Thursday, September 06, 2007

The hills might be alive, but the graveyard shouldn't be

I live right on the border between two towns, neither of which is particularly hospitable to a newbie runner. (Especially a runner whose primary motivation isn't improved fitness, but rather an article I read in Glamour magazine about the creeping scourge of muffin top.)

If I don't want to log time on a treadmill, though, the choices for scenic running here are a bit daunting. If I run in one direction (as I did for the first time on Tuesday), I have lots of time to contemplate the fact that "Belmont" means "beautiful hill." Now if you'd asked me to describe the topography of Belmont on, say, Monday, I would have said that it's rather flat. Oh, how very deceptive. I can now say with some hard-earned authority that the entire town is one long, slow, upgrade. It's could be a place in a Harry Potter story: "the Land of All-Uphill." The chances of me completing the Swishy 5K Challenge in this town are slim-to-none.

If I run in the other direction, though, my most likely destination is a cemetery. America's first garden cemetery, as the web-site will tell you..."An active burial place and a vibrant cultural institution." (It was even listed as a "neighborhood feature" when we bought our condo.) People meet to walk and run there all the time. Am I the only one who finds this slightly horrifying? I mean, Steve has family members who, well...own property in there, so I guess I have as much right as anyone to make use of the grounds. I could look at it like being a guest at his great uncle's tennis club, right?

Well, no. I can't run in a graveyard. I don't care how vibrant said graveyard might be. (I'm pretty sure a graveyard shouldn't be vibrant, but that's another post...) I'm no stickler for etiquette, but I'm pretty sure Emily Post would say, "It's just not the done thing."

So I guess I'll head for the hills. If you're nearby, I'll be the one gasping for air and clutching my iPod, muttering, "cute in jeans, cute in jeans" over and over again.

19 comments:

Stephanie said...

Or you could always run on Brattle, towards Harvard Square, and say, "when my book sells a million...when my book sells a million..."

(smile)

Larramie said...

A garden cemetery? What a concept, the flowers are always there!

Sarakastic said...

I would just like to say that I now hate glamour for making ruining the phrase muffin top

Liz said...

Strange to say, I've actually kissed more than one guy on the top of the tower in that particular cemetery. It's beautiful if you enjoy the flowers and gravestones. Very peaceful. ;)

LEstes65 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LEstes65 said...

Why shouldn't cemetaries be vibrant. I just passed one recently that made me think, please God don't let them bury me THERE! I don't want to by buried anyway. Freeze dry me and put me in the corner for the kids to play on. But if I WERE to be buried? I'd want it to be beautiful, vibrant, visited. I wouldn't want my mortal shell to forever rest in crap, you know?

Stacy said...

I might be morbid, but I love cemeteries. I find them peaceful.

The Writers' Group said...

I suppose you'll think me strange that when my children were young, we used to have picnics in graveyards. I never allowed them to run there, though.

Amy

Jess Riley said...

You're making me want to take up running again. When I used to run, I used to imagine donuts were chasing me. But I like "cute in jeans," too. :)

L Sass said...

The hills will make you stronger! For real.

But, you know, I'm a little nutso with the whole running thing.

Beck said...

That is one beautiful cemetray, but yes, it DOES seem sort of wrong to jog there.

JenKneeBee said...

sad day! i love running in cemetaries!

Angela said...

I once found out that my parents rode their bikes on the paved sidewalks around a cemetery. They say everyone does it, but I can't get past how weird it seems. Can't they find somewhere else to ride?

Nap Queen said...

Oh no, I could never run, walk or cycle near a graveyard. It's just entirely too creepy.

Em said...

You are hilarious and I completely adore you:)

Jane said...

The thought of cemeteries brings to mind a thing that my daughter said one time when she was about 4. We were passing one in the car and she asked, "Mommy, do you think those dead people meet for lunch in heaven on Wednesdays?". What could I say, except for "sweetie, I sure hope they do".

Keep running or walking or whatever it is that keeps your mind and spirit fresh and alive and vibrant.

Happy Friday!

Patti said...

i would be one of those that would love to run in the cemetary...you could pretty much garuntee it would be quiet and pervertless, right?

and the muffin top tag is old as the hills. i heard it on a college campus five years ago...muffins have never been the same.

ellesappelle said...

I have never heard a graveyard described as "active" or "vibrant" before - that just seems plain wrong! Mind you, I've wandered round a Perth cemetery that has its own cafe. Eeek. I refuse to eat there, but I don't see why cemeteries can't be beautiful. I just would find a "vibrant" cemetery somewhat terrifying.

Lindsey said...

Call me weird, but I love cemetaries! I think they are so neat...and of course, peaceful!