Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Would You?

In late December, I was getting bummed about the very practical assortment of Christmas gifts I'd acquired for Ryan: boots, a coat, a beard trimmer, a travel case for bathroom supplies.

"You're going to have a boring Christmas," I warned him. "Very practical."

"Oh goodie," he replied.

A few days later, I got an email from Groupon announcing the daily deal. It was very non-practical. I pursed my lips. I stroked my chin. I considered the possibility. I imagined the surprise. I clicked "Buy Now!"

On Christmas morning, after the boots, coat, beard trimmer, and travel case had been opened, I handed Ryan a final box to unwrap. Inside he found one of the kids toys---an action figure in a flight suit taped to another small package containing a toy plane.

"I don't get it," he said.

"Keep going," I said, pointing to the rolled papers tied with ribbon.

"Should I be concerned that this action figure is missing a foot?" he asked.

I guess I hadn't inspected it closely before I taped it to the plane.

"Pay no attention to that," I said.

He opened the papers to open the true surprise: a gift certificate for a skydive, the very antithesis of boots, coats, beard trimmers, and travel cases. What happened next explains a lot about Ryan, me, and everyone else we know. First, he spent a couple of hours researching the company, customer/victim reviews, and most importantly, the mortality rates of skydiving. He was relieved to find that after some major changes to regulations in the 90's, very few people die anymore from skydiving. It's around one in every 550,000.

But still, he reminded me, there has to be that one.

I should mention that there were two gift certificates, one for him and one for me. I attempted to get my neighbor friend to buy one for her husband for Christmas. I would spend half as much and we could send them up together. She immediately killed the idea. Her husband isn't into flinging himself from flying planes, she explained. Sure, I replied, but are you into flinging him from a flying plane? She stuck to her guns. I figured I couldn't send Ryan up alone, so I bought another dive for me.

I didn't study the statistics, read customer reviews, or research the company. I do get butterflies and a mild case of diarrhea every time I think about the actual activity, but I'm more or less committed to participating. I buy into the belief that if other people, including many senior citizens, get a kick out of it and live through it, why not me?

At this point, Ryan is about 60% committed to the idea, but is reserving his final decision until later. I think the action figure with the missing foot is haunting him a little.

Since the time he opened the gift, he's asked everybody he knows if they'd do it, and we're both surprised at the findings. Most people say no, thank you very much. More women say yes. My dad says he might have in a younger day. My friend says she would if she had better knees. Christian says he wouldn't, not in a million years, and by the way, we'd better not die if we decide to do it.

Now I'm wondering where you stand on the issue. Would you jump? Have you jumped? Tell me all about it. I want to know. I think.

34 comments:

Lora said...

I would definately go. It's on my bucket-list of things to do before I die, hopefully not right before I die.

Dede said...

Not in a million years. I won't tell you why :)

Annie said...

I'm with Christian on this one.

Kari said...

I'd do it. I would be so scared that I would probably pee my pants, but wet pants or not, I'd jump.

Ginnie said...

I'd jump with you and together we could sing Free Fallin'... it has all the makings of a very special moment together ;).

Leslie said...

No, I'm not a jumper. Strapping long flat things to my feet that cause me to go faster than I can sometimes control down a snowy mountain is as adventurous as I get.
Tell me what day, so I can pray. I'm not ready to lose you.

Kim said...

I have not jumped but have a friend who has and she loved it. I would most definitely do it! Better photo/videograph the entire thing!

Christy said...

Yep, I'd totally jump. But I'm going to wait & see how it works out for you first. He he he

I'm A. said...

I think this is awesome. And you should do it. I, however, have turned into a wuss in my old age. So jumping out of an airplane scares the shee out of me. I would have so done this a few years ago. Now I can't even watch scary movies anymore. What happened to me?

Also, I adore you more.

Anneliese said...

my husband did it for his birthday! i would never do it--but while i was sitting there watch tons of old guys go i decided that it wouldn't really be that bad & if they would have offered to take me up for free i might have done it. but no one offered.

thatreallytallgirl said...

I might possibly do this if someone had a gun to my head.....or if I was offered all the money in the world....or if there was a big vat of chocolate pudding at the bottom. Other than that, absolutely NO WAY.

Kate said...

I really hate the feeling of falling. Like really. I won't even jump off the high dive at the pool. So no, skydiving is not on my bucket list.

buddens said...

NO way! my friend got the same thing for her husband and told him in the exact same way! Only she used Madame Alexander dolls from McDonald's for her action figures.

I remember going to the Rice Stadium fireworks show when I was little and seeing the pre-show sky-divers and thinking it sounded like a ton of fun and I didn't get why people would be afraid. I don't know how I was such a brave little kid, because now I have many more reservations about the idea! I'm on the fence ...

