Remember I took that polygraph for the po-po a couple of weeks ago? It was actually more than just getting hooked up to the machine and being asked a bunch of questions. I was "prepped" ahead of time and Polygraph Man also went through a series of getting-to-know-you questions. I think that was just part of the volunteer interview process, or it could've been part of he polygraph prep process. Either way, two questions struck me as intriguing.
"What's the best thing that's ever happened to you?"
"What's the worst thing that's ever happened to you?"
I had trouble coming up with what I thought were good answers. The BEST/WORST? Maybe I have trouble with superlatives.
When he asked these questions, I spent a few seconds in my head, trying to hone in on events that happened quickly and maybe surprisingly, not things that were processes. Like "that time I won the lottery" (never have) or "getting that cancer diagnosis" (nope). I ended up just giving pat answers. Best thing: each of my kids being born. Worst thing: Grandma getting sick and dying. Nothing particularly extraordinary or horrid. Next question?
Afterwards, I thought, do people carry in their heads best thing/ worst thing? I started thinking about a "best day", or close to it. And I remembered...
It was several years ago. I was single, in my early twenties, and living in Boulder, CO. I had a male co-worker that I used to walk with at break times when everyone else was smoking cigarettes or nursing their hangovers (interesting bunch). I'll call him Jeff because that was his name.
Jeff was an interesting guy. He had been a photographer in the Vietnam war. He went on reconnaissance (yes, I totally had to look up the spelling) missions and took photos.
Jeff had a brother who owned a glider = engineless aircraft. Jeff's brother wanted to glide over this particular mountain peak one morning and have Jeff snap photos. Wouldn't that be pretty?
So the date was set for one fall Saturday morning. Jeff asked if I wanted to join him. It would require us to get up at an ungodly hour and hike up a mountain in near darkness so as to be at the top by sunrise/glide-over time.
Yeah, sure. I'll go.
Jeff picked me up at the ungodly hour in the dark. He said, "Brother's got some problem with the glider. He's not coming. Do you still want to go?"
Well, I was already up. I had put on all the crap I had to put on that hiking up a mountain in the fall in the dark required. Might as well forge ahead.
Jeff and I climbed that mountain. We were at the top by sunrise. I swear we could see Nebraska from there. It was like watching the whole world wake up.
He took a few photos. We had nice conversation. He took a few more photos. After we'd had enough of that, we hiked back down, went to a greek restaurant and ate enormous omelettes and drank a ridiculous amount of coffee.
Nothing against any of my kids - they still own the 3 top spots - but that was one of my best days.