Friday, February 27, 2015

My Damn Boat


(Post copyright 2015, Dawn Weber)

Like many Midwesterners, I get through winter with a combination of Netflix, foods made of cream cheese, and sporadic bouts of sobbing.

Ah yes, February in Ohio. Why go on, really? With its 28-day length, this soul-killing bucket of suck is the shortest -- yet somehow longest -- month of the year. It's endless, repeating Groundhog Days of school cancellations, icy roads, and wondering why I voluntarily live in a place where my nostrils freeze shut. I feel gray and cold. I feel hopeless and tired. I don't feel funny at all.


I feel February.


In these dark times, it helps to remember that at least the end is near. Not the end of life, no, although death sometimes seems preferable to February, but rather the end of the season. The end of the suck.


In addition to crying and cream cheese, I get through winter with shopping. Lots and lots of online shopping. And while searching for a reason to live on my laptop the other day, I remembered:


Oh yeah! I need a boat!


Yeah, I said need. I need a boat so I can learn something new. I need a boat so that I can be on the water.


I need a boat so I have something to look forward to.


True, it will be a couple months before I can use it, but the idea of getting out on any of our several local lakes and rivers come spring makes me positively giddy.


Although I've been trying, I haven't been able to convince the husband of our obvious need for a boat. Just think, I tell him, of the days on the cool lake in the hot sun. The fun we could have! The beers we could drink! The melanoma we could acquire!  


I began my campaign a few years ago, when I asked for a boat for my birthday.


"Nope," said the husband.


Not a new one, I said. A simple $6,000-$10,000 used pontoon would do.


"Nope," said the husband.


Sensing some resistance, I told him it could double as an anniversary present. I am reasonable like that.


"Nope," said the husband.


I repeated this request in 2010, 2012 and 2014.


"Nope." "Nope!" and "NOPE!!" he said.


"But why?" I asked eventually. "Why are you so against buying a boat?"


"Because they constantly break down," he said. "My brother had one. Ask him; ask anybody. The best two days of a boat owner's life are the day they buy the boat, and the day they sell the boat."


I doubted him, so I called a couple of our seafaring friends to ask about this. Neither one could help -- the first had just sold his boat, and the second was in the middle of Buckeye Lake waiting for a tow.


But, as you longtime readers know, I never let reality stop me. No sir. And while drooling over the boats section of Columbus Craigslist the other day, I remembered all the nopes, and right there I decided . . .


Fine. I will buy my own damn boat then.


Sadly, even the oldest, most pathetic, most mouse-ridden of the Craigslist boats cost too much for me, since I am footing the bill solely out of my own laughable paycheck. Indeed, my personal price range rests somewhere below "Rusted-Out Canoe" and "1974 Row Boat. Leaks. Make offer."


Feeling very tragic, I sighed and clicked out of Craigslist, figuring I'd go find solace in the nearest brick of cream cheese. It wasn't until I was knuckle deep in a month-old brick of Philly that I realized:


Oh yeah! Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com. My holy triumvirate of online shopping. Between the three of them, you can pretty much locate anything. I mean, some of these sites sell caskets, for nut's sake. Surely I could find some cheap floating fun.


I ran back to the computer, opened up Chrome, and after a just a few minutes of clicking, I found my dreamboat.



She is small, like me. She is compact, like me. She is colored yellow, like . . .


. . . my hair.


Mostly, she is affordable.


And now she will be mine. I mean, sure, she is technically a kayak; sure she is probably made of recycled 2-liter bottles, but so what? Two-liter bottles float, last I checked.


Eventually, I plan to buy another one, so the husband can accompany me and see how much fun a day on the water on top of melted Mountain Dew containers can be, especially with the twee sailing kit.




We will sail our boats on the lake, we will sail our boats on the river, we will sail our boats on the creek, we will sail our boats forever.


So ladies, if you're feeling February, itching for something new, hearing the Nopes! and getting nowhere fast, just think back to your internet friend and her little yellow soda-bottle boat. Pull out your your purse, your debit card and your laptop, but for the love of fat pants, put down the cream cheese.


And buy your own damn boat.



33 comments:

  1. Absolutely love love love it. And it's portable which means you can bring it to Florida. Pack the sunscreen though. I've had melanoma. It's not nearly as much fun as owning your own boat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wanda - I'll be right down to paddle in your shark-infested bay! I was kidding about the melanoma, and don't worry, I am the world's biggest sunscreen Nazi.

