It's not about the house.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hear Me Roar

Someone gave me a bit of money recently. Not a big fat load of money, but more than I deserved – which was fuck-all – and less than I felt I had to embarrass us both by driving two and a half hours back down to Massachusetts to return it when I realized she hadn’t just been tucking my Blackberry into my back pocket after all. It was for something I did that you’re not supposed to get paid for – and no, you gutter-heads, it wasn’t sex. If it was then I would return (and, I might also add, deserve) every last cent.

But so I’ve had this wad of money in the secret zip-pocket of my Coach bag for a week, deciding what to do with it, and—

Hang on.

Have I told you about my Coach bag?

Oh, honey.

I bought it for myself the last time someone pulled this kind of money-tucking stunt. Because my theory is that when people give you money for doing things that any decent person would do anyway (which happens to me a rather lot, I don’t know why) then it behooves you to return it if you can, and if you can’t (or if you just know it would be nicer for the other person if you didn’t), then it’s a moral imperative to spend it frivolously. No filling the gas tank or paying the electric bill with cash you got for helping an old lady cross the street, or you’ll find yourself at the business end of her metaphysical umbrella faster than you can get off her cosmic lawn.

So like I say, the last time someone did this, I bought myself a bag that is as close to underwear-model-hot as an inanimate object can possibly get. I’ll show you:


I don’t know what turns me on more, the chains or the D-rings or the for-my-(and-now-also-your)-eyes-only purple satin lining. It did cost way too much, but like I said, I paid for it with found cash, and it will save me money in the end. Because with this hot underwear-model slung over my shoulder I look dressed, even in a ComfortSoft tank top, my 16-year-old boots, and a hacked-off pair of Goodwill button-flies.

Which reminds me of my point:

This time, I’m going to take that pocketful of cash and learn to ride.

The nearest Harley dealership that offers classes is an hour away in New Hampshire, but it’s worth the travel time because a four-day course with them gets you your motorcycle license in the end. They run one every weekend through the summer – three hours each on Thursday & Friday evening, plus Saturday and Sunday all day long.

I’m busy for the next few weekends, and was three-quarters of the way through registering for August 26-29 when I realized it was for women only, and there really isn’t any point in that. So I signed up for September 2-5.

Now here’s a little story that I swear is related to the rest of this, if only in my slightly-fevered brain:

When I was five years old, I started riding horses for the first time at a place called Sunny Croft in Thompson, Connecticut. Because I was five years old, and a girl, they automatically assigned me to a Shetland pony. But I put my tiny little foot down.

“I don’t want to ride a pony, Dad!” I whispered (I didn’t put my foot down quite so vehemently then). “I want a horse.” So Dad spoke up on my behalf, and they reassigned me to a 15-hand roan mare named Nutmeg.

Fifteen hands is just two inches over pony-size, but it was enough. Dad had to put the saddle on for me and lift me up, but I had a ball – obviously, or I wouldn’t remember the old girl’s name 35 years later. And when she stood on my chilblained foot for seven minutes at the water trough afterwards, grinding it into the sawdust while she drank her horse-sized fill, I clenched my jaw and took it like a tiny little man.

Point being: I’ve never been the kind of girl who sits around waiting to get thrown over a bitch seat. When I want something, I’ve always gone and got it for myself. These days I want to ride a bike, and so I’ll ride one. When I’m confident (and perhaps a bit more flush) I might just even buy one for myself.

I don’t know what model yet – although I have always been partial to a Fat Boy – but at the very least I know it will be used. Because of the cash-flow thing, and the Destructo factor. And I know it will ride low. Because Hogs aren’t the same as horses, after all. And it’ll be black. Flat black. "Black Denim," I think the color’s technically called. I even dreamed last night I bought the thing, and that my virgin ride was to an actual place I know called Hot Dog Annie’s for lunch.* Which is strange, because I don’t remember the last time I wanted to eat a hot dog in real life. And now the idea is second (or maybe third, if you count the motorcycle) on a short list of things I can’t stop thinking about...

Coincidentally, I’ll be driving right by Hot Dog Annie’s on the 14th. And I’m pretty certain I can swing a four-for-a-dollar lunch with the spare change I've got rattling around the secret purple bottom of my hot Coach bag. But if I want the rest of the bike-dream to come true beyond the learning-how part, I’m going to have to keep on being nice. Underwear-model nice. Anna-Nicole-Smith kind of nice…

No. I’m kidding. Really what I’ll do is make a rule that I’m not allowed to attend the classes I signed up for in September unless I first finish writing the damn book. Or at least get very, very, very close. Because I’ve already been looking, and you can get a starter used bike for a couple thousand dollars. Not the one I dreamed about, but one that would at least still be three-dimensional when I woke up. I’ve been working so hard at this writing-dream for so long, I deserve to spend a little frivolously if it comes true, don’t you agree? After all, it’s not like we're talking about retire-to-Belgium money, anyway. If it does sell, it will probably fetch just about exactly buy-yourself-used-motorcycle money. So I could get a Harley, or I could wind up being forced to pay the mortgage on a house I hate that I don’t even live in anymore…

Which one fits more nicely with the “get what I want for myself” philosophy, do you suppose?

* Hm. Now that I’ve Freudian-slipped that little R.E.M. phase out in public, I’m not entirely sure any of us ought to think about it anymore…


krismcdinz said...

I've always wanted to ride. Have fun!

Poppo said...

There is Mom's nice new bike in the cellar. I won't worry so much if you use that one.
Oh Jeeeeshhh!!!

Sparkle Plenty said...

GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

JoEllen said...

go for it. I've always wanted to learn.

HPH said...

Go girl! I have the "M" designation on my license. Taking the class is the best way to go. You can then officially get you the t-shirt that sez, "If you can read this, the Toy fell off".

12ontheinside said...

Mmm, I love hot dogs.