Tuesday, November 8, 2011

maybe not best but pretty darn good

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.



  1. Oh, I LIKE your best day! I had one pop into my head that kind of goes with the 'usuals' instead of a random wonderful day like yours. But the afternoon my first grandson entered into this world and I got to witness it firsthand...and then when my darling daughter-in-in-law looked up and asked me if I wanted to hold him...when I took that warm BIG bundle into my arms - he weighed 10 lbs 8 oz - sat down on a window seat and my husband joined me and we gazed down at that beautiful little human being. Well, THAT was my best day ever.

    Thank you for your nice comment on my blog! So nice to have a new reader who's brave enough to speak up, lol! I will be back to yours, too. I like your 'voice'. :-)

  2. Hello Abby! It was great to see your comment on my blog today. I read your profile, which I thought was great, to the point, and piqued my interest. Now I'm here and just read your post about one of your best days. I would have to think hard before I could find a better day than my kids being born - that experience is just so once-in-a-lifetime (per kid, of course). Please come back and visit me anytime. I love visitors.

  3. Aside from kids being born... this might require some thought. Nice idea. If it turns into a blog post, I'll give you credit.

    I must say, I wouldn't mind having the chance to experience YOUR best day. It sounds beautiful.

  4. Paraphrasing from "City Slickers":

    "Best day: I'd had enough of my dad. Told him off, we fought. I left, and haven't seen him since. I was 16."

    "Wow, what's your worst day?"

    "Same day."

  5. You're right. That's a hard one to peg off the top of my head. Getting married and being there when my son arrived into the world rank at the very top of the list. Graduating from college is in the top 10 as well. I have done the mountaintop at sunrise thing twice in New Mexico and that is a fantastic experience. It is hard to pick just one.

    Of course, whenever anyone asks how I am doing, my standard response is: "Great. Wonderful. Best Day of My Life!".