They say a good story never gets old. And although this particular one happened nearly a decade ago, it still makes me giggle, so I have to believe that sentiment is true. The fact that said giggle is at my husband’s expense is simply a bonus. (Sorry, J).
J and I had been dating for about a year in 2009 when we decided to take our first weekend away. We settled on visiting the Laurel Highlands of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and took Friday off from work to make the hour and a half drive.
When J pulled into my parents’ driveway to pick up me, I threw my duffel bag in the back of the Equinox, ran around to the passenger door, and promptly rolled my ankle on the lip of the driveway. I crumbled in a spectacular heap, skinning my knees for the first time since about, oh, age eight. And let me tell you, skinning your knees as an adult hurts more than it does as a child.
Our departure was delayed while I cleaned the wounds of dirt and gravel and affixed a huge, beige Band-Aid to my right knee. Sexy, right?
Once he had determined that there was no serious damage done, J teased me for pretty much the entire drive to our destination.
We had reserved a room at a bed and breakfast in Uniontown, but the plan was to head straight to our first attraction, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water. The architectural marvel was something neither one of us had ever seen, and we figured we’d make it our first stop of the weekend before settling into our room.
When we arrived, the parking lot was mostly empty, and we took our time having lunch, visiting the gift shop, and strolling the secluded grounds before the next scheduled tour. As we made our way down a wooden path through the trees towards the famous house, J laughed and joked, warning me not to slip in the mud or on the sloping ground. I limped along with my sexy Band-Aid and couldn’t help but laugh at my own clumsiness.
There was a small clearing near a creek where visitors could pause and enjoy the view of the Falling Water house before crossing a bridge to begin the guided tour. We paused to take some pictures near the creek, and J, once again, made sure to point out the slippery rocks and tell me to be careful. The words hadn’t yet died on his lips when he took one more step towards the creek – and cascaded into the water, dropping his new digital camera and spraying mud and water up the backs of his legs and onto his shorts.
J was okay physically, but absolutely fuming. The screen on his digital camera was now a series of gold and red lines. His shoes and socks were wet and muddy, and there was mud up the backs of his legs and on the bottoms of his shorts. Since our bags were still in the car, I suggested he change clothes and told him we’d catch the next tour.
I followed J back to the car while he mumbled and cursed. Since the parking lot was practically a ghost town, I told him to just get dressed behind the vehicle where there was a cluster of trees. And just as he dropped his shorts, a school bus full of children pulled up.
“Great!” J cried sarcastically, pulling his muddy shorts back up and securing the belt. “Now I look like a pedophile!”
I told him to take his change of clothes into the restroom instead. “You can clean up in the sink and dry off with paper towels.”
J followed me back towards the restrooms, and I sat on a bench and waited. And waited. And waited. When he finally emerged with fresh clothes, I was surprised that he didn’t look calmer.
“No paper towels,” he snapped. (The facility was, of course, “green”). “And I only brought two pairs of shorts for this whole weekend. So now we have to find a laundromat.”
He took his soiled clothing back to the Equinox and returned to wait on the bench with me until the next tour would begin. We waited mostly in silence. J huffed and puffed and occasional checked his digital camera to see if it would turn back on.
I, on the other hand, was squirming and biting my lip. The urge to laugh had bubbled up inside me as soon as he’d lost his footing in the creek, and I couldn’t help but think that his fall was karma paying him back for teasing me over my skinned knees.
Finally, I let out a giggle.
J shot me a look. “What?”
“No wonder they call it Falling Water.” I threw my head back and laughed. And laughed and laughed.
J shook his head but I could see a smile playing at his lips. “That’s real nice,” he said sarcastically.
After that, we managed to have a very nice weekend. Our bed and breakfast was charming, the food was phenomenal, and we spent the next few days exploring Laurel Caverns, Ohiopyle State Park, and popping in and out of little shops and restaurants in the nearby towns.
We did, however, have to make a pit stop at a laundromat so J could wash his muddy shorts, and I just had to take a picture to document the hilarious memory. This has become one of my favorite pictures of my now-husband.
PS: His camera ended up being fine.