Of Awkward Slow Dances

When I was a freshmen in high school I understood only one thing about sex, a penis and vagina in close proximity leads to a baby. Now, how the baby formed I had no idea. I never took sex ed, I wasn’t a curious child, and I never had the sex talk with my parents. Still haven’t. I wouldn’t figure out how sex worked until my sophomore year when my health teacher demonstrated how to use a tampon on a clear plastic vagina. At which point I had a light bulb kind of moment.

So when I had my first date to Homecoming I was mortified. Truthfully I didn’t want to go with him, but I felt pressured by my friends and at the time I was too nice to say no. I cried for an hour when I got home as my teenage world began to crumble as I panicked about going on a date with a boy. I mean, the last time my family thought I liked someone my brothers wouldn’t let it go. I was preparing myself for crushing embarrassment.

Still when the time came I got ready for the dance. Sadly, I lost the only picture I had but I’ll paint a picture. I was wearing a purple polka dot dress that my mom made with my hair braided across my head like a headband. And he was in a baggy suit that did not have a corsage because I didn’t know that those existed. Making him the only boy at the dance not wearing a flower.

Basically we stood like this:

A re-enactment

Don’t we look cozy?

On the way to the dance we sat far apart from each other in the backseat of his mom’s car, who was blaring Big & Rich. And for dinner he took me to Denny’s. Yes Denny’s, where I’m sure I had some sort of breakfast food.

I don’t remember much about the dance, except for the slow dances. Now as I mentioned earlier I had no knowledge of how making babies worked. So in order to protect my innocence I danced like this:

A reenactment #2

Because I was convinced that if this:

A reenactment #3

Got too close to this:

A reenactment #4

Then he would become aroused, I’d no longer be a virgin, and possibly get pregnant. So for every slow song I danced with my butt sticking way too far out – it was definitely a learning experience.

Needless to say, we never dated.

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Of Two Countries Uniting for a Common Cause

Britney Spears Sass

I am going to tell you a tale. A tale of strength. Of unity. Of not taking anymore bullshit.

It was a Sunday like any other Sunday. Sleep in, puzzle, drink coffee, puzzle, watch TV whilst puzzling – basically we puzzle a lot. But around 8pm the puzzling ceased as we piled into a car to go dancing in Canada. Not clubbing, remember that it was a Sunday, that’d be super lame. We go social dancing, blues dancing if you want to get specific. Narrowing it down even further we go sexy-basically-hugging-dancing-to-contemporary-and-electronic-music. Think swing but slower, with a pulse step instead of a rock or triple step. And with more body rolls and dips than you can wrap your head around. Anyways, we were on our way to do that when we hit an epic border wait.

Now any border wait longer than 25 minutes brings out the asshole cutters. And any wait over 45 minutes makes the impatient people think it’s a good idea to form a line next to the line that’s trying to cut in line – yeah, it’s complicated. They’re like gnats in the middle of the path – you don’t see them until they’ve surrounded you and all you can do is bat your arm in front of your face. By that point there’s not much you can do, you’re in the thick of it. We were looking at a wait so long that the border guards wouldn’t even give us a specific amount of time to anticipate sitting in the car. All we knew is that it was going to be >75 minutes. Which when you factor in the additional time spent waiting due to the cutters, we were going to sit in line for at minimum two hours.

We were completely stopped and we weren’t even off the freeway yet. Our spirits started to dampen. We began cranking our necks to try to get a visual on just how long of a wait we were actually looking at. We were already on our second cd when people started zipping past us on the shoulder. The assholes had arrived.

Oh Hell No! We were not gonna let that fly, so I did my usual half in the lane and half on the shoulder blocking move. To my surprise, the headlights behind me followed my lead.

Together we blocked the impatient buggers all the way up the exit ramp. However once there was an opening to pass on the left shoulder, the villians made their way over there. “You got that side, we got this side!” We yelled.

And with that we inched forward, side-by-side, 1 American car and 1 Canadian car united in a battle against cheaters. My passengers high-5’d the driver, and we bonded over how people should realize that zipping around on the shoulder slows everyone down. It was beautiful.

Sadly, we lost our new Canadian friend in the chaos. But I want him to know:

Dear Canadian in the Black Truck,

My car was very sad when we lost you in the crowd, and we may never seen each other again. But we love you. Whenever we see a large black truck with BC plates we’ll peer in at the driver and hope that it’s you. Wishing that we can combat evil together again.

Sincerely,

The Blue Car with Washington Plates

Of Getting Lost in BC

Going on an adventure

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My friends and I have a tendency to get lost in Canada. A lot.

Since we all live in the States, unless we have access to wi-fi, we must revert back to the pre-cellular device days and thus are required to look for familiar landmarks, ask for directions, or try to read a map with very tiny print. Inevitably, the simplest directions somehow get clouded in an array of one-way streets, signs that we swear can only be read if you’re driving in a certain direction, and the frustrating inability to phone a friend.

But we love it.

Or, at least I do.

Nothing, and I stress nothing, is more satisfying than finally reaching your destination after hours of wrong turns. In fact, that moment when you first step out of the car is guaranteed to be the highlight of your evening. From that point on, you are floating on  a champagne filled cloud in the sky, it would take some serious what-the-fuckery to bring your buzz down.

It’s gotten to a point, where I actually kinda/sorta know where I am. Not because I’m familiar with the streets, but because I’ve been lost there so many times before. Which means that while I am not certain of where we should go, I do know which way not to go. And that my friends, is baby-steps.

The truth is, what little shame I may have, is completely gone once I get lost. And then, when I get some much needed directions, I’ll still find a way to get confused and make a wrong turn. It’s almost a guarantee.

Here’s just a sample platter of actual things I’ve done when completely at a loss for where I was:

  • Made reckless turns because in the distance I thought I saw the correct road sign.
  • Struggled to get information from a clerk who had never heard of where I was trying to go, which was the border. In the end, they gave me a blank stare and I had to ask a guy in the parking lot.
  • Stopped in the middle of an intersection and asked the flagger for a detour when they closed down the street that I desperately needed.
  • Yelled at some bros partying on a balcony.
  • Chased down a mini-van and knocked on the passenger window – the poor lady nearly had a heart attack.
  • Blocked a semi-truck with my car, hopped out, stood on the edge of the truck, and proceeded to ask the one toothed man, “Excuse me, how do I get to America?”

 

Of Storytime With Sarah

Flight of the Conchords

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There’s this thing that happens to me, a lot. Where people decide to tell me their entire life story upon exchanging initial hello’s. This fact has made the socially awkward humans latch onto me with remarkable skill.

For the most part, it’s fairly easy to evade the people who decide that now is the best possible time to tell me all about how they don’t have air conditioning in their truck and their pants are wet because they just went through a car wash (yeah … a car wash). But hey, the truck was free so maybe the heat’s not the end of the world. That swell story was told to me by a lady standing behind me at Rite Aid.

But when I’m in the work environment, there is no escape from these people (mostly men). I have to stand there and listen until work gets too busy to talk, or I get called away by another employee.

And while I’m certain that these stories were told to me with absolute confidence that I would hold my tongue, the reality is that I don’t know any of their names, so it’s about time these stories were published online where they can never be destroyed:

  • There was the guy who was in the midst of whining about how late women always are. And then decided that I’m obviously the world’s biggest sports fan. Proceeded to lift up his calf, roll up his pants, and show me his tattoo of the Yankee’s logo – which matched his hat.
  • There was the drunk guy who really wanted my phone number