Monday, August 15, 2005

In Summary

Lessons learned this weekend and today:

  • I don't handle adversity well.
  • I need to work out again.
  • Tequila shots = stupid, stupid, stupid.
  • Procrastinating = a feeling of dread, eventually.
  • Paying off entirety of $2,500 Visa balance = Priceless.
  • My Grandparent's relationship = what I want.
I don't handle adversity well.
I need to work out again.
So the Whatever and I decided to go kayaking on Saturday. The first time I went kayaking was in 1999 as a reward for getting an A in gym class. How I, the drama geek, managed an A in gym class may explain why the obesity rates in this country are rising. My Senior year gym classes went as follows:
Teacher: We're going to play soccer today.
Amy and Cohorts: No. We want to play walleyball.
Teacher: You really should play soccer.
AaC: We'd much rather play walleyball. We'll be fine down there by ourselves.
Teacher: Fine.

But I always participated, so I got an A. So one day in late June, we went to Narragansett, got in our sea kayaks, and paddled the mile down the Narrow River to the Atlantic. Once there, we ate lunch and rode the kayaks in the surf. Despite a sunburn that I'll never forget, it was a great time. Last year, Pete and I went with his friend Fran, who managed to motivate both herself and me back to the rental place with the mantra of "beer! Frozen drinks!" I told the Whatever about the fun of sea kayaking, so since I FINALLY got the freelance money, I drove down to the beach and we rented a double.
Since I usually rent a single kayak (ALONE! ALONE! I WILL DIE ALONE!) I coordinate my own stroke. For some reason, the Whatever and I could not paddle in a straight line to save ourselves. We'd start drifting to the left, turn to the right and then suddenly be on the opposite side of the river, correct our course, later, rinse, repeat. I couldn't really tell whose fault it was-- it may have been mine for not communicating, it may have been his for not following my stroke (he was sitting behind me), but by the time we made it to the mouth of the river and pulled our kayak onto shore I was in a foul mood. The swells were large since Irene was off the coast, so we checked it out before bringing the boat over into the swells. I was hesitant to get in the ocean since the stoner kids had recommended novices not go into the uneven sea, but the Whatever was insistent. We paddled into the Atlantic.
I love the ocean because it's a great reminder of how nature is so much more powerful than us. When you're on land, you see construction vehicles moving the Earth, blasting rocks, bending the soil to do what people want. But when you're in a very small boat in a very large ocean, with waves tossing you around, nearly casting you into the water, you remember that you're just a tiny speck of matter in this world. Despite our problems paddling in the river, we managed well in the swells, despite my yelps.
"This is awesome!" The Whatever exclaimed.
"Why are you so nervous? We're fine. This kayak is really stable."
"I know," I replied. "But when I'm doing something even slightly risky, I hear my mother's voice in my head, chiding me for it."
We stayed in the ocean for about half an hour, pulled the kayak onto shore to take a drink, then got back in to begin the trip back.
Shortly up the river, after zig-zagging a few more times, my shoulders tired and tight, I began to lose my patience.
"Why can't we paddle this fucking kayak in a straight damn line?"
"I don't know," the Whatever replied. "Let's slow down and try it that way. Left, right. Left, right. Right. Right. Left. Right. Left, right. Left. Left. Left."
"If we could paddle in a straight line, we'd fucking be there by now."
"We should look an article up online about this when we get home."
"Not much help now, is it?"
We paddled some more. Zig. Zag. I began to behave like an infant, and I knew it, but I was as powerless to stop it as I was in my boat in the waves.
"This sucks. I want to be there now. I'm tired and I want to go home and drink beer with Kristen." I threw my head back and heaved a tremendous, histrionic sigh.
"What are you, four?" The Whatever asked, laughing at me.
"No, but I'm fucking frustrated. I want to be better at this, and you're laughing at me."
"Yeah, I'm laughing at you. You're twenty-four and pitching a fit. We'll get there if you calm down."
I sulked. I splashed the Whatever a few times with my oars. But we got back to shore and I apologized for being a brat. But adversity? And I? Not good together.

Tequila shots = stupid, stupid, stupid.
The Whatever and I hit traffic, took a while to get back to Brookline since we had to buy booze, had to park the car and get back to Kristen's to welcome Marianne back from the hell that is Tanglewood (apparently). We showed up two hours late, so we decided to "catch up." And how did people propose we catch up? With tequila shots. Three of them. Then I made really strong rum and cokes. And I drank beer. Then I got sick. Then I got sick again. Then I stumbled home with the Whatever. Then I don't remember anything, but apparently fell on the bed with my legs hanging off the side, told the Whatever it hurt when he touched them, the Whatever eventually heaved my legs into the bed despite my protests, and didn't wake up until 9am. No more tequila shots, y'all. Because blacking out is when things get scary and instead of functioning alcoholic we're into the "Hi, my name is Amy" brand of alcoholic.

Procrastinating = a feeling of dread, eventually.
Due to my boozing, kayaking and home decorating, I've been stalling on my new freelance project. Today I got an email from the freelance guy, asking if I could send him some of the work I've done. Which would be none. Haven't even started. Then, twenty minutes later, I got an email from InSite, asking me to write another article, due Monday of next week. I wished I hadn't made plans for dinner tonight.

Paying off entirety of $2,500 Visa balance = Priceless.
I finally got the freelance money, so I wrote out a check for two thousand five hundred and no cents to Visa. I resisted the urge to write "fuck off and die, assholes" in the memo line. But this makes me feel less like a freewheeling derelict and more like the good person Suze Orman and my Mom want me to be.

My Grandparent's relationship = what I want.
I went home on Friday to see my paternal grandparents, who I haven't seen since May. Mimi and Gramps. I hope I have my father's DNA when it comes to health, because Mimi greeted us after a day in the garden and cooking dinner for me without showing any fatigue. Mimi and Gramps have been the solid example of what a good relationship is for most of my life. They bicker, but they love each other. Here's an example of the dialogue from dinner.
Mimi: I'd ask your grandfather what he'd do without me, but I don't want him to give it that much thought.
Gramps: Mimi, I don't even want to think about that.

His voice was so sad that it made me tear up. I think, in their mid-seventies, they've just started to give some thought to the fact that they're not young anymore. My Mom's dad is old, and has carried himself that way for most of my life. But Mimi and Gramps travel, work, remodel their house themselves. Seeing them argue and disagree but still love each other gives me hope for my own relationships. Or whatever.

So that was my weekend. I'd like to say that work and after-work are busy, so I may not be reliable to post much. Please don't forget me if I don't post for a few days.

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