Right after these pictures were taken, Darrin and I sat together on a nearby park bench that someone had positioned to face not the road but the myriad of fall leaves lining the Mississippi River. We told ourselves last week that we wanted to spend our Saturday morning hearing the sound of leaves crunching beneath our feet as we wandered through a wooded park, enjoying the fifty shades of autumn that canopied over our heads. So we did. We woke up early and headed straight for Mississippi River Boulevard, which has been looking especially golden and orange as of late.
We were feeling all the fall vibes and trying to channel both our inner forest ranger and our inner hippie (because if you’re going to hug a tree, you might as well know the kind of tree you’re hugging) when we both stood up from the bench and realized that we had been sitting in wet paint. Well. Not wet paint, my scientific husband has concluded, but a kind of paint that had been somehow affected by the morning dew, which had lifted the paint from the bench and onto the back of our jeans. Our favorite jeans. The jeans that we had such high hopes of lasting through the colder days of 2015 and beyond.
But just as I was about to suggest giving nature and the stupid bench the middle finger and heading back to our car, Darrin stood up from the bench, offered me his hand, and gave me a look that said, “Shall we?” as a group of joggers passed by on the path. All, I might add, sneaking not-so-secretive glances at our speckled rear ends (YEAH I SAW YOU, GIRL IN NEON).
“Let’s just embrace the paint, Gracie.” So we did. Wandered along the path for another half hour, treated ourselves to Chipotle on the way home, and even made a pit stop at the grocery store. And who knows? Maybe it was the hot salsa and chicken combination on my burrito bowl, or the fact that today marks the start of Darrin’s birthday week, but I was sure that my heart grew another size for this husband of mine willing to wander through Minneapolis with matching paint speckled down his backside.
So take THAT, morning dew. Or wet paint. Or whatever it was that made me stick to the bench and destroy my favorite black jeans. I’m choosing to turn this moment into a metaphor (because that’s what we literature scholars do). How about we all just try to embrace life’s unwanted paint, shall we? #EMBRACETHEPAINT. Because nothing motivates better than a catchy hashtag. 😉