Six Characters in Search of a Blogger


9.3 I Could Have Been: An Outdoor Girl

pale, busty, clumsy.

Kate Winslet's indoor girl.

Jack: You ever, uh, you ever been to Wisconsin? 

Rose: What? 

Jack: Well, they have some of the coldest winters around. I grew up there, near Chippewa Falls. I remember when I was a kid, me and my father, we went ice fishing out on Lake Wissota. Ice fishing is, you know, where you… 

Rose: I know what ice fishing is! 

Jack: Sorry. You just seem like, you know, kind of an indoor girl.   (Emphasis mine)

 

 

I failed the flexed arm hang during the Presidential Fitness test in grade school.

I failed the flexed arm hang during the Presidential Fitness test in grade school.

Anybody else remember this dialogue between Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic?  I remember it distinctly, because I blushed when I heard it.  Like Kate Winslet’s character Rose, I am a total indoor girl–complete with the translucently pale white skin, the bustiness, and the propensity to trip and fall at inappropriate times.  

No doubt if I had been on that ship that fateful (and fictional) night, I would have been dangling off the side of the Titanic.  But, before Jack had a chance to decide whether or not to save my rather large and approaching-middle-aged ass, heck, before I could even get the words “help, help” out of my throat, I’d likely be a goner.  Because my palms tend to sweat in stressful situations, and I have absolutely NO upper body strength (I still remember the shame of failing the flexed arm hang in grade school during the Presidential Fitness exams.)  So kerplunk!  I would have been the first casualty of that tragic voyage.  The girl who fell off the Titanic before it sank.

So imagine my surprise this week when I found out I have a doppelganger in the world who spends her life outside in the elements.  She is a naturalist.  She has sailed across the Atlantic in a 6 person boat.  She has climbed a live volcano.  She has hiked, biked, paddled, climbed, camped and skied across the U.S., Asia, Africa, Central America, and Canada.

She is the consummate outdoor girl.

If I were an outdoor girl, I would have climbed Mount Kenya.  (For those who know me, try not to laugh too hard.)

If I were an outdoor girl, I would have climbed Mount Kenya. (For those who know me, try not to laugh too hard.)

Now, I have made attempts to be more of an outdoor girl.  A couple of years ago, I climbed to the top of Mount Battie in Camden, Maine (all 780 feet of it) and had to descend on my butt.

In my defense, it was a big, bald rock that was pretty steep in places.  

And I do have a tendency to fall.

To put my accomplishment in perspective, a couple of years ago, she (my alter ego) climbed more than 17,000 feet to the top of Mount Kenya.

So I guess she wins the doggie biscuit.



Week 9: Googling Myself–the Me’s I Could Have Been
January 5, 2009, 8:30 am
Filed under: The Me's I Could Have Been | Tags: , , , , , ,

 

When I think about the New Year, I Google myself.

When I think about the New Year, I Google myself.

The turning of the New Year, for me, is always a bit bittersweet.  As each one passes, and I look forward to the next, fabricating and forgetting resolutions, I am struck by a certain amount of regret.  I’m at the stage in my life where I can see the paths not taken, and wonder where they would have led me if I had had a little less fear.  A little more gumption.  Or an innate GPS system.

So once in a while, I Google myself, just for fun.  Any trace of me has long since left the internet, or I am buried so far down I lose patience as I dig; it’s because I have one of those names that is fairly common, at least in my neck of the woods.  A quick search in Massachusetts on whitepages.com suggest that there are at least 132 of me in the state–rather daunting results.  At least for someone who used to think of herself as being pretty unique.

But what’s fun is that, for a moment, I get to imagine myself in those identities, those professions, in those varied Google guises, and try to conjure in my mind what those alternate existences might be like.  In most cases, I rather enjoy what my namesakes have been up to–interestingly enough, they’ve chosen lives for themselves that aren’t so far from dreams I once had.  Or might have had, in the right circumstances. 

So if you don’t mind, this week, I’m going to do just that:  dream a little.  Entertain possibilities.  I’ll feature the me’s I could have been–and heck!  Could still be, if I play my cards right.