Bri said...

In a heart beat. My husband got to go to Airborne School a couple months ago and I was really, super jealous. He got to jump from a plane 5 times. FIVE TIMES in one week!!!! Ugh. This has been on my list of things to do since I knew what it was. Someday, hopefully soonish, I will. Until then, my husband enjoys rubbing it in my face.

kami @ nobiggie.net said...

I want to say yes, but honestly I get a little pit just thinking about doing it myself.

You were gutsy that morning!

Anything for a group deal, eh? :)

Jennie Blaser said...

I've done it! After my last final at college before I took a 2 year break to serve a mission. So, I figured, I'd go now, repent later (the whole serving the mission thing). I paid for the videotape and didn't tell my family. Then, when we were all gathered a week later to open up my mission call, I made them all watch the video. While they were still in shock, I opened my call so they didn't have any time to react or get mad at me or call me foolish.
That being said, now that I'm a mom and have people who depend on me, I'm a complete wuss. I wouldn't do it again. But, it sure makes a great story!

lorrie said...

I have done it - loved it - and would do it again in a heartbeat. I turn 55 in March and I'm thinking jumping again would be a great present to myself. I was terrified before I jumped, but the feeling of freeness, the beauty of the sky, the awesomeness of the wind blowing around you, cannot be described in words. I say go for it - you won't regret it!!!

Corey said...

Oh dear god - I think my heart would fall through my butt! Nope, I cant even do the high dive at the community pool. ANYWAYS...reading your blog is my guilty pleassure at work, I have been following it for, oh, maybe 2 years now. btw,growing up in Bucks County PA I totally understand your facination w/ the amish. I am partial to their egg noodles :) Hey, later this month I will be transitioning from a corporate office job, to a home office job. I am looking forward to it very much. Can you do another entry with more tips on how to make your home, your office? And advice on how to seperate home life from work life? Happy New Year!!!

Sara said...

I am a firm NO vote and would offer a word of caution against it....though I speak from the side of a victim. My father died from a skydiving mishap in 1985 leaving my Mother at 27 a widow with three girls; ages 4, 3, and 2.

Leca Unplugged said...

I got that groupon for Father's day this year. Best present I've ever given the mister. You can check out his escapades here

http://lecaunplugged.blogspot.com/2010/06/jump-day.html

You guys will love it!

Angie said...

I like the idea, but when it came down to jumping I don't think I could make myself do it. And I really don't think I'd like the free fall. But, that doesn't mean that people who want to shouldn't go for it - absolutely go for it.

Regarding Max's fear of loosing you both in one day, maybe you should go up with Ryan, push him out, and then know that he's safely on the ground before jumping yourself. Just a thought.

Nina said...

Been there...done that. I am absolutely terrified of heights. I only went because my older sister did it and I felt (sisterly) peer pressure that if she could do it certainly I could too.

By the way, there is no feeling of falling while you are actually falling!

Mia said...

I would do it, but the hubs says that we can't until the last one is out of college. But he will never do it anyway so I might as well just go!

Mac and Dixie said...

My palms are sweaty just thinking about it...which means no, I would not jump out of an airplane. I could barely summon enough guts to walk off a ledge and bungee jump. I screamed so loud that my voice was changed forever. I don't even want to think what would happen if I jumped out of an airplane!!

Jesse C said...

Do it!

Lindy-Lou said...

You forgot to mention that your mama was very comforted to know that you and Ryan would not be jumping strapped together and unattended, but separately and each tandem with a certified diver. That said, have you thought about the possibility that so many seniors do it because, well, they aren't still raising children and, what the hey, what have they got to lose?

Kelly B said...

I would do it if I was latched onto an instructor. The scariest part is probably just getting out of the airplane and then I bet it's really fun. Way to go on a creative gift, my friend!

Suzie said...

In a heartbeat.

Suzie said...

Oh, crap. I just read Sara's comment.
GULP!
so sorry, and I mean that!

Omgirl said...

No way, no how.

However, I really want to hang glide. The difference? Probably not much if you inadvertantly go hurling toward the ground. But somehow starting out that extra 12,000 feet closer to earth feels comforting.

michele said...

yep, i went when for my 18th birthday. quite a rush. have fun!

Ann said...

I love how you write btw.

Um. I am TERRIFIED of heights. Really, seriously so. i like to think of myself as one of those devil-may-care middle-aged women who (sadly) wear red hats and also (sadly) buy clothes from Chicos. So I'd like to say JUMP. But I never would.

Shua said...

I'd do it. In a heartbeat.

Hannah said...

I want to jump, but no...I don't think I'd ever actually end up doing it.

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