Is that the (EXPLETIVE) anchor?

I’ve had a request for some Throwback Thursday posts… These are intended more for my challenge of writing some every day for a month, but… It’s Thursday, I feel like writing… seems like as good a time to start as any. So… here we go… 

Picture it, September of 2012. A pristine day high up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, not a cloud in the sky and a refreshing summer crisp in the air — perfect for a little lake fishing during our annual girls’ weekend with my friends Kim and Melissa. Now, one thing you all need to know about Awkward Jean is that I’m VERY athletic (*fine print: only when drinking) and super outdoorsy (*fine print: only when drinking heavily) so I was pretty sure I was going to be awesome at the day’s events. 

Mistake #1: We rented a row boat. Melissa, who was hosting the girls’ weekend, had assured us that the power boats were not only overrated, but also way more spendy. (Dear Future Jean — Always question when people say something is too much money. In this case it was another $5. Not per person, total. Fail.) So we rented a row boat. 

Mistake #2: Everyone assumed Jean (who is a. awkward by nature and b. stone-cold sober, i.e. unathletic, at this time) knew how to get into a boat. Well… Picture a clumsy blonde girl in wedge flip flops stepping directly onto the seat of the boat with one leg and leaving the other leg on the dock as the sudden movement of this not-so-graceful leg-plunk forces the boat to drift (think Van Damme-esque splits).

Mistake #3: “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??!!!” “Get IN. THE. BOAT.” “Oh my god, she’s gonna fall in.” “SERIOUSLY!! GET IN!” “FALL!!” (why are they all yelling at me??) All I heard was “FALL”. So I did. I’m an excellent faller. Excellent! Lacking athleticism I went into self-preservation mode and flung myself into the bottom of that row boat. And like many good falls, there was a casualty. I sort of flung myself down on top of Melissa, who was already in the boat, bringing her down with me. Hard.

At this point Melissa and Kim are laughing so hard they are crying, the boat is shaking up waves and the peace of the once calm fishing lake is irrevocably disturbed.  And I’m barely able to get myself into a seated position. This is when they made a rule. I was allowed to sit in ONE SPOT and NOT MOVE the whole trip. Fine by me — I cracked open a beer. 

Mistake #4: My ONE SPOT that I could NOT MOVE from happened to be in a rather inopportune location.  After a rough start, and finally kicking off from the dock, we (they) rowed us out to the other side of this breathtaking lake (I ate my sandwich and drank beer). We found a good spot to claim as our fishing hole and it was time to throw the anchor and cast our lines. Which brings us back to Mistake #4: My ONE SPOT that I could NOT MOVE from happened to be where the anchor was located.

Not being allowed to get up or move it was slightly challenging for me to get the anchor thrown, but desperate to redeem myself I managed to grab hold of it and give it a rather skilled toss overboard (I was about a beer in, so Athletic Jean was beginning to take shape). 

“JEAN!! YOUR –” (scramble, scramble, Melissa at my feet grabbing some rope that was wrapped around my… Oh.) “The anchor line was wrapped around your ankle! Didn’t you check that? Oh my god Jean… that could have been really bad.”

I know. I could have spilled my beer — we didn’t have a ton out there, what if I ran out? And that’s when I realized I didn’t do something else. 

“Um, guys. I maybe didn’t tie off the anchor.” 

“Shit Jean! Is it there?”

(Turning cautiously) “No. No it’s definitely not there.” (Turns out Mistake #4 was like a three part mistake.)

This is probably when everyone decided to have a beer. Sure it’d been a rough start, but it was such a gorgeous day and the view was breathtaking. The fish weren’t biting, even though I had mad fishing skills, so eventually we decided to row to another spot. Now, I can only share what I witnessed here, but the rowing appeared to be extremely challenging. I mean, Melissa is super athletic (like for realsies) and Kim is really focused and determined and for like 45 minutes we were barely going anywhere. I would have helped but… not being allowed to move it was difficult. So I drank beer and advised on strategy. Things like “Row harder.” “Row faster.” “Make the boat go!” — Yeah, I was pretty helpful and I’m sure they appreciated the support. I especially think they appreciated me when suddenly Melissa leaped from her seat shouting: 

“What is that? WHAT. IS. THAT??!!!” (silence… Melissa leaning over me pointing at the back end of the boat…)

“Is that, the FUCKING ANCHOR??!!!” 

Yes. Yes it was. Hmm, guess I was wrong. Guess it was tied off all that time. Which totally explained why we weren’t going anywhere.

And that’s how, on a breathtakingly gorgeous, pristine day at a quiet fishing lake high in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, I was given a “talking time-out” and was dropped off at the shore… without my beer.

XOXO — Awkward (Throwback Thursday) Jean





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