Last weekend my husband and I ran a 5k marathon. Yes, I know that I said that completely wrong and that's nothing more than a made up oxymoron of sorts but the point is: I ran something that can be called a race so throw me a bone will ya? Every year I've shied away from signing up for this particular 5k marathon. It's sponsored by my job... and there's an entry fee. "What charity does the money go to?" You may ask. "My job". They're the sponsor and the entry fee recipient. No breast cancer nothing. No hunger nothing. No environment nothing. Okay, it's only 8 dollars. But if you participate and you want to track your time, even if you're 4 years old, it's 8 dollars. That adds up for a whole family. When I "inquired" (Lori dictionary: "inquired"= "Bitched out") why if this was specifically an event for employees and their families, employees and their families had to pay. The answer was: "The 8 dollars is for the T-shirts". I'm not sure how much of my response the woman read, considering I started it off with: "You Cheap Motherf***ers". Seriously, I've busted my ass there for 7 years for 25 cents a year raise. Buy me an 8 dollar T-shirt!"
So this year, since it was the cheapest 5k around and I had a few friends doing it, I caved. Once in a while, it actually comes in handy to have a hyphenated last name. It's convenient to use only one half of it or switch it around to create an alias in case you're, say, running a 5k and you don't want the people putting it together to make the connection that you're the one who cursed them out via email for the past three years. Although, I probably would have had a faster race time if I were chased by security throughout the course.
Speaking of my time:
When we perused the printout of results which included all 243 participants: Runners, fast-walkers, schleppers, & people who took a detour thru the drive-thru before finishing , my husband was kind enough to point out that there was someone who had the exact same time as I had. Therefore, while I was pumped that I'd come in 49th place overall, it was sweet of him to, mere seconds later, draw my attention to the fact that I was in 50th place as much as I was in 49th. That's why we're married. He keeps me grounded by bursting my bubbles and highlighting my inadequacies. I don't mind that he killed my 5k marathon afterglow buzz. I don't even mind that when he posted my accomplishment on Facebook that he put an asterisk after my achievement. "Lori came in 49th* place. Fine. I'm good being the Barry Bonds/Mark McGwire/Andy Pettitte/Ryan Braun/Jason Giambi/Manny Ramirez/Alex Rodriguez/Roger Clemens/Jose Conseco/Miguel Tejada/Sammy Sosa etc of 5K marathon running. Of course, if we were to search deeper into his psyche, maybe it all stems from his own sense of inadequacy seeing as how he ate my proverbial dust in the race. I may have finished in 49th/50th place, but I went home, took a shower, had lunch, watered the plants, taught myself Hindi and made it back just in time to see him crossing the finish line. (On principle, I didn't pay the 8 dollars for his time to be official, but trust me, in another ten minutes, they would have sent out a search party with flashlights and dogs.)
And as for my 8 dollar T-shirt: I wore it to work every day last week and plan to do the same next week. It'll be like I'm in camp. Of course we're not allowed to wear T-shirts to work. But, they've known me a long time. They know: One way or the other... I must make them pay.