I’m a relatively nice person. I’m patient, I’m understanding, and I’m usually very easy to get along with. Unless you take me hiking.
A few steps down a hot trail is all it takes for me to go immediately from Bruce Banner to the Hulk. Within seconds, I’m spitting and smashing and complaining about the heat at 30-second intervals.
I was thrilled when I found out that my family would be forced to enjoy Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska from a distance because the tour bus would be back before we could make a dent in any of the hiking trails. I was horrified when the bus came back and the driver asked if one of the groups would be willing to stay back an extra hour because they were getting another boat ready for the whale watching tour.
My mom jumped up and volunteered us. “Now we have time to hike to the waterfall!”
Now, not only was I being forced into somewhat strenuous physical activity, but I was being forced to do it QUICKLY. We had one hour, or the bus would leave us. I’d be trapped at Mendenhall Glacier, where I would probably be eaten by a bear and my ghost would be forced to hike those trails for all eternity.
So we started off towards the waterfall, and I started in on my complaining.
“It’s so freaking hot. YOU told me to bring warm clothes. All I have is sweaters! Nobody mentioned it would be 90 degrees in ALASKA. Why are we doing this!? I HATE THIS. My feet already hurt, so this is just great.”
*brief pause to try and quietly suck in air so nobody realizes how winded I’m getting*
… “Ughhhh! I’m sweating so much, I have to wash these jeans now. Except I don’t have any laundry detergent, so I’ll just smell weird. But I probably already smell weird because everyone else keeps putting their dirty laundry in my suitcase. GOD.”
My complaints stop instantly once we reach the end of the trail. I would like to say that it’s because I’m awestruck by the magnificence of nature, but it’s probably more due to my aforementioned heat exhaustion. Complaining on such an advanced level takes a lot of energy.
As soon as we start walking back, the complaining starts again. This is where I do some of my best work, because I’m already cranky from the first leg of the journey but I’ve had enough of a break to hit my second wind.
“This is ridiculous. Why don’t we ever get to do what I want to do? I TOLD YOU I wanted to go to the museum, but you don’t listen to me. Now everyone will be too tired to go to the museum and my hair will be all messed up in all the pictures and I’ll have to figure out how to get this mud off of my sneakers, because of course I only brought ONE DAMN PAIR OF SNEAKERS.”
*Pause and pretend to wait impatiently for the rest of the group that has fallen behind (probably to avoid my negative attitude,) but secretly glad because I was starting to pant in-between complaints*
… “I don’t even like these stupid sneakers. THERE’S NO ARCH SUPPORT. But I can’t afford new sneakers, so I have to shop at Wal-Mart and I’ll probably end up crippled and living alone in a rat-infested apartment. They'll have to replace all my joints and I'll be bitter and old in my wheelchair. At least then I'll NEVER have to go hiking again!!”
Somewhere around the second mile, we inevitably catch up with a group of hikers ahead of us. At this point I’m distracted, so the complaints temporarily stop and instead I seriously contemplate shoving slower hikers off the path. I once “accidentally” tripped an entire Asian family who was taking up the entire path as they appreciated the scenery at a stroll.
The only way to gain my respect in this time of suffering is to be power-walking faster than I am. The ability to walk swiftly to the protective cover and comfortable seating of your vehicle is a trait that I find incredibly appealing. It’s something I’m looking for in a husband someday.
I realize that this makes me the worst kind of person. It’s not a quality I’m proud of. Once I’ve procured a bottle of water and the gentle breeze of mini van air conditioning, I transform back to my normal self. I post a photo of the waterfall on Instagram with the caption, “Gorgeous day *leaf emoji* *sunshine emoji*” - just as I’m sure Bruce Banner would do.
Now that we've established that I have a temper - Follow Girl, Interrupting on Facebook or I'll smash you.