“I can’t wait to rent a boat in Long Island!” my first husband, Peppermeister, said several times before we headed east last week.
Once again, my aunt and uncle were generously letting us stay in their vacation home for our anniversary. We had fond memories of relaxing bay side, playing mini golf and binge drinking waterfront dining.
“Let’s scope out this place, The Station,” Peppermeister said. “They serve food and rent boats.”
While recreating one of the menu photos…
…we noticed an entertaining boat name:
“Do you think that’s the boat they rent?” I asked.
“Nah, that one’s too nice,” Peppermeister replied. “They probably rent those.”
He pointed to the glorified row boats on either side of Butthead. I quickly let go of my mai tai drinking, bow bathing fantasies.
“We’ll come back on Monday – the weather’s supposed to be beautiful.”
And the weather finally WAS beautiful, on Wednesday. The young man preparing our boat barely put down his sandwich to attach the motor. Knowing nothing about boats, I brushed off my first thought: “Is that from a lawn mower?”
At 10:15am, we were finally ready to hit the open seas Shinnecock Bay.
In between bites, our boat hand, who shall henceforth be referred to as “Boris,” explained where to fish for fluke, and gave us a map with the emergency phone numbers on it.
We didn’t even make it out of the marina before the motor stalled and we drifted into sand. We shoved ourselves off with our one sturdy oar, and Peppermeister got us going again.
The weather was so flawless, I paid little mind to the hiccup.
We cruised steadily west while Peppermeister grabbed a beer and we tried to pick out our own marina.
About 45 minutes into our cruise, the motor cut out again.
When it happened for the third time, we Peppermeister spent 20 minutes trying to start it.
“I’m just going to call the guy to come get us. This is a waste of time.” He fished out his cell phone from the Ziploc bag in his backpack.
Here’s a summary of how that went down:
“Landmarks? …Yes, there are buildings nearby! THERE ARE HOUSES EVERYWHERE!”
“We’re IN THE DUNES. DRIVE by the DUNES.”
“WE’RE DUE SOUTH OF TIANA BAY! DUE SOUTH! We’re IN the DUNES on the OTHER SIDE of the BAY. We’ve DRIFTED SINCE WE HAVE NO ANCHOR AND ONE OAR!”
“Like I said, we’re to the LEFT OF THE BRIDGE. DUE SOUTH OF TIANA BAY. We’re THE ONLY BOAT HERE.”
I tried to help, too.
One hour and five phone calls later, Boris arrived in none other than…
He, of course, managed to get our motor going, and told us to follow him back. The motor stalled a minute later, and it took him three minutes to notice we weren’t following. He circled back to tow us.
He tangled up his lines in his motor, and then attached one line to the front of our boat.
“He’s doing it wrong,” Peppermeister muttered. “You’re supposed to tow with two lines.”
We lurched forward, and Boris started swerving Butthead left to right, right to left, while we tipped from side to side in our boat.
I leaned forward and backward in the opposite direction of his swerving, trying to keep the boat level.
About halfway to the marina, the water grew increasingly choppy, as did Boris’s driving, and gallons of water sloshed into our boat. We tried bailing it out with our one bucket, a bleach bottle with the bottom cut out.
Peppermeister whistled loudly. Boris, who’d never once looked back to check on us, raised his eyebrows in mild surprise.
“Every time you turn, more water comes in! We’ve been trying to empty it this whole time!” Peppermeister shouted. “Will this boat sink?”
“No,” he replied, and kept driving, staring straight ahead.
The water rushed past our calves, almost as high as the seats.
Peppermeister whistled again and Boris stood there gawking.
Everything next happened in slow motion.
Peppermeister yelled, “You need to get off!”
With my brain still saying, “This boat’s not actually SINKING,” I grabbed our precious cargo -the backpack- and held it above my head. Suddenly, half the boat was under water. Good call on the Ziploc bags. As it capsized, my left leg got pinned beneath, allowing me to appreciate its sturdiness. Wow. No. I kicked off my flip-flops and paddled away, shouting,
“Here! The backpack! Get it on Butthead! Get it on Butthead!”
