Day Twenty-Eight: Ashamed to admit it

It’s been a long day, and my challenge –to learn how to hula hoop at long last– was completely thwarted by the fact that the only hula hoop in the house, the one that I’ve tried and failed many times to hula with, was apparently constructed for a toddler.

When I went to research the art of hula hooping this morning, preparatory to mastering it, I immediately ran across a website run by a very stern woman who informed me that it’s essential to buy the right size hula hoop, and that “the kind of hula hoops you can buy at Target” are way too small. Oops.

Who knew that I was supposed to have a hula hoop that, when stood on its side, comes up above my belly button? Not me. And I didn’t feel like heading out and trying to procure a regulation-size hula hoop today.

So the dog and I have just returned from a long walk, during which I was determined to do something new. There was a trail of brightly-colored gummy worms all the way down Dupont Avenue, and I thought of photographing them, but that seemed lame.

I’m tired. Sometimes you just don’t want to do anything new, you know? Sometimes you just want to go lie on your couch and listen to music and try once again to get into Wolf Hall, the novel that everyone but you seems to have no problem not only getting into but understanding without a flow chart. Nay, not only understanding without a flow chart, but loving to obsession.

The dog and I were only a few blocks from home, getting ready to cross the street, when we saw a nun on the other side of Dupont about a block away. There was something about this nun that gave me the willies. I don’t have anything against nuns, nor against clowns for that matter (why does everyone hate clowns these days), but my radar went up.

As the nun got closer I saw that she wasn’t a nun. She was a woman with long black hair wearing a pitch-black, long, swirling cape-robe. It’s close to 90 degrees out, but there she was, walking down the street with a big black bag clutched to her side.

And I’m ashamed to admit this, but all I could think of was that movie theater in Aurora and that high school in Columbine, and the black-robed gunmen. I told myself not to be ridiculous, that my neighborhood is full of people who wear anything they want and that’s part of the reason why I love it.

But still, I stood there watching the woman in the swirling black robe. Crossing the street would have meant walking right past her.

I didn’t cross the street. I turned and walked in the other direction. And so far as I can remember, that’s the first time I’ve done something like that.


  1. Tessa · August 11, 2012

    Interesting post. My radar went up recently too….I was running on one of the trails near my house which is almost always busy – except on this occasion. And off I went – and I ran by a man sitting on a log having a smoke – and maybe it was the way he looked at me – or maybe he caught me off guard because I was entirely alone and I suddenly felt vulnerable. So I picked up my piece, removed my ear buds so I could hear and ran to a nearby field and called Dave and asked him to meet me. I’ve never done that before. But my instincts were on high alert. I think you just have to trust yourself for whatever the reasons are.


  2. nicole · August 17, 2012

    First off, I can’t hula hoop. Not even if it was to save my life. I’ve decided this is OK for me, so I think it is OK for you too 🙂

    Next, you know, sometimes people just instinctually creep us out. I am with you on the “wear whatever you want! Be whom you want to be!” but she obviously had something about her that made you uncomfortable. I typically don’t do things like walk the other direction, but if someone is giving me the creeps, I am not above it. I go with my instincts. So yes, always trust yourself!


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