‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Monday, July 13, 2009

veritable sea nymphs

Did I mention that last week Mrs. Howell and I had a near-death sailing experience? No? Probably because I was busy hiding under my bed yelling "I wasn't scared!" at anyone who came near.

Last week was our second time out on the water. It was blowing, so we were assigned a mentor to go with us. Note to mentor: I am so, so sorry.

The mentor, who we shall call Our Lady of the Gale, asked which of us was going to be the skipper. Mrs. Howell said "nope, I'm Mrs. Howell" and I said "well then I'm Lovey" and then we both pointed at each other and said "she'll be Skipper." To which Our Lady of the Gale responded, "just please get in the boat." And then she may or may not have taken a valium.

Since Mrs. Howell did the steering thing last time, I figured I should do it this time. So I steered us right into the dock. "Um, not like that," said Our Lady of the Gale. She took the tiller until we were safely clear of the dock.

Aside: I know what a tiller is.

She gave me a little tutorial about which way the boat goes when you do this or that with the tiller. I kind of got it. So she said, "come about!" and I pushed the tiller away from me and woohoo! around we went. Which was great for about 4 seconds until I straightened out and the boat went up on its side. Up. On. Its. Side.

Thinking of tricycles, I figured I was oversteering and was responsible for the imminent tipping over of the boat. After all, it can't be right for a boat to go like that, right? So I pulled the tiller in the opposite direction and Our Lady of the Gale yelled "what are you doing, woman?" except it wasn't her yelling, it was the terrified voices in my head. She was pretty cool, actually. Seeing as we were going to die and all.

Then she did that thing where she was the one steering the boat but making it look like I was doing it. Which was good because if we're going to flip the boat and all die in something like 5 feet of water, at least it would be her fault and not mine.

We did not die. In the brief moment when we were not dying I thought about how I was the one who actually LIKED being on the water and my goodness wasn't Mrs. Howell being brave? I figured she'd be screaming her head off by now.

I looked over and saw she was not screaming her head off because she was paralytic with fear.

Which meant I had to be brave. So I tried to stop being such a sissy about the tiller thing. And when Our Lady of the Gale asked if we'd like to take another run around the markers I said "sure!" in a very tiny voice, hoping she wouldn't hear me. Which she did.

Let it be known that we beat the pants off the other boats.

So now we are approaching our next sailing lesson and what we have is an unspoken double dog dare. I can't look like I'm afraid to get back in the boat because Mrs. Howell can't sail without me (nothing against Mrs. Howell personally, but I think she and I are the kind of sailors who will always be sailing partners because no one else will have us). Mrs. Howell wants to sail, obviously, or she would not have signed us up for sailing lessons. Mrs. Howell is probably sitting up in bed Right Now, clutching her sheets, eyes wide, thinking about our next lesson. But she will not call it off because she knows that without her, I cannot sail. She would also look like a gigantic pansy.

She will act brave. I will act brave. We will not speak of it until we are in a home eating pudding.

I think this is the way great things are accomplished. You act brave and then someone calls your bluff and the next thing you know, there you are, starfished on a boat, hanging on with fingertips, toes and teeth. Chalking up more stories to tell at the home.

You up for another round, Our Lady of the Gale? Cause we? are ready to bring it.

5 comments:

Lisa said...

Um, yikes! You are definitely brave. And much more of a sailor than I will ever be.

The Upstairs Neighbor said...

OMG - your post actually makes me feel as if we had fun. Um, did we? We didn't die. We won't die. We will DO THIS THING AND NOT CRY!

Debbie said...

Oh my. I do not like near death experiences. Nope. Not at all.

Susan said...

"Near-death" may have been the teensiest bit of an exaggeration.

Zip n Tizzy said...

I'm giggling... I mean shaking and quaking.
I'm glad you're both o.k.