Our Junior High had an annual "Fun Run." I don't know if those two words belong in the same sentence. But I married into a family of runners. They have a family Turkey Trot before Thanksgiving. They are the kind of people who believe that running is fun. Really fun. So of course, they loved the Fun Run.
It was bound to come up. And one year it did:
"How did you do in the Fun Run, DeAnn?"
"Fun Run?" (This was a stall tactic).
"The Junior High Fun Run, how did you do?"
Pause. More pause. Followed by a sheepish grin.
"You didn't run in the Fun Run?" This was said loudly as to attract the attention of the entire family, including my husband who might not have married me had he known this bit of information.
More sheepish grinning. Followed by, "I can't believe it: DeAnn didn't run in the Fun Run! Everybody ran in the Fun Run. Didn't you have to run in the Fun Run?"
The Fun Run, I explained, was optional.
"You never ran in the Fun Run?"
See, The Fun Run was an annual event. Three years of Jr. high, and not a single "Fun Run" for me. The sheepish grin had become more of wince.
My husband joined the questioning. "What did you do during the Fun Run, if you weren't running in it?"
"Well, it was simple," I explained. "Every year, there was an option. You could either run in the Fun Run or you could go to the library." (I think at this point my husband might have hit his hand against his forehead). "And not just the school library, either. You got to go to the public library. The city library that smelled of dusty books and glass cleaner. And it was the middle of the day, so it was empty. Even the big leather chairs next to the map collection. The chairs that had big metal rivets along the seams, the ones that were always taken. Even those chairs were empty during the Fun Run." I shrugged. "See, I loved the Fun Run, too. Every year. Oh, how I loved it."