I had no idea what that meant. 26.2? How much you paid for your car (new)? The optimal age to be? How much money you made a year? a month? How many pounds you had gained since getting married?
Finally, I broke down and asked The Husband some time last week: “What does 26.2 mean?”
He didn’t hesitate. “It’s a stock. A stock in a company called YouFitness dot com.”“Oh, okay. That’s what I thought. Is it a good stock? Maybe we should buy some? It seems kinda popular because I always see the st—”
“Bwahahhahhahahahahahahahaha!”Once again, I’d been had. Turns out 26.2 is the distance of a marathon (26 miles and 2 inches). People who put those stickers on their cars are part of an elite group, a group that says, “I paid $5 for my sticker and it’s ruining the finish on my bumper.”
I wanted to be part of the elite group. I wanted a sticker so I could brag to people about something.At first I thought about the obvious:
I showed my design to the Husband.
“What’s that?” he asked.“Duh, it says ‘Book.’ It means I wrote a book.”
“You know, my book. My. Book. That. I. Wrote.” I shrugged.“So what?”
“Soooooo, I’m going to have it made into a sticker to put on the car.”“I don’t get it.”
“Like the marathon sticker, silly! Then people will know I wrote a book! It’s like this special club, and other authors will drive by me and they’ll wave or maybe they’ll hold up a book and we’ll both know what it means.”“It means that you’re kooky. No one is going to have any idea what it means. Tell you what, MOV, run a marathon instead. Then you can put up the sticker.”
I did not like his plan. His plan involved running far distances, and perhaps even training in advance. My plan involved finding a printing service online that would accept American Express.Right before I clicked the “BUY” button on my “Book” sticker I had spent 25 minutes designing, I had second thoughts. Perhaps The Husband was right. Perhaps my message was too obtuse.
I ordered a different sticker after all, and then I put on my running shoes and went for a run. It was a long run, much longer than I’m used to. My legs were really sore afterwards, and I even had to put some ice on them.
The next day, I got in my car and set the odometer to zero so I could measure the exact distance I had run. Yep, it was official.My new sticker arrived today. I proudly display it on my car. When people stop and ask me, “MOV, did you really run that far?” I solemnly nod, and then I answer,
“That’s right: I ran 2.62 miles.” What’s a little decimal point between friends?