      Delete
  2. My dad had a boat for all of 2 years. It was more trouble than it was worth. Same with my husband. It's a good idea in theory but the reality is expensive and a pain. Love your little kayak though. Always wanted to try one but honestly, I'm not a summer person either. I hide from the sun, heat and humidity as much as I am hiding from this cold bucket of suck. I still haven't set foot in my yard since 1/25. There's still three feet of snow in it and on the deck.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JoJo - Yes, as much as it pains me to say it, my husband may be right about boat ownership being an expensive PITA. I hear over and over again the tales of expensive boat breakdowns. Though I love summer, I'm with you on the snow. I only go outside to get in and out of my car.

      Delete
  3. I would LOVE to buy my own damn boat!!!"

    Asking me to put down the cream cheese, though? Baby, them's fighting words.

    Unless we can exchange cream cheese for gravy?

    Permanently marred by my seams,

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, OK, Pearl - keep the cream cheese.
      But do pass the gravy!

      Delete
  4. Seems like the perfect boat for you :) I had heard too about what your husband had said about boat owners with their happiest days. I think I would like to rent a boat first and then see if I would like it enough to actually buy it. Lots of people though do enjoy living on their boats. Not sure I could do that.

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Betty - I like the idea of renting a boat too, and have looked into renting boats, and it is unbelievably expensive. Something like $600 for a half day. That's crazy! Almost as crazy as living on a boat - I don't know how people do that, either.

      Delete
  5. Friends of mine have a couple of open kayaks like that and they ABSOLUTELY LOVE them! Good pick!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Debra! Yes, I wanted a sit-on top kayak - didn't like the idea of being trapped upside down in a regular kayak. This one got good reviews, especially from women who said it was lightweight and also can fit in a car such as a Honda Accord (with the seats folded down). I'm excited!

      Delete
  6. So I see you have have the last issue of Sky Mall?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ray - Are you mocking my twee sailing kit? ;0)

      Delete
  7. I have a boat, a blow up raft. Three years now I've had it. Maybe four. I LOVE my raft! I dream of being out on the lake with my raft in the winter. I've had so much fun with it, even though it's work, to row it, to wrestle the awkward folded pile of vinyl into the car, to blow it up in a parking lot. I hope your boat just as much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Strayer - that is so cool to hear! Sounds like a blast. I'm really looking forward to getting out there the way you do!

      Delete
  8. Just one small piece of advice. Lose the sail. You will go with the wind and never be able to get back. Stick with the paddle. They do make some small outboard motors now. You may be able to figure out how to mount one on Mountain Dew bottles. Maybe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jono - Good advice. Even if I used the sail, I would have the paddle, too. And you're right - one of the reasons I bought this boat was that one of the reviewers said because of its shape, you can put a little trolling motor on the back, which I plan to do.

      Delete
  9. I'd need a two-person so my husband could paddle for me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, Lisa! They sell two-person ones very similar to this. Paddle away, Mr. Tognola!

      Delete
  10. I laughed out loud when you sensed your hubby's resistance. I've gotta say, though, he's pretty damn smart. Yet you out-smart him every time.

    That's an ADORABLE boat. I wanna see some pictures of you kayaking. Congratulations, Boat Owner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robyn - Every time, Robyn, every time! Thank you, I think it will be a bunch of fun, especially on the rivers. :)

      Delete
  11. Why not buy a coffin and sail in it? Then when the times comes, you're ready to go underground.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janie - Not a bad idea. It's a two-fer. I like it!

      Delete
    2. Janie - Not a bad idea. It's a two-fer. I like it!

      Delete
  12. Instead of cream cheese and crying make mine beer and man-tears, but I feel you. And as for the boat... that thing come with floaties? You don't need a reliable boat when you've got a good pair of floaties and a strong pair of legs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess you're right. But you'd end up holding your beer underwater. This thing has a cup holder.

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. And as I told Shower Beer above, my damn boat has a cupholder! All aboard, Al!

      Delete
  14. Now that sounds like a maritime adventure in the making. Little boats make big stories~

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm one of those oddballs that LOVES a Midwestern winter :) crazy I know.

    ReplyDelete
  16. You need to live somewhere warmer. Me too. This freezing thing is for shit. At least then your hubs may appreciate the boat. Or you can look at the ones that do when you're out on the water.

    ReplyDelete
  17. cheap floaty fun is my middle name. Well, actually it's Michael, but if I ever get a time machine I'm heading back to tell my Dad to call me that instead. It just seems more me, really!

    ReplyDelete
  18. cheap floaty fun is my middle name. Well, actually it's Michael, but if I ever get a time machine I'm heading back to tell my Dad to call me that instead. It just seems more me, really!

    ReplyDelete