My Worst Date

>> Friday, February 10, 2012

Hey hey Valentine peeps! I thought in honor of the Day of Love, I'd share with you my worst (first) date story. I lived to tell the tale so you know, in the end, everything turns out a-ok!

*I do not have any pics from said sorry tale (this is a good thing in retrospect), so all pics you see are courtesy of other sources.

K, here we go...it's long, sorry. If you've got a few minutes to spare, feel free to read on.

Not sure if this counts as a true first date but there was this guy I was sorta seeing. We “hung” out a lot but he never took me out officially (should’ve been my first clue this guy was not worth my time). Well, an opportunity came around where I took HIM out. My company was organizing a river rafting trip and I’d always wanted to go so here was my chance. I paid for the trip and invited him. Figured if he said no I could ask someone else to join me. Well, he said yes.

Real date set…

On the day of the trip, I picked him up and drove the 2 hours to the river. It was a gorgeous day. Sunny and hot. Perfect for a raging river boat ride. Ha! Anyway, the drive over, as I recall, was uneventful. Boring convo I bet.

We get there and find our group. Now, if any of you have gone river rafting, you know they go thru the many safety rules and tips.

Before I go any further, let me preface this by saying I can swim. I know how. Thank you mom for getting me swim lessons as a kid. Unfortunately, it didn’t include swimming in raging water but I know how to keep afloat. Some people in our group did not know how to swim. At all. Never swam in their life. Sweet!

The safety rules I remember are:

no, this is not me
• If your guide says “high side” all of you jump to one side of the raft to keep it from flipping but wait for your guide to tell you because he/she is the pro and knows best.
• If you fall into the rapids, get in sitting position. It will help keep you from going under as you bob down river. So they say.
• The other thing is hang onto your oar! It’s supposedly a great thing to hold on to when being carried down river.

You see where this is going don’t you?

We don our lifejackets and helmets and split into various boats. Time to go! Not sure how many of us there were but I think we split into about five or so boats.

The river we’re about to venture on runs alongside a highway so every so often there’s an overpass across the river. Obviously plenty of room for rafts to go under the bridges but also, these areas are more “rapid-y” -- lots of fast moving water swirling and splashing around the huge pillars holding up said bridges.
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Our fun group, which it was, got into a large raft; fits about 8 or 10 of us. Our fearless guide was a young punk (probably my age at the time, 21ish) who loved adrenaline rushes. He’s been a professional guide for a brief time. Two members in our group did not know how to swim. But hey, we’re wearing life vests. We each have an oar. We’ve got an experienced guide. What could possibly go wrong on this beautiful day?

Meanwhile, my date and I are having fun. I ignore any overly sarcastic jokes he makes and continue to think he likes me. Oh how young and naïve I was (nice way of saying stoopid)…

We started out going thru/over some small rapids but since this was my first time on such an outing, they were so fun! Nothing too scary. People on the river banks were waving to us, we were laughing and splashing water on each other with the oars and just having fun. Our guide was funny and I could tell he liked to be competitive, so there was play between us and the other boats as well.

We got to a part of our trip where we had to stop and walk around a dam while carrying our raft. We ate lunch and just chilled for a bit before we started our second leg.

Now the good part.

We get back in the water. Our guide mentioned that this part of the river will have more rapids and they’ll be more powerful too. We were so pumped! We were following one other boat, all the others were trailing.

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Remember how I said our guide has a competitive edge? And remember those concrete pillars every so often for the overpasses and the swirling, fast moving water around them?

Well, we’re cruising along when our guide gets the little twinkle in his eye that says trouble. But we’re all excited and having fun so when he says, “let’s beat the boat in front of us,” we think, “okay!”

He’s telling us to paddle harder and faster. We’re gaining speed on the boat in front of us. I can’t remember if they were even aware of our little race yet but hey we were catching up and they’d better watch out!

Or should we??

We’re paddling more and more but we can see the overpass ahead with those huge pillars awaiting our arrival. We look to our guide who doesn’t say anything except to paddle faster. We do. We’re getting closer and he still says paddle.

By this point, all of us are getting a little nervous, minus our guide. We seem awfully close and going too fast to keep doing what we’re doing without a crash. But still no word from our guide. He’s bent on catching up to the first boat. The other boats aren’t that far behind because they’re starting to go faster too. Probably trying to get in on this stupid race we now seem to be in.

We keep looking at each other wondering what to do and hesitate each time our guide says to paddle. We’re certainly not putting our all into it anymore. I think someone even asked the guide who in turn said we’re doing okay.

My thoughts? Boy, that pillar looks big. And hard. And boy, that water doesn’t look fun anymore.

Well, we as an amateur group of river rafters decided we needed to take matters into our own hands. We had to do something and we had to act fast. Our guide was worthless. He was completely oblivious. My date laughed. He thought this was exciting!

Our moment was here. We knew we had to high side or we’d crash into the pillar. Our brilliant guide finally came to his senses as he saw what we had been seeing this whole time. He shouted, “high side!”

Crap.

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Next thing I knew we were falling in the water. Everybody crashing into each other and the fast water. It was like hitting the ejection button one second before impact. We did flip but we had all fallen out before our bodies hit cement.

