Holidays filled with surprises

Melanie Yingst

The holidays have come to a quiet close here on the farm. It was a great Christmas with my family and Mr. Obvious.

Except for the times all my loved ones were trying to kill me in their own creative and special way.

For example, one of my favorite gifts was having my car deep cleaned and detailed.

It was a wonderful surprise, especially since I hate surprises. I felt kind of bad about ruining this particular Christmas gift, but Mr. Obvious finally had to confess after he saw the panicked look on my face when he said my car had to stay in the shop for a few more days. A few days before Christmas, my check engine light came on. I checked the maintenance book and found that the indicator light could be triggered by something as simple as not tightening the gas cap or some major engine trouble. Needless to say, I was super depressed and riddled with anxiety about the fate of my beloved car.

A few days went by without a word from the dealership, so I asked Mr. Obvious about the status of my car. He made the mistake of being so vague that I immediately began to mentally calculate how I was going to afford a new car if this whole ordeal went south.

I then proceeded to have a slight panic attack.

Seeing the look of pure terror on my face as I gasped for air from the paper bag, Mr. Obvious finally confessed that he had asked the dealership to have my car cleaned while it was at the shop. Oh, and the indicator light? A simple oil change took care of that.

The wave of relief was a Christmas miracle.

After Christmas Day, Evan and I packed up and headed to the beautiful, sunny Cleveland suburbs to visit my twin sister and my nephews.

We didn’t have much planned other than the boys going to see Star Wars with Uncle John. A week before our visit, Megan had mentioned she signed me up for some kind of exercise class that she wanted me to tag along with her. I’m working on trying to be a good sport and to embrace new experiences so I just nodded and agreed to go. I didn’t think she was serious.

But, she was serious and surprised me with an early morning spin class during our visit. “Spinning” is just a fancy term for peddling on a stationary bicycle until you are at the brink of death.

We rolled out of bed pretty early last Sunday morning. We arrived at the strip mall and I have to admit I liked the clever play on words — Psycle.

Was it a gym? A cult exercise sermon on wheels? I’m not sure, but my thumbs hurt too much to go on.

We entered the dark black room filled with stationary bicycles. They weren’t ordinary bikes — they were bicycles on steroids.

Megan failed to recall that I took a spinning class a few years ago that nearly killed me after 10 minutes. Megan was not amused when I told her that I had brought a magazine along in case my health failed me again and I had to walk out. Oh how I wanted to be in my car reading that magazine!

You see, Megan also left out on critical detail about our morning work out. She forgot to tell me this class was an hour long. An. Hour. Long. The class was also being led by none other than Jillian Michaels’ tatted-up twin sister who gave a sermon in between barking orders for the cyclists to follow as hip music filled the room.

The room was full of Tour de France riders encased in spandex. My own form was more like Kermit the Frog’s leisurely ride through Central Park. But, I kept on spinning for the entire hour. It wasn’t pretty, but I broke a sweat. I enjoyed the music and motivational speeches although I knew I was screwing up the whole mojo of the room.

I had never been so glad for that hour to be over in my life. As I dismounted, my knees gave out. I limped back out to the car, clinging to my sister in agony.

Unable to drive back to her house, I laid across my nice clean back seat and cried the whole way home.

I guess the holidays really do bring families together. Now someone pass me the Tylenol please.

Melanie Yingst

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She hopes she can regain use of her legs by next week.

“Twin” Melanie Yingst appears weekly in the Troy Daily News. She hopes she can regain use of her legs by next week.