It's a beautiful summer day and you're spending it at the beach. The sun is shining in a perfectly blue sky. Giant, puffy, fabulously delicious white clouds float by occasionally, dappling the light across the ocean. The smell of sunscreen fills your head, and the sounds of happy children playing drift up from the surf to your ears. Your favorite book lies open on your lap, an icy cold lemonade sits by your side, nestled in the sand.
Sounds like the perfect day, doesn't it?
To you, maybe.
Personally, I'd rather sit on chair covered with tacks and shove bamboo under my fingernails, because the water scares me, and I mean it scares
me, like excuse-me-while-I-hyperventilate-and-try-to-control-the-panic-rising-in-my-chest scares me....breathe, Lemony, it's okay...you're just talking about it not swimming in it...GASP...
Okay. I'm fine now.
Now, you're probably wondering why I'm so afraid of water. I'm not really sure, to be honest. If you believe in such things, I've had more than one psychic/past-life knower tell me I drowned while crossing the Atlantic as a steerage passenger on the Titanic. Whether this is real or not I don't know, but my fear of the water is about as real as it gets.
Taking a shower? Great. A bath? Groovy. Swimming in the backyard swimming pool? Not so bad. Swimming in the ocean? The big, giant, vast, never-ending, living
body of water mere miles from Lemony Villa? Not so much.
The irony here is that I love the ocean. I love the noise it makes when giant waves pound the sand. I love the smell of it. I love the mournful wailing of seagulls. I want to be near
it. It makes me happy. I just don't want to go in
Yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds, thank you.
Now, let's talk about lakes. You'd think it would be a similar thing for me, but no. Nothing...and I do mean nothing...
causes the panic that a lake causes. The water is black
in a lake. You can't see anything
underneath you, not even your own feet, not even if the sun is shining straight down into it. Lakes freak
me out. FAH-reeeeek me the hell OUT.
So, what did we do a few months ago? We bought a house. In a LAKE COMMUNITY. That's right, a lake
community, with an association we pay dues to and private, unpaved roads. Never mind that I, girl of the city who grew up with a 2x2 foot slab of concrete as a backyard and a lone maple tree buckling the sidewalk in front of the building we lived in, purchased property in a place where the roads aren't paved and the trash has to be inside the garage so the BEARS won't get at it. Really, forget that.
I purchased property where there is a beach
. On a LAKE.
Crazy, isn't it?
I still don't know how this happened, although I know it did because there I was, signing a piece of paper mortgaging my life for a house with water access on a monstrous lake somewhere really, really, really, far, far away from the comforts of home. You know, like traffic.
Our first weekend in the Lake Community House...or, Other Lemony Villa...was fun. I spent time orgainzing and working out the logistics of owning a house we don't see every day. What if it burns down? What if the power goes out and the milk we left behind goes bad and we don't know until we drink it? What if a pipe breaks? What if we drop a piece of food in the gravel driveway and don't realize? What if a BEAR finds it? What if the bear dies in the gravel driveway? Who cleans up that
kind of mess? Is that poison ivy over there???
What are we doing
What was Mr. Lemony doing while I was worrying about bears and exploding propane tanks? He was thinking of other things, like making sure he gets the full benefit of being where there are bears and moose and a lake.
He was thinking there are boats
in this lake community, and that he wanted one. Water skiing! Tubing! Drowning! Yeah!
So while I was freaking out about potential 911 emergencies, he was buying a boat. I thought he was trying to find a grocery store within a 30-mile radius. Silly me.
Now, most people when they feel the need for some impulse spending, they will buy a new pair of jeans or maybe something frivolous like, oh, I don't know, a new mirror to hang in the foyer. I know that's what I
would do. My husband? Buys boats. It went something like this...
Mr. Lemony: So, um, honey, I found a marina that sells boats...
Me: That's nice, honey. Did you also find a place to buy cream for my coffee?
Mr. Lemony: Well, uh, I got kind of distracted by the big, shiny boats...so distracted I...
Me: No cream?
Mr. Lemony: ...put an offer on one...
Me: But I need cream in my decaf...bad enough I gave up caffeine...but cream? Honey...
Mr. Lemony: ...and they accepted it. I, uh, bought a boat...Lemony? Honey? Hello?
Mr. Lemony: Hello?
Mr. Lemony: You're freaking me out...
Mr. Lemony: Okay, you're really
freaking me out...
Me: You bought a WHAT???!!!???!!!!
My husband, King of Frugality, bought a boat.
And he didn't even tell me
he was doing this. Now, he claims it really was a spur-of-the-moment decision and he was as shocked as the next guy when his offer was accepted. I think he's full of it myself, but the look of pure joy on his face when that sucker was delivered to our gravel, bear-infested driveway made me think awwww, look...he's so happy,
so I smiled and nodded and decided my payback shall come in the form of a BMW. I may even talk to him before I buy it.
With this boat came a bunch of other purchases, because it's not enough to just have a boat, you know. You must have water skis, and giant yellow tubes to drag around, and an anchor, and life-jackets, and an oar because you just never know when the motor will die, and nautical maps and courses to learn how to read the nautical maps. I could go on, but it's boring, and besides, I already mentioned the Most Important Thing. Giant. Yellow. Tubes.
Mr. Lemony thought this would be fun for the Lemonettes, and not wanting to spoil the fun (or pass my water phobia on to my children) I climbed onto the boat and made like I was having a good time. I took pictures. I smiled. I laughed when Lemony Teen pinged across the water like a stone skimmed by a giant.
And then it happened.
"Mum, why don't you go on the tube?"
My instinct was to reply with "Why don't you eat shit and die?" but that's not the kind of thing one says to one's five-year-old. So what did I do? I strapped on a life vest and climbed onto the back of the boat, slipping on the sundeck and pinwheeling my arms until I landed gracefully on the Giant Yellow Tube.
Obviously, I was delirious. Nobody noticed the delirium, including myself, so there I was, kneeling on the Giant Yellow Tube, waiting for Mr. Lemony to gun his impulse buy to 60 mph. I was waiting to die.
The boat started up and we were off, zipping merrily along Lake I Hate You. We were a sight, I'm sure, with Mr. Lemony smiling that crazy Jack Nicholson smile, you know the one...I'm Crazy!! it says...the Lemonettes laughing, and me, hanging on for dear life with my legs flailing behind me, screaming at the top of my lungs to STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!
Why nobody heard me over the roar of the 600 horse-power engine is a mystery.
Now, here's the thing about boats...they make wakes. Frothy, churning, boiling, white water wakes. These wakes knock Giant Yellow Tubes silly, especially when the boat is turning. When that happens, the boat goes in one direction and the Giant Yellow Tube goes at a 90 degree angle in the OTHER direction, crossing that frothy wake and catching some major air. When the Giant Yellow Tube goes airborne anybody on it goes even more airborne. You'd better be holding on, man.
Which I was.
The wake of Mr. Lemony's stupid Bayliner met the wake of Mr. My Penis Is HUGE's Party Barge. With me. STUCK IN THE MIDDLE.
Let's just say I had no idea a human could get that close to the sky without the benefit of an airplane or a strong hallucinogen.
And while I was sailing through the air, upside down, with my legs flipping and flopping over my head, I heard them. My family. Laughing. My last thought before I hit the water face first was, That's right, laugh now because when my dripping wet ghost is making puddles on your bedroom carpets you won't be so amused.
I tasted lake water for a week.
My husband so
owes me a BMW.