Because I’d be DAMNED if I was losing my cell phone and car keys over this little snafu.
Peppermeister threw the backpack at Boris, who let it hit his chest and slide to the floor. I swam for a second or two, watching the contents of the boat drift south (due south! Of Tiana Bay! Towards the dunes! In case you were wondering).
“Don’t worry about the boat! Don’t worry about it! Leave the stuff!” Boris called, finally looking rattled.
“Get a life jacket!” Peppermeister cried, and I grabbed the only one still within reach, passing it to him, confused.
Ooh, the water feels nice. It’s not as hard to swim in a denim jacket as I thought it would be. Bet I could swim back pretty fast. Great exercise.
“Do you need it? Put it on!” Peppermeister said frantically.
I took one look at his face and his next statement answered my unspoken question, “I’m freakin’ out a little.”
“It’s fine,” I replied. “It’s fine. We’re in a bay. You know how to swim.”
“I know, I know,” he said. “You get on first.”
Shouldn’t we get the stuff?
“Don’t worry about the stuff!” Boris called again.
“Go! Use our boat!” Peppermeister urged.
Our overturned boat was creating, I realized, a handy step up onto Butthead. Boris grabbed my arm firmly, “I got you, I got you.”
Man, I always thought that would be impossible, I thought as I tumbled onboard.
Once Peppermeister and I were safely seated, we began our 45-minute slog back to the marina. I didn’t realize why it took so long until much later.
Boris was towing our boat.
The Station owner was waiting for us on the dock when we returned.
“A ‘small’ problem?” he asked, glancing between Boris and his sodden passengers.
Boris stared at the ground while Peppermeister and I disembarked. Moments later, he handed us a full refund and two t-shirts.
“I’m so sorry about this,” he said.
He walked away, shoulders slumped, and I looked at Peppermeister.
Two months ago, my best friend, Jenn, said, “Everyone is going to [our friend] Cami’s wedding in Houston in April, but I don’t know if I can do it. I hate flying, and I don’t want to leave the dog, and [my husband] Pete won’t dance with me.”
I took a quick inventory of my life: I hadn’t flown anywhere in four years. My future career was uncertain. I was restless as hell. I liked to dance.
“I’ll go with you,” I blurted. After all, I knew the bride and everyone going.
Jenn’s face lit up, and within the hour, she’d booked our flight. This past Friday morning, I rose at 4:45 and picked up Jenn.
“You don’t trust me to get to your parents’ house on time [since your mom is bringing us to the airport]?” she asked.
“Absolutely not. Don’t argue with me,” I replied, recalling the previous weekend, when Jenn was supposed to come over for lunch, and slept until 1pm.
To Jenn’s credit, she was all ready to go when I arrived, and in a stroke of genius, had booked us aisle seats across from each other. We strained our necks, but got the ab workout of a lifetime, each trying to out-joke the other during the 3 1/2-hour flight.
“You were those people?” our friend Mary later asked.
Yes. Yes, we were.
“We’re just a couple of classy broads,” Jenn said, stowing her ancient cell phone before take-off.
“You put the ass in class,” I replied affectionately.
“I just don’t understand people who have no sense of humor,” I said some time later. “My only problem is I think everything is funny.”
“Your only problem?” Jenn fired back.
Jenn wound up rebooking our hotel so we could stay where Cami (the bride) had scheduled a shuttle to the wedding venue, never mind that Jenn still had to pay for the first hotel because it was nonrefundable.
“We don’t know anything about a shuttle to the wedding,” the front desk told us when we arrived.
Jenn called Cami and found out that the shuttle “never materialized.”
We decided to worry about our ride later. We still had 3 hours to spare, and we were on a mission: hair dye (for Jenn) and vodka (for me both of us).
“There’s a Walgreens and a liquor store within walking distance – 2 blocks,” the front desk assured us.
We found the Walgreens, but walked at least a mile, stopping people to ask where the liquor store was. Our boots were not made for “walking distance” in Texas, but the weather was beautiful.
