There usually isn't more than one person in front of me in line for coffee at the Holy Donut at 7:45 on a weekday morning. Sometimes I'll treat myself to a donut, but not always. I tell the person behind the counter (if they ask) that if I only get them sometimes it's more special. Whatever, leave me alone. Anyway, it was 8:40 on a Saturday and I was already five minutes late. But I desperately needed that coffee and donut. Lately I've been rockin the Old Fashioned, because honestly it's just as good as Chocolate Sea Salt. These donuts can stand alone. I should've left even earlier, however, because the line was visible from the street. That is, out the door. I made a joke to the elderly couple behind me that I thought the line would go faster if the individuals in front of us only got donuts for ourselves. This is why: ohhhh, I think I'll get a half.... no, a dozen to bring to the office. Lemon... no wait, is that Pomegranate? Are the Pomegranates organic? Wait, is there any grape in the Pomegranate because we have someone with a grape allergy. Yeah, oh and two gluten-free. And one bacon-cheddar for me. Can I have a bag? Or the people trying to corral like, five kids under the age of 10. Anyway, the people behind me also ordered a half dozen, which made me feel pretty silly as I walked out, now a solid 15 minutes late for paddleboarding.
Paddleboarding? You mean like, in the middle of the ocean? That thing that crazy people do on surf boards, with no propulsion, life jackets, or anything? Oh, that's what you want us to do for your Bachelorette party? Oh. Um. Yeah? Are you sure we can't go whitewater rafting? That seems safer.
This is how I found myself at Summer Sessions in Rye Beach, New Hampshire. The air, tepid. The waves, mild. The sun, beaming. I probably didn't have enough coffee, sleep, or confidence in my swimming techniques to feign enthusiasm, but I was happy enough to see the bride-to-be to fake it. My tardiness fed my anxiety like egg cartons in a camp fire, but then I remembered it's a surf shop.
The boards were ridiculously fucking heavy and my wetsuit made me look like I was rounding my second trimester (see below). Cam and Corey, our instructors, clearly demonstrated and exhibited plenty of patience. Once I stood up, my thighs trembled like leaves. I asked Cam if it was because I was nervous. He disagreed, likely attributing it to my rarely used core muscles. "Yes, I work in an office." "This is my office, right Corey?" He's lucky he was cute.
So I'm standing, floating and paddling. It's kind of like being in a canoe, except there's no cooler to reach back for. Simply looking around proved difficult because of the simultaneous precarious balancing act, but it was such a beautiful day that I don't mind staring straight ahead and only straight ahead.
It's like we were walking on water!
Eventually, after 3/5 of us have fallen in, it was time to make our way back to the shore. This is much more difficult, but also rewarding because there might be some actual riding of waves. Somehow I've fallen a bit behind from the rest of the group and Cam hangs back with me. I asked him if he was from the area, he said no, etc. He moved here from NC to work on his MCATs. I started excitedly relaying how my old roommate was accepted to medical school and how ridiculous and expensive the interview process seemed. As I began detailing her meticulously perfect interview outfit, I suddenly found myself underwater. Little distracts me easier than talking about shoes. This wasn't me, but it may as well have been:
(apparently she stopped paddling.)
Everything was downhill from there. Since I never made it back up from my knees, I must've looked pretty pathetic because Cam offered to carry my board back. I protested once; he said no, you've worked hard today. Okay! Don't have to ask me twice!
Oh, and he invited me to a keg party later! We instead chose to hunker down around the fire in Kittery Point. But I definitely enjoyed bragging to the rest of the group about my exclusive invite from the pre-med surfer. What else are bachelorette parties for?
And here's a selfie before we hit the road.
I don't know why but when we viewed the slideshow of the day at 11:30, after the 6 of us went through a few bottles of champagne, a handful of beers and a few whiskeys, these two images of Cam and Corey running back to escort the second two lucky ladies into the water was hysterical. Even sober, it still it. Look how much air Corey is getting! Like our own personal Baywatch or something.
My thighs and between my shoulder blades ached for the two following days.