&%(@#$!

I kept telling myself get in sitting position, hang onto your oar. Over and over and over. The raft was gone and people were scattered.

All of the other rafts, including the one that obviously won the race, had to somehow pull over quickly and safely and start throwing out ropes. With most people behind us and few in front of us, time was short.

So I’m trying to get in sitting position to help stay above water. Yeah, good one. Who thought of that stupid rule? It was not working for me. Panicking apparently doesn’t help either. But hey, good thing I have my oar. Nope. One of the non-swimmers who was flailing nearby just swiped it from my hands. Great, now what?

I kept going downstream but thankfully, water was starting to calm a bit. But I still wasn’t in the clear. I’m away from where everyone is on the banks and the rapids are carrying me fast.

While I’m in the water, struggling, wondering if this was the way I was going to die, I see my date over on the bank laughing his ass off, thinking this is a hoot. Who was this idiot? I liked him? Wow. If I get out of this alive, I definitely need to get my head examined. He wasn’t helping anyone else either. Not me, not the others pulling people out or throwing ropes.

Finally, I caught the last rope just in the nick of time. Seriously. I knew I was going to be okay but I held onto that rope so tight there was no letting go.

I get out, breathless, soaked, crabby and scared. I barely spoke to my date after that. He was clueless and didn’t care anyway.

Where it was sunny and hot before, I’m now in the shade and shivering. I’m no longer having fun. Wishing I was anywhere else but here. Crashing our raft sure put a damper on things (excuse the pun).

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I looked back to where we had crashed and our boat was wrapped securely around the pillar, completely on its side. There was going to be no easy way to get it down. So now we’re down one boat and a guide. He was staying behind to figure out his mess.

The rest of us split up among the rest of the boats, which meant sitting in the middle. Definitely not fun. But everything had changed. It was quieter, less jovial. Rapids weren’t the same after that.

After a time though, we started to relax a bit and smack talk our inexperienced guide and what had happened. We laughed that he had to figure out how to get the raft down. I even laughed about my oar being ripped away from me. She obviously needed it more than I did.

We started seeing more sun, too. Some people along the river were bbq’ing and playing games when we came by. They mooned us.

Now, the story doesn’t end there. There’s more.

We get to the end of our trip but obviously, it took way longer than it should have (by a few hours), which meant, our ride (shuttle) was gone. It’s getting late now and the sun is setting. I’m getting cold because I’m still damp. Ugh.

Oh but hey! We’re saved! The head guide guy (?) had a van there and was willing to take drivers only to their cars then they’d come back and pick up their own crews. My date and I cheated and both got in the van.
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The van was a gem. ::sarcasm:: It was similar to the A-Team van only uncooler. It was old and uncomfortable. There were no seats other than the driver’s and passenger’s so we were crammed in the back, sitting on stuff and the wheel humps.

This guy was driving crazy fast too, which doesn’t help when you’re not really seated and the road is windy. About halfway there, he gets a flat. Okay, no biggie. Just pull over and change it.

Oh don’t tell me…he doesn’t have the proper tools! ::sigh:: He/we start flagging down trucks and vans in hopes someone has whatever it is we need. A car stopped but they couldn’t help. So Mr. Van Man goes and runs for help somewhere while we hang out on the side of a dark (twilight) road.

It seems forever goes by when help arrives. No, not Mr. Van Man but another passerby. Forget Van Man, we get his van fixed and take ourselves to wherever we’re parked. He is on his own.

I’m still damp once we get to my car so I change my clothes in the bushes since there was nowhere else to. My date and I soon hit the road again for home. My date drove us home but just being in my car made me feel so much better.

On the way home, my date and I talked about the events of the day and I tried to laugh about it. I wasn’t quite there yet (I am now!). My date told me about his future plans and wanting make some improvements in his life to be a better person and blah blah blah, meaning it was time for us to go our separate ways. So YOU, Mr. Bad Date Guy are breaking up with ME? Not that we were really much of an item, but gee, thanks.

I then went home while processing everything and went to bed.

Thankfully,
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Phew! There you have my Worst First Date story.

What I learned from Mr. Bad Date Guy is he was still a boy and I also learned what I didn’t want in a man. He taught me I deserved better.

I’m so glad dating days are behind me and I’m so glad I haven’t had bad dates with Sam. In fact, only best dates with him! True story. If he had been with me on the rafting trip, he wouldn’t have been laughing. No doubt he would’ve jumped in and pulled me out. I never doubt his loyalty and love for me.

My husband isn’t always traditional and likes to be different and creative; he's sentimental and a romantic. So for one Valentine’s day, instead of bringing me a bouquet of flowers that would eventually wilt and die, he brought me a rose bush to plant so I’d always have fresh flowers. Aw! Our first date was him asking if I’d like to go out with him from 10 (PM) to 2 (AM). From date one, we’ve been together. I've got myself a winner, a Mr. Good Date Guy and all around best friend and husband who’s also the best daddy. I purposely don’t share many more details because I like to keep them extra special.

Anyway, if you’ve got a story you’re willing to share (worst or best) I’d love to hear about it on your blog or in comments. Everyone’s got one I’m sure.

Happy Valentine's Day!

xoxo

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