Larry and I were sitting on the couch Sunday evening as we both laughed about the memories of our mini vacation just days before. As the laughing temporarily subsided he looked at me and said "You never get pictures of the best parts of a vacation." As I thought about this the laughing began again, and the truth of the statement really struck me. No you will never see pictures of the dead raccoon in the middle of the highway that a SUV launched up in the air and directly at our windshield. You won't see pictures of the gigantic dead animal on the side of the road, that days later the idea that it was a polar bear, in the middle of Missouri, seems just as probable as any other option. You won't see us going through a sampling of cheese and discussing them as if we were some crazy cheese connoisseur. You won't see me laughing so hard during a winery tour that tears are streaming down my cheeks as I try to hold the laughter in so as not to disturb all the others. You don't get a video of an elderly lady dancing her heart out and getting an entire group of people to join her. And although those are the things that other people won't ever get to see or hear, they are the memories that are burned into my head. They are the little things that really matter. They are the moments that make life enjoyable, and the memories that will last a lifetime.
So as I sit here thinking about all the wonderful memories of our short getaway I know that there are so many of them that I won't ever be able to really share with anyone else. However, there is one memory that has to be shared. No there are no pictures of it, and no just telling the story probably won't do it justice, and yet it is something I am compelled to tell you.
Friday morning after breakfast Larry and I were flipping through some brochures and deciding what to do for the day. We were limited on our options, and yet wanted to make the best of it. Larry quickly spots a brochure for the Hollywood Wax Museum, and just as quickly I confess my utter fear of such places. Now I am not talking about a slight fear. I am honestly terrified of wax figures. "Why?" you might ask. Well it's simple really, wax figures look like dead people, and unfortunately I have seen more than my fair share of dead people throughout my life. Now, this might be a good place to pause and tell you that my fear of dead people, is not really in fact a fear of dead people at all. No, it is really a fear of alive people, that have been mislabeled as dead. Which of course means I am always on guard as I am sure that a "dead person" is really alive and will start moving. There are obviously more details surrounding this, but that will just have to wait for another day. So you see the fact that wax statues look exactly like dead people, and the fact that I am terrified of a dead person coming back to life makes wax museums one of the scariest places I can imagine.
However, after explaining my side of the situation, I learn of Larry's pure fascination and love of wax museums, and being the loving girlfriend that I am, I decide that this is a fear I am going to have to face. So after some back and forth of him saying we don't have to go, and me saying we should, it's decided that we are indeed going to attempt this.
It started okay, well if okay is me holding onto Larry's back and making him enter every room before me. I was okay taking his picture with the different people, but there wasn't a chance of me getting close to them, and there was no way I was going to be anywhere near them without him right there. We have passed a couple different figures: Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, the lady from I Dream of Genie, and so far things are going fine. As we turn the first corner I am left staring directly at Nicolas Cage. For those of you who don't know, or haven't seen my wonderful boyfriend flood my Facebook wall with pictures of him, I basically think Nicolas Cage is the scariest person on the planet. I can't explain why, but something about him just makes my skin crawl. So of course Larry is insistent that I take a picture with him. After my original reaction of, there is not a chance in hell of that happening, I finally give in. I don't know what I was thinking because if the living Nicolas Cage is terrifying the dead version of him is even worse. Larry thinks I should sit in front of him on the steps, but after much insistence and explanation of, if he moves I have to get the hell out of here, Larry gives in and lets me stand in front of him, and definitely not close enough that he could touch me. So this picture is proof that I really love my boyfriend, and have some idiotic faith that he would save me if one of these wax figures/ dead people came back to life. I bet you're now thinking, "but wait!! You said you don't have pictures of the best parts." Yep, that's true because although I would think there couldn't be anything scarier than standing with Nicolas Cage I quickly learn that's not the case.
As we continue through the museum I am slowly relaxing and even take my picture with a couple different figures. I have let Larry get farther than an arms length away from me, but I am definitely still on guard, and that's when it happens! We are standing in a room with Donald Trump on one side and several figures on the other. We are beginning to leave the room when I see a wax figure sitting at a desk, looking down. It appears to be Bill Clinton, which seems perfectly logical because I have yet to be at a wax museum that doesn't have sculptures of presidents. As we move towards the room I am watching him closely for any signs of movement, when suddenly his head jerks up and he looks right at me... my body goes stiff as I quickly move backwards while throwing my arms out to the sides of me. I am too terrified to scream and have instantly lost all cognitive ability. As this is happening the guy jumps backwards and loudly says "OH!!! You thought I was one of them." I can honestly say I am not sure who was more startled in the situation. Of course Larry watching it from the outside finds this the funniest thing he's ever seen. As I slowly regain logical reasoning skills, and can see a bit more around me I realize this guy isn't a wax figure at all, but just a sales person sitting at a desk trying to convince us to go to a time share presentation. Now, had I not been watching him so closely for signs of movement I probably would have noticed the countless brochures all around him, but making sure he wasn't alive was more important to me at the time. Honestly though the guy does look exactly like Bill Clinton, and talks like him as well. Larry said several times he doesn't know why the guy wasn't working there as an impersonator, and I am convinced he could make more scaring people to death, than pushing time shares. After the fact Larry told me he saw what was going to happen, but didn't have any time to warn me, so he just had to watch it unfold. Although, even he was surprised by the guys reaction to all of it. Days later and we are still laughing so hard we're crying over it, and I am sure the guy was telling the story over dinner with his family later that night. So although there are no pictures, and the story really doesn't do it justice, it's one of the best memories from our trip. It was an experience I doubt Larry and I will ever forget, and probably not the sales guy either. As I think back on it, I am so glad that we decided to go. I am happy that we have these memories, and I am thankful that we shared them together.
"You will find, as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love." NikHil Saluja