What happens when Mis(s)adventure meets Mr. Adventure?
I love adventure and the outdoors.
This is a total lie, but I wish it wasn’t because fearing everything even quasi-adventurous is suffocating. But also because I said those exact words to my mega-crush, Nash McAllister, Mr. Adventure himself.
And now we’re dating and I only have two choices, fake being Miss. Adventure or lose him.
“Some water, Mr. Adventure? Perhaps some lunch?”
Nash looks at his watch and then up at me, a slow
smile growing on his stubbled face.
“What would I do without you?”
I smile back; it’s impossible not to. Sigh, because he’s
gorgeous and nice, and trust me, that’s rare here in the
busy downtown core.
“Probably starve,” I say, setting down the plate and
glass I brought for him.
He always says, ‘surprise me’ when I take his order, so now I just bring him whatever I’m in the mood to make him. Today it’s a four-egg omelet with zucchini, peppers, and onion, stuffed with
goat cheese. Rye toast on the side and one of the peanut
butter cookies I baked when I got here this morning.
He’s a big man, tall and built like a lumberjack, so I
know he needs the calories. And none of the food will
pad his flat belly.
He moans in pleasure as he shoves his MacBook
aside and takes a big whiff of the omelet. Grabbing his
fork, he digs in. “Marry me.”
I try not to melt like the goat cheese in his omelet
over his sentence, which is not a question and not seri‐
ous, but I wish it was.
He nods at the bench across from him. The place is
empty, except for a few regulars finishing up, so I slide in
as he attacks his omelet with the same energy and focus
he gives everything else he does. For a second my mind
heads down a dangerous path in which we’re naked and
I’m his focus.
“What’s the smirk for?” he asks, making me want to
lick that little crinkle at the corner of his mouth.
I clear my throat, fingering the chunk of brown
ponytail that hangs over my shoulder. “Uh, nothing.
What’s today’s blog post about?”
“You actually interested?” He swipes his mouth with
his napkin and looks at me, his eyes narrowed slightly as
if inspecting me.
“I love your blog.” I point double thumbs at my
chest. “Huge fan here.” That isn’t a lie but the next
words out of my mouth are. “I love the outdoors and
Okay, so it’s not completely a lie since I want to love
it. I just haven’t experienced it yet. And I might possess a
very real fear of... well, everything that doesn’t involve
taking the subway to and from work, reading, watching
TV, sewing with my mom, or daydreaming about Nash
and me having said adventures.
Is an armchair adventurer still an adventurer?
He gently grunts as he assesses me for a moment. I
grin and nod, hoping my face conveys honesty and
energy. People who love these things tend to have a lot of
energy, right? His head turns to the side, and he wipes
his mouth with his napkin again, leaning back in the
booth. For a moment I’m distracted by the way his chest
fills out his black tee. Of course, my anxiety can’t be side
railed for long, so I start rambling.
“I’m not a diehard like you, of course, but I love
hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.” I look
up, trying to think of some more of the content he’s
written about in his blog.
“That place you wrote about a few months ago, with the cliff jumps, man, I’d love to go there.” I look up, trying to remember the name of it.
“The Grotto!” I say a little louder than necessary.
His brow rises. Just one. And it makes my middle
swirl. Mostly because I feel like he knows I’m lying. And
boy, it’s a biggie, too.
I can’t swim —not even a dog paddle and The Grotto—yikes! People jumping from—Jesus, my heart speeds up just thinking about it—probably sixty-plus feet into rock-laden crystal-clear Georgian Bay water. Hell, no! I’m not suicidal.
I’ve never ridden a tricycle, let alone a mountain bike, and horses are big, they bite and kick and Superman was paralyzed by one.
I need to stop thinking because I’m starting to sweat and
Shoving his plate aside, he leans forward, his fore‐
arms on the tabletop.
“You work too much,” he says, and the vibrations of
his deep gruff words hit me straight in the sternum. I’m
caught. My mind spins for a lie to explain when I have
time for the activities I mentioned.
“Tomorrow’s your day off?” he asks as he lifts his
water glass for a deep swallow. I swallow along with him
“I’ll pick you up at seven then.”
1. Once, as a teenager, my boyfriend took me horseback riding. I exaggerated, not so much my riding hours, but definitely my skill and confidence level on the forms.
The horse I was paired with needed a stern and confident rider which led to a very uncomfortable experience.
2. Same boyfriend, different trip... we were at Bruce Peninsula National Park and he wanted to walk along the rocky beach, I agreed but was scared of rattle snakes. I told him he was carrying me if we saw a rattler.
We didn't see one, but I heard one warning me which is so much worse! I was frozen in fear because I had no clue where to step to give the snake his space and one wrong guess could mean a venomous bite.
I ended up guessing right and doing some very large, likely comical, leaps into the nearby bush.
3. A good friend of mine told me a story of her mother being asked on a swimming date by the guy she liked. She couldn't swim so when she didn't come out of the change room, the guy went in and got her. He thought she was just shy in her swim suit, so he tossed her in the pool where she promptly sunk. Things worked out though. They eventually got married and lived happily ever after.
4. The same friend from number 3 is terrified of snakes, even the non-venomous ones. While on a hike with her husband, she damn near stepped back off a cliff to avoid a harmless snake in her path. The fall would have been fatal, and the snake would never have bit her. (No people or snakes were harmed)
5. I'm agoraphobic, just not as severely as Pam's mother in the story. I've always been agoraphobic but coped very well with it--so well, I didn't even know it was an actual condition.
However, in the last few years, after some traumatic events in my life, it became quite severe and unmanageable. None of my usual coping mechanisms worked and I couldn't leave my house without having severe panic attacks.
Luckily, I got help. And now, with medication, meditation, and some time to heal, I've been getting back on my feet and out the door. :)