We completed our first overnight sail on our family voyage and what an event it was. It was a bit like Ben and my first date; unconventional, a bit of a train wreck and at critical moments I found myself thinking, “what the hell am I doing here?”. And yet I knew I wanted to do it again.
Let me explain (for those of you who know this story, skip to the end). Ben and I met the old fashioned way…..drinking cocktails in a bar. Over the years we answered the question, “how did you two meet?” with the simple reply of, “at the Bustop.”, leaving people to draw their own conclusions of whether it was the San Francisco bar or we met on public transportation. While playing “wingman” to our friends, we fell into easy conversation where I learned this adorable, easy going, tall man had just returned from traveling on his sailboat. To fabricate a line from the movie Jerry McGuire, “You had me at ‘traveling on my sailboat’”. I think it was his standard pick up line, but I didn’t care, I was intrigued. He jotted down my phone number on a cocktail napkin and we agreed to get together sometime.
A few days later we met at a Starbucks for coffee. As I walked down the hill from my apartment, I spied him waiting on the corner. Before you play romantic music and get all gooey-eyed about this moment, let me stop you. When I spotted him my first thought was, “Oh crap, he’s wearing cowboy boots…I hate cowboy boots!!” STRIKE 1.
We went inside, ordered coffee, and then he suggested we drive down to the beach for a walk. Cowboy boots + beach = walk? Uh, ok. He motioned towards his vehicle which was illegally parked with it’s hazards blinking in front of us. I don’t know if I could hide the horror on my face as I slid into the passenger seat of the windowless, 1980’s cargo van. Inside I found a seat-less backseat with walls splattered recklessly with paint.” At least I think it’s paint,” I told myself.
Ignoring the Silence of the Lambs van, I decided to make the best of it.
As we drove down to the beach, I soon discovered this was his father’s paint store delivery van which he was borrowing since he was unemployed. STRIKE 2 and 3. As we came to a stop sign, he stepped on the brake and my seat immediately flipped backwards which sent me flying into the rear of the van. STRIKE 4.
“Oops, sorry about that! Forgot to tell you that seat’s not
bolted down in the front,” he explained with not a sinister or devilish smile,
but more amused and apologetic. Darn he was cute.
Further conversation revealed that he was living in Petaluma to which I inquired, “Do you have roommates? And how did you choose Petaluma?” His amused
smile reappeared as he explained, “I live with an older married couple and I’m
Now, I’m no dummy. I was 30 years old and knew when I was getting the run around. So I raised my eyebrows and bluntly said, “You live with your parents, don’t you?”. STRIKE 5, 6, 7, and 8.
I should have just told him to drop me off back at the Bustop so I could drown my sorrows in another failed attempt at love. But I didn’t and can’t really explain
why. There was something about him. His self assuredness and comfort in his own skin when most of society would deem him a loser, intrigued me. More importantly, he made me laugh. Call it gut instinct, foolishness, or desperation (hey…I was 30….my eggs were rotting), but I knew I would go out with him again even though all signs pointed to a disastrous date #2.
And that is my long drawn out point…..our first overnight sail was in some definitions a “disaster” (see Ben’s entry for the gory details), but in the middle of it, I knew I was meant to do this and I would do it again. I pushed myself to do
something scary and unknown. The end result was – I felt good about myself when
it was over. Just how I felt after stomping in the sand with a boot clad, unemployed homeless gypsy man. It felt good and it felt right.