Monday, October 1, 2007

Boating and Water People

How drylanders view water people at middle age:

I grew up in west Texas. There is no water in west Texas. Well, there is water in the form of brown, man-made lakes created in the middle of nowhere and with no trees or greenery to surround the walk in from the desert to the brown water and then you walk back out onto the dirt. I tried it once. And, we had to drive hundreds of miles to reach the brown water. Good excuse for a road trip, but the destination was underwhelming, to say the least.

Therefore, I really don't understand lake people or coastal types and forget the ocean folks. I once dated a lake man who wanted to go boating all the time (is that how you say it, "go boating?). And, since there were only the two of us, when we got to the place where you back the boat into the water, he backed the car so far down the incline that the back tires were actually in the water. He would then direct me to get in the car and when he said, "Go," I was to drive the car back up the incline. These were the scariest moments of my life! I was so terrified that the car would slide down into the water that it gave me heart palpataions, literally. "GO," he said, and I pushed the gas pedal down ALL the way causing the car to lurch forward, spinning the back tires, which were in the water, forGawd'ssake, and splashing and spewing a mixture of gas and water on him from head to toe with the force of my forward progress. This is supposed to be a relaxing outdoor activity??

I went sailing once in my teens. My family and I traveled to San Diego, and I brought along my school chum, Kathy. First of all, I don't like salt water. I'd never seen so much salt water in my life, and decided early on that I much preferred the brown water filled with dirt over the water that you can't even swallow and that stings your eyes. So, I stayed on the beach, which is another thing that I don't gets into, food, drinks, eyes and other dark places that were not meant to have sand in them. My parents decided that Kathy and I should learn to sail. I thought, "Ok, anything to get away from the sand and I can be on the salt water as opposed to being under it, so what the hell, let's DO it!

We took preliminary sailing lessons from the hunkiest, tan, good-looking California boy you've ever seen, so we were paying much more attention to the way he looked than to what he said, but we were confident that we had the rudimentary directions down at the end of one lesson. He then put us in a teeny-weeny sail boat made for two and off we went into the bay to sail. Sounds good at the outset, doesn't it? We were actually pretty good at it as we managed to sail away from the shore and the prying eyes of our instructor and the loving arms of my family. There were lots of boats in the bay, and we all seemed to be heading the same direction, which I concluded, had something to do with the way the winds were blowing. After we had been sailing in the one direction for quite a while, we decided that sailing was ok, but not the cat's meow that we had been expecting, so we wanted to go back to shore. Neither one of us remembered how to get the sail to go to the other side of the boat. After arguing about it for half an hour, we accidentally managed to do it, and were then heading in the reverse direction.

Out of the blue, we were in the midst of hundreds of other sail boats that seemed to be coming right at us, but in a diagonal direction. They were all screaming at us with phrases like, "Get the FUCK out of the way!" and, "Tack, you ASSHOLES!" There were several near misses as they scrambled at high speed, to get out of our way. We hadn't a clue what to do or what the word, tack, meant so we then started screaming at each other with phrases like, "WHAT in the HELL do we do?!" and, "WHERE did all these fucking people COME from?!" We were helpless as we threw up our arms in distress to those who wished us harm, but managed to narrowly avert our teeny-weeny boat on their way to God-only-knew-where. Somehow, we managed to bumblefuck our way back to the shore, where we were informed that we had just sailed the wrong way through a regatta race!

Kathy and I hated each other so much after our terrifying ordeal that she flew home to west Texas the next day to get away from the water and me and everything associated with our nightmarish water sporting experience. Sailing, schmailing...I will NEVER understand what those water people like about THAT!

Give me a clear, clean, fresh swimming pool, where I can see the bottom and where there are no sharks, and I'm good to go. Or better yet, give me a horse in a high mountain meadow at a full gallop and then I can show you what I'm made of!

Tack on!

Wow, KK, that was a longass post. You got your hatred of the sea from mother. She has always said she liked everything about the beach except the sun, sand and water.
I am a mermaid stuck on land and that's a fact. When I was little my dream was to be one of the mermaids at Disney Land who lounged by the fake rivers in shiny fish tail costumes and then slithered into the water as the monorails passed over them. God, that would be the perfect job.
When I was in my teens and early twenties I wanted to be a mermaid at Wiki Washi which I think is in Florida. Girls in fishtails get to swim under water all day doing water dances and they don't have to come up for air because there are hidden air hoses that they can breath air from behind the rocks. People watch them from a glassed-in room that is submerged under the water. I even seriously looked into that job but I couldn't figure out a way to move to Florida and it just never happened.
I had to settle for being a national champion swimmer. I got to go to summer school in Hawaii during my highschool days and I became a stoked surfer and avid ocean swimmer.
These days, I'm happy with a margarita by the pool and KK and I do our laps and water aerobics. Then we stop for a hamburger while we light up our Winstons in the car as we go home to dress for cocktails. Exercise is so good for you.
Sal Gal

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