All’s well that ends well, or so they say. But what happens when all is well except for the ending? A few weekends ago we got nearly a foot of fresh snow and the weather was sunny and 20 degrees. I, of course, was determined to go out skiing. I called up two friends and told them to come over after Will’s afternoon nap. When they arrived, I strapped Will on my back (Kyle was out of town) and we headed out to the trails by our house. The weather was absolutely perfect, the trail was packed down from snowmachines, and we started out having the best ski of the winter. After we had been out for about 20 minutes we encountered a trail that was new to all of us. We stood at the fork in the trail and all decided, “What the heck, let’s try it. If it is too hilly, we can just come back.” This part of the trail was scenic and it wasn’t long before I recognized our location and realized that we could make a nice loop out of it. So we continued on, soaking up the sun and getting some great exercise.
Although I was right about being able to make a loop, I didn’t quite realize how long the loop would be. After an hour of being strapped to my back, Will started to whine and fuss. I checked that he was warm and cozy and told him to try taking a nap. He did not like that idea and a few minutes later he started hollering. Once again, I took him out checked on him. After checking on him I strapped him to my front, thinking that maybe he would be happier if he could see me. He did not like that idea either and the hollering went from intermittent to nonstop. At this point, we were approaching the local sledding hill. I was relieved, we would get back home in another fifteen minutes or so. My relief was short-lived. Will cried and screamed while I sidestepped my way up the hill, with all the other families staring at us. Although I knew logically that Will was fine, this was probably the longest he had cried nonstop in his entire life, so my stress levels were definitely up.
Half an hour after Will’s misery started we finally got home. I threw Will in the high chair and grabbed a snack for him. As I was doing this, I noticed a mess of stuff on the floor.
“Yukon!!!” I shouted. He came up to me looking sheepish. I kicked him outside and went to investigate.
Yukon had grabbed my friend’s extra coat from the counter and chewed up her car keys. The key was still mostly intact, but the fob was destroyed. “Well, at least you have the key,” I told her.
“Well… My car actually only unlocks with the fob. If I try to use the key in it the car alarm goes off and it won’t start,” my friend explained. Still, she went out to the car and valiantly tried to start it. It wouldn’t start at all and she only had one set of keys for the car. When I called the Subaru dealership in Anchorage to see if they could express mail a new key, they explained that the car would need to be in Anchorage for that. She got a ride home, leaving the dead car in our driveway.
That was the ending to our otherwise glorious ski trip. Although ¾ of the trip was spectacular, the trip will probably always be negative in my mind due to the ending. It appears that it’s not just “all’s well that ends well,” but also, “all’s bad that ends badly.”
PS-We got my friend’s car working with a $20 new key from Amazon.
Also, it turns out that remembering the ending of an event prominently is a documented psychological phenomenon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak%E2%80%93end_rule http://www.radiolab.org/story/91569-memory-and-forgetting/