My husband and I are both educated people, but our neighbors often write letters to our various alma maters requesting that our degrees be rescinded in order to maintain academic reputation.
That’s because at least four times a year they witness us doing something that:
1) seems difficult and unnecessary
2) seems outright foolish
3) seems just plain dangerous.
The “Tale of Elliptical Hill” fits all three categories.
It all started when we decided to buy a used elliptical on Craigslist. The previous owners were kind enough to help us hoist the elliptical into our truck. But getting it back into our house really tested the “for worse” part of our marriage vows.
Setting the scene: It was January in Massachusetts so the ground was covered in a couple inches of ice snow. The kind that seems harmless but secretly wants to kill you. Also, our house sits on a piece of property ideally designed for sledding.
So Plan A was to bring the elliptical in through the front door and avoid the hill. But after some measurements we learned the elliptical wouldn’t fit down the basement stairs. Plan B was to conquer the hill and go through the basement walkout. Plan C was to leave the elliptical in the driveway and go inside to make a nice cheese plate. (Plan C was vetoed.)
One of the many problems with Plan B was that the wheels on this monster machine wouldn’t work in ice snow, so we had to carry it. Approximate weight: 45,000 pounds. Realizing our predicament I started to cry tears of defeat.
Eventually we got the elliptical off the truck, and my undefeatable Mr. MacGyver put together a snow shoe moving system with two wooden planks. The elliptical would be on one plank, then we would lift it onto the next plank. Plank 1 then needed to be moved to the front.
This was fine for the front yard, but once we hit the hill, the elliptical decided it would sit on our plank for approximately .3 seconds before trying to hurl itself to the bottom. So one of us had to hold it still while the other one moved the planks. And the planks were heavy, and we were on an ice hill, and I was hungry, so everything was terrible. I fell up and down the hill 36 times before starting to yell irrationally. Then I cried some more, because I’m helpful.
Nearing the bottom of the hill, hubs was holding strong, but I was long past having the will to live. Then the elliptical started to tip over. We tried to catch it, but remember it weighed 500,000 pounds, so it just crushed us and our spirits.
After popping back in my (probably) dislocated shoulder, I took a little walk into the backyard to contemplate how much I really wanted the elliptical and/or to be married still.
Deciding to stay together for the kids we didn’t have yet, I returned to the elliptical where by this point my husband had somehow hoisted the whole thing onto his back. But the elliptical didn’t fit through the basement door. Then I blacked out from rage.
After coming to I found the elliptical assembled in the basement and a glass of wine in my hand. Proving yet again that it pays to marry someone fundamentally better than you. And that love is blind to recklessness and dramatic self-pity. And that you shouldn’t buy an elliptical in January if it won’t fit in the front door. At least we all learned something.
— Becca Carnahan
Becca Carnahan is a mom of two small humans, wife to one very patient husband, higher education professional, writer and an enthusiastic humor enthusiast. You can find her blogging at With Love and a Little Self-Deprecation, tweeting @with_love_becca, and posting “Home Alone” references on Facebook.