So I know Perfect Husband was supposed to be the only torch bearer in the family. But here’s what happened:
I dropped him off at the meeting point, and the torch organizer lady who met us remembered him from Day 1. She called out his name and hugged him, and told him how happy she was that he was getting another chance to run with the torch. She smiled at me, and we talked, and then I drove off to find a place to park not far from his run segment.
I was reading in the car, waiting for time to pass, when my cell phone rang and it was Perfect Husband’s number. Only a woman was on the phone. It was the torch organizer, who had asked to borrow his phone and then looked up my number on it (I’m impressed that she remembered my name!). She said the person who was supposed to pass the torch to my husband had backed out at the last minute, and she thought it would be really nice for Perfect Husband if I were the one handing him the torch! Could I get down there right away?
I was there in minutes.
She got me to hide behind my car while she offered me a torch bearer’s outfit.
But there was something I was worried about. (“No!” you cry, “I can’t believe it, that doesn’t sound like Carol at all!”)
I was clutching the video camera, with which I planned to video PH’s ascendancy to Olympic glory. If I was running with the torch before him, I wouldn’t be able to video his run, and really, this was his day. So if there was no way around it… I’d rather not run than miss his moment.
“Oh, totally,” the girl said. “Let me make some calls.”
A phone call later, I was assured that someone from PH’s company would be there to video his run. So she suited me up in the white torch bearer snow suit.
“It fits perfectly!” she enthused, “I think it’s so awesome that you are going to get to pass the torch to your husband!”
“I’m pregnant, too,” I told her, “so I guess the whole family is going to carry the torch today.”
“Oh my God, Carol,” she said, covering her mouth and looking like she was going to cry, “That’s so amazing.”
PH looked stunned when she led me on the shuttle. He had suspected something was up when she borrowed his cell, but this hadn’t occurred to him. I kept asking if I was stealing his thunder, if this was ok. He said of course I had made the right decision. Let’s face it – I WAS stealing his thunder a bit, but not so much that he wasn’t happy about it. I handed him the video camera and told him to get it to his boss, who was going to be there to video his run.
There was a lot of energy in the shuttle. Every time we stopped to let someone off, the people outside would cheer and scream as the torchbearer stepped out, and inside we would scream and cheer too. My segment was a lonely stretch of highway, and of course we had no friends or family waiting for me, so I didn’t get the screaming crowd. But that was fine with me.
A lady from my husband’s company met me there and showed me that she had her camera with her. An RBC truck went by and everyone called my name and high-fived me. Then a Coke truck came by and a horde of people in red ran out and hugged me! A guy on a bike came to turn on my torch just as the previous torch bearer came jogging up with the media truck leading in front. I prayed that I would be able to hold the torch without my arm falling off. It was maybe five pounds or so with the fuel in it, but we were supposed to hold it up high so we would a) look proud and b) not catch fire.
The flame was passed to me and I high-fived the previous torch bearer, then I set off on my stretch. I did it at a jog, and the people running next to me were like “you don’t have to run, you know!” but I knew I had to because my arm couldn’t hold the torch up for very long! As it was, I was switching hands every few feet by the end of it, and I ran out of steam and plodded part of the way. Perfect Husband was waiting for me.
Holding out our torches, I passed him the flame, and then he wrapped his arm around me and kissed me. My torch started to tilt sideways, scaring Bike Guy to death, but I caught it, held it in both hands, and he kissed me again (Perfect Husband, not Bike Guy). Then they loaded me on the return shuttle and PH took off on his run.
It was an amazing but emotionally exhausting day.
It was only the next day that I would discover that my husband’s boss didn’t press the Record button on the video camera, and so no footage of either of our runs was taken.
But CTV took video with the media truck, so we’re going to buy our segment off of them. People have been telling us that they have seen shots of our torch bearer kiss replayed in montage moments over the course of the Olympics, but we have not seen this. One family member saw us in a Coke commercial montage, and another claims to have seen us in the torch montage before the Opening Ceremonies. So if you see two torch bearers kissing on TV this week… cheer for us!
Also, we now have three torches in the house. This seems excessive. Anyone want a torch?