Yesterday, I went on a field trip with my daughter and over a hundred other hoodlums and snotty nosed kids. I had an absolute blast. First we had lunch on a riverboat. It would have been nice and peaceful, except there were tons of bratty children running around and basically pushing each other out of the way just to see the captain. Personall y I felt sorry for him. First off for being stuck on a boat and having to see the same exact scenery day after day, but also because he gets gawked at by children and their nosy parents all day, every day. I’m sure he’d rather just do his job in peace, but of course we don’t allow that. This really was a nice preamble to the remainder of the field trip. Kinda warmed the kids up to staring at something they knew they were supposed to be appreciating, but didn’t exactly understand why.
After the riverboat, we went to the aquarium. This is the first time I’ve ever visited the aquarium in Chattanooga, and it was nice, but I really expected a little more. At least more sea creatures. I prefer the sea life way more than river life. The fish are more colorful, they seem more active, and they are definitely more interesting as far as their adaptations and their quirkiness. But enough of my review, I really do have a point.
In part of the aquarium, they had rather large turtles in a tank with other fish. One was seemingly normal until further inspection when you saw that he was actually gimped up. And by gimped up, I mean he was missing a back leg. Or foot. Or fin. I don’t know the exact terminology for turtle anatomy, but whatever the hell it is called, he was missing one. He was also missing part of his shell which is actually what I noticed first before I realized his whole back appendage was gone. My first instinct was a shark attack, but you never really know. He could have been caught in a fisherman’s net or some other freak accident like getting caught in the middle of some mermaid love triangle. Or losing at a terrible sea version of Frogger.
Because of this almost normal turtle, I began to think of Tim and his own gimp issues and how we all seem to have some kind of handicap, but we learn to overcome it or at least adapt to it. Tim’s handicap is visible to everyone, well except for blind people because of their own handicap, but whatever. Everyone who isn’t blind can see that Tim is not able to walk. Either that or they think he’s a very good actor just looking for all the good parking spots. Sometimes I wonder myself…
In the end, some handicaps are able to be seen, others, well, they are hidden. My handicap isn’t so easy to notice. At least not to people who don’t really know me. To the people who first meet me, I’m a little nutty, a little unorganized, and a little rude, or harsh, or just plain outspoken. Some initially think I’m a bitch. While I can be all of these things, those aren’t even the things that are so bad, or things that I have to learn to overcome. But I am overcoming, I am learning, and I think all of the gimped up people and animals in my life to help teach me.
You wouldn’t think that a dumbass redneck in a wheelchair could teach me so many things about life, but he has. Tim, he’s a great teacher. He taught me about physics when he tried to ramp a curb and faceplanted on the street in Nashville. He taught me economics when he “hired a cleaning lady” and she cleaned his man pipes and not his house, but he still had to pay her. Like I said, he is an awesome effing teacher. And this teacher is taking me on a field trip of our own starting tomorrow.
We will be heading to the coast in less than 24 hours. By the time we get there, I’m sure he will have taught me more lessons. Who knows, I might even get a lesson on anatomy or science. Either way, I’m sure it will be a blast. Wish us luck, and wish us good lessons. Wish us a safe journey that doesn’t end in things like herpes or jellyfish stings. Wish us to have a new story to tell you even though we haven’t found the time to tell you the hilarious ones of our past.
-Your gimp loving, Meg