Embracing the Phil Connors in Me

My car was shaking and clunking so much on my drive home that I was genuinely afraid that it was about to break into a million pieces at any moment. I called from the road to see if I could get it looked at tonight, but they said it wouldn’t be looked at until tomorrow morning. Either way, I had no way of figuring out how I would get home if I dropped it off for service. I finally decided I would drop it off tonight and just walk the last 1-1.5 miles home.

News flash Waukesha dwellers: If you ever decide to walk on Main St between Manhattan Dr and 164, THERE IS NO SIDEWALK!! Normally, this would be no problem. However, with 50 degree weather and 10 ft of snow melting, it took me two steps to realize that the hard-looking ground had turned to 3-4″-deep mud that reached just below my ankles. I thought I would be clever and walk on the hardened snow. That was going well until I hit a soft spot and my foot fell 12″ into freezing cold dirty water. At that point, I decided to take my chances with the cars on the road that has no shoulder… something I probably should have done from the start, I realize.

Needless to say, as all of this was happening, I could not help but feel amused and wildly entertained. I laughed at the squishiness of my right shoe all covered in mud and ice water. I felt a bit like Phil Connors, waiting for my Ned Ryerson to come out from nowhere, laughing. I clung onto light posts and street signs whenever possible, wishing I could harness strength to just swing from one to the next without touching the ground. There were moments I found myself with a huge smile on my face and a giggle escaping my lips. Then I would think about what the people in the cars were seeing – this woman in business clothes, mud up to her ankles, laughing like she was in good company, when really she was walking on the side of a street by herself – and I would laugh harder.

I’m home now with time to think about how I’m going to get back to my car and how I am going to get to and from work tomorrow. I know I’ll figure something out, but for now, I think a glass of wine is in order — seems customary after a mud bath.

About dreandea

Senior Education Manager at the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer who loves singing, traveling, reading, breathing, the arts, cats, and Wisconsin.
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