Reason #297 why Jason is the best husband ever: he bought me Nordic Walking poles. Very Finnish.
For those who are unfamiliar with the sport (I expect this includes everyone), it was invented by cross country skiers in the 1930s, looking for a way to train during the warmer seasons. It's basically walking while swinging a pair of rubber-tipped poles around (which is about as graceful, verbally, as I look while physically using said poles).
Reason #298: The poles have a Marimekko pattern on them (Marimekko is an institution here ... I'm trying to think of the American equivalent and I'm at a loss ... it's basically the Starbucks of the Finnish clothing/bedding world).
Reason #299: He bought them at his Nokia office. It's the Finnish trifecta! The only thing that could make these poles MORE Finnish, is if they were made out of licorice, or held shots of salmari in each handle.
The gift was particularly thoughtful because about a week ago, my knee swelled up and still won't let me bend it all the way. Since I've been running almost daily for the past 17 years, this whole "resting" thing is a bummer. Nordic Walking is more exercise than normal walking, but still gentle on the knee. Plus, I get to go out in public looking like a total goober.
Oddly enough, not a single person felt compelled to yell unflattering or dooficious things at me as I plink-plonked past them on my first trip out. I know they're used to seeing Nordic Walkers, but even the gaggles of goth teens that I passed hardly flicked their cigarettes at me. It was another confirmation that folks here (unlike those at home) don't seem to care much about what people around them are doing/wearing/eating/buying. It's easy to call the Finns self-absorbed and reserved, but I think that places a negative spin on what's actually a form of politeness and open-mindedness. They seem content letting people be themselves, even if that person enjoys walking around the city with spandex pants and goofy poles. I dig that.
Happy Midsummer, everyone! There are supposedly bonfires, Midsummer poles and other traditional Finnish/Swedish shenanigans happening tonight, but it's been raining for several hours straight so we shall see. Worse case, I suspect we'll head to the movie theater and catch Star Trek for the third time.