Thursday, December 23, 2010

Me vs. Bike

I wrote this recently because many people have asked me why it is that I chose to not ride a bike.  I own one.  It is nice and shiny.  Well, it's not so much that I don't want to ride a bike...
I want to ride a bike in the same way that I want to be paid to draw forever, or I want to have a well known cartoon, or even in the way that I want to have a million college degrees in a million different things... I just don't want to do the work to get there.  I want it to be done and I want to never have to think about it again.  To have everything be magically natural without any practice or effort would avoid the fear aspect entirely.  Below, I shall explain further, knowing that it really doesn't explain anything.  However, it will make me feel better about myself.  Yay!

Here is a drawing I did for a friend, (who required it as a template for a gift for his mother) because the rest of this post gets wordy.  

 It's a birdie!

Okay.  So, it started out normal.  A lot of people assume that my parents must have been monsters who didn't allow me to ride a bike and instead did so in front of me like happy goons mocking the fact that I would never learn to be a real child.

This isn't how it went.  In reality, my parents didn't know how to ride a bike either.
As it turns out, there are two truths at play here.
1: That old saying that you never forget how to ride a bike is complete bullshit.  My mom forgot.  Entirely.  Can not do it.
2: It's pretty difficult to teach someone to do something when you can't even do it yourself.
Ah!  But I had TEACHERS!  Oh yes I did. 
Victoria was one.  She was one of my first best friends.  She was my second "best friend" but really my first because she actually liked me and stuck around for a while.

My first "best friend" was Dara.  ...Darah?  I don't know anymore.  I couldn't spell then, so I don't have much to base this off of.  In any case, Deddrie's (my webcomic) little sister is named for this girl.  She and I were inseparable. We had so much in common, like our love for purple!

...Okay so that was kind of it, but back in nursery school, color coordination between friends was like, a big deal and stuff.
We were so close that we at one point shared a toilet.

We were very small and in retrospect this creeped me out even at the time, but prevented me from falling in.
She understood me when I spoke and together we tormented boys and she protected me from nasty other people.
After nursery school, however, I was no longer allowed to play with her.  My family was apparently not religious enough (my father is CLERGY but, hey, direct line to the Big Guy is apparently not good enough) and so I was deemed to be a bad influence.

Given how I turned out, they may have been right, but that's not the point.

I wrote to her once.  I never got a response, but that may have been because I could not spell and so it probably read something like "gjioj ij ekj flije monkeybutt lafkj;fiej rackalaj flaggen."

/End Tanget

Anyhoo, back to Victoria.  She and I were fundamentally different people.

...Though she did once pull me out of a toilet into which I had fallen.  ...Toilets and I have a sordid history.

She'd deal with all my stupid games from "we're warrior princesses out to kill the goblins" to "we're scientist cat people trying to avoid being killed by vet aliens"...

And meanwhile she actually went outside sometimes, while I cursed the sunlight and sunk back into my little cave of bad movies and cartoons.
She could roller skate, ice skate, ride a bike and drive a car as soon as legally allowed.

I still can't do any of that.

So, since she was hyper active and I didn't like to speak and hated sunlight, obviously letting her teach me to ride a bike without any parental supervision at like 10 years old was a BRILLIANT plan.
Needless to say, I didn't get very far and then she got frustrated and then bored with me pretty damn quickly after my billionth tantrum.

SO!  My sister was chosen to teach me to ride a bike.  It's true, she's about eight years older, but she's also about eight shades crazier and lord only knows what she was high on at the time.  Somehow with training wheels on my pink bike (complete with white basket which sported plastic flowers) and while wearing my trusty Pee-Wee Herman-inspired helmet, (I had put stickers all over it, complete with a giant eye ball in the front) I still managed to flip the bike onto it's side and hit my head into the side of a (thankfully parked) car.
My dream of being like those girls in Now and Then was reduced to a pile of dog crap.  So much for growing up to be Janeane Garofalo.

Right.  So.  Flash forward about ten years.  I was dating a guy who also does not have a driver's license but claims to know how to ride a bike. This was possibly a lie. 
That, or he just wanted to avoid showing me how goofy he looked on a bike. 
Either way, it was me, my mom and this guy who I am no longer dating, (though we are still friends) all in the middle of a children's park parking lot, because that's obviously the best place for bloodshed.

I was told not to wear my awesome helmet because cool adults don't wear such things.
I was too afraid to go fast enough to stay up right lest I then not be able to stop. 
But then!  I did it!  I was going!  I was moving!  And then I screamed, went into a panic and fell over sideways.  ...And my head hit a car.  Without a helmet.

About oh... five years laterish?  I bought a bike.  It was orange.
A woman I refer to as my horse (which is, believe it or not, a compliment) was able to ride it effortlessly.  It looked fun!  I thought, "Well, my horse can do it.  Damn it, so can I!"  I pictured the two of us riding off into the sunset together.

Saying is easier than doing.  Also, in retrospect... the bike is too big.  Like woah now, too tall for tiny thing that is me.

I even bought myself a helmet.  It's awesome.

My current boyfriend who knows how to ride a bike and showed me that he could, in fact, ride MY bike, attempted to teach me.
For many days, he would go backwards and allow me to basically run right into him repeatedly as though this were not a metaphor for our entire relationship.
Metaphor or not, I did it.  I even got a few feet by myself and was able to stop with no issue.  I was proud!
And then we moved.
The moment we moved, the bike was put in the back and the helmet was put somewhere in the closet.
I came up with a thousand excuses not to ride the bike. 
"It's cold."
"We live in a scary neighborhood where someone may shoot me for my bike."
"We live on a street with many children and I may hit one with my bike and kill him or her."
"There are cats."
So ...I never rode again and after a while he got tired of desperately trying to drag me outside while I'm kicking and screaming about cats.

The end so far.

EDIT:  I still have no idea how to ride a bike.  ...And this boyfriend is no longer a boyfriend.  This is a very old post.  Shh.  Be thankful I added pictures.  You folks come from the internet, which is the land of short attention spans.

EDIT to my EDIT:  Also, I mention poop and toilets like four times or something.  The Hell is wrong with me?

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