embarrassing encounter to date.

I was trying to take a picture in front of the house I later videoed on Sunday, but the gnats were out of control this past week. For most pictures I had to close my eyes and hope for the best because they would land on my face and go near my eyes and aaaaaaahhhhh! Gross. I was standing there trying to take a picture when some gnats started to swarm, but I was stubborn and refused to budge. Eventually the swarm grew to Exodus proportions and I had no choice but to turn into a horse standing in manure in the middle of August and start swinging my ponytail back and forth and back and forth and back and forth. Don’t get me wrong, I tried using my hands at first, but it was as if I was waving the swarm of gnats into my face.

There I was, swinging away when on my swing to the right I noticed an approaching biker. I was slightly embarrassed, but not enough to stop flicking my hair like a Clydesdale; I had gnats to shoo. It was only when the biker was 10 yards away that I realized it was Hot Guy On a Bike, a guy who sometimes bikes the neighborhood the same time I walk in the evenings. He’s around my age, tall, blond, fit. The usual.

I’m a happily married woman but no woman, no matter how happily married, wants to look like an idiot in front of someone attractive. By the time he road past me I stopped swinging and stood there in a vain effort to recapture some dignity while the gnats feasted upon my flesh. The only sounds were the buzzing gnats and the crunch of his wheels against the pavement. He stared at me, I stared at him and finally, when he was only a few feet away from me I said, taking breaks to spit gnats out, “Hello! Don’t mind me, I’m just being eating alive by gnats! There are just [spit] so [spit] many of them OHMYGOD!”

As crazy as it may sound to some, I would much rather confess something silly than have someone assume something worse. I felt better after I explained myself. I felt much better when he started laughing in a consolatory way, and when he turned around and looked over his shoulder at me and almost lost control of his bike, well, that might be when I felt best of all.

I tried to upload all the videos I took during the week, but couldn’t get them to play here. More proof that this was the worst idea ever. You can watch them here.

Song of the Week

Iko Iko — Dixie Cups

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. says

    Oh, that buttoned up guy sounds scary! Good job you knew how to act ditzy. Can’t decide whether an attractive man on a bike would do anything for my non-existent hormones; that’s one aspect of age that is quite pleasant, actually.

    • says

      Don’t worry, Shelley, that guy wasn’t scary. He was dumb and arrogant. I secretly want to walk up to guys like that and mess up their hair. 😉

  2. Susan G says

    OMG- thank you for being willing to confront scary buttoned-up guys, out on a casserole persona, and embarrass yourself in front of Hot Guy – it was just what I needed on a very wet and dreary Monday morning at work after a bad night’s sleep. I so needed some cheering up and am more than willing to get it at your expense today. :) :) :)

    And does 180 mean 180 days? Congratulations – that is awesome and inspiring!!!!

  3. says

    Thank you so much for the laugh!

    I have definitely done the ponytail swing to deter bugs before. We walk on a mosquito-filled trail, so it’s either walk down the path swinging my arms wildly or shaking my head back and forth.

  4. says

    “I even managed to flip my ponytail and I’m pretty sure my aura exuded casserole.”

    This wins the Best Sentence of Monday Award. I love it!

    And congrats on 180+ days of walking! 😀 You’re pretty much halfway through the year! *breaks out the pompoms*

  5. says

    This post was full of good times . . . can’t wait for the beer story.

    So far my favorite walking story is actually my mom’s. It was one of the first walks of the season, and we had just made it up a hill. I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. We got to the top where prim woman in new, fashionable workout attire stood–now that I think about it, she may have been the aunt of the fellow in the plaid button-down. She gave us the once over then said, “Good for you!” To which my mom replied, “Good.” So, yes, the woman obviously thought we were a bit more special than most, and since my mom thought she asked how we were doing and responded with a breathless, “Good” . . . we sealed the deal. I’m pretty sure I lost an extra pound or two with the laughter, alone.

  6. says

    So now I have the debacle details. Oy! I admire your strength, I am sure I would have run away or jumped in the hole that would have opened for me.

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