“I just saw a cop in a cowboy hat, but I’m still starting to think we belong in Houston,” I told Jenn. “We’ve already gotten hit on by three different men.”
“And you don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that we’re asking for liquor at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on a work day?” she replied.
By the time we got back to the hotel, we had little time to pre-game. Our friends, who were staying in a different hotel and had rented a car, generously offered to pick us up. Now we had even less time to get ready.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. It was Cami and her soon-to-be-husband. She was holding an iPod.
“I just need you to dock this before the wedding, and play the ‘Processional’ playlist,” she told Jenn.
“O-okay…” Jenn replied, wet hair dripping on ivory shoulders.
“Then you play the ‘Ceremony’ playlist, then the ‘Recessional’ playlist.”
Jenn’s eyes widened, but she just nodded, paying close attention.
“And then the ‘Reception’ playlist,” Cami said, clicking through each one on the little silver rectangle in her hand. “I tried to make it as idiot-proof as possible.”
As soon as they left, we raced to finish getting ready. When our friends picked us up, they were nervous about being late, but in good spirits.
“[Our other friend] Dave just found out he’s the Maid of Honor!” they giggled.
“I just found out I’m the f*cking DJ!” Jenn retorted.
We arrived at the wedding venue early, as luck would have it. It was a Greek restaurant, obviously.
The wedding coordinator frantically informed us that she was technologically challenged, and pointed to a CD player with no CDs.
“That’s not going to work with this,” Jenn replied, holding the iPod.
“Well we just got a new TV, maybe we can put music on that?” the wedding coordinator said breathlessly, her voice a fascinating mix of Southern and Greek accents.
When I attempted to turn on the TV, it was immediately apparent that the cable wasn’t hooked up. “Maybe if you point the remote here,” the wedding coordinator said, gesturing towards the closet where the CD player sat. I knew I’d never, ever come up with an appropriate response, so I said nothing and glanced back to see if the bar was open yet.
Here’s what happened when we asked the wedding coordinator to take our picture at the end of the night:
We found out one of Cami’s friends was coming by with the iPod speaker and tried to relax, even though the wedding was in mere minutes.
Or it should have been.
The wedding party was two hours late. No reason. Texas time, I guess. My inner Project Manager hyperventilated into a brown paper bag, while my alter ego, Drunk Girl, just… well, you know.
In case you were wondering – the iPod speaker still hadn’t arrived.
“Can you tell everyone to hum the wedding march?” the blushing bride asked Jenn, just before the ceremony started.
I should probably stop there.
After all that, did we have fun? You be the judge:
“My mom just had to pay a $1,300 overage on the bar bill,” said Cami at the end of the night.
While I hadn’t given it much thought until last week, it seems obvious now: If you fine Chipmunks got to pick between Adam Levine and your beloved blog hero, The Byronic Man, obviously The B Man would win [the title of Third Husband]. By a landslide.
In a way, it makes perfect sense.
The Byronic Man and I are so associated in the collective bloggy unconscious that on numerous occasions, I’ve had people email me messages intended for The Byronic Man. People have left me comments on his blog.
I certainly can’t blame you. In fact, I’m pretty sure nine out of ten bloggers already think I’m married to The Byronic Man.
It occurs to me that finding my third spouse is like completing the final layer of my Dream Cupcake. Have you heard of these cupcakes? I hadn’t either, until I was roped into volunteered to help my parents cook for Easter Sunday.
1st layer: Chocolate chip cookie dough.
2nd layer: Reese’s peanut butter cup.
3rd layer: Brownie batter.
Cook 30 minutes at 350 F. Then eat. Then just crawl into a hole and die. Because life can only go down from there.
Um, anyway, okay, so, with the final 5 candidates selected…
It’s time to vote for my third spouse! (If you missed it, Click here to review their entries!)
Polls close NOON EST, Wednesday, April 3, 2013. My third spouse and I will regale you with some of our misadventures on Friday, April 5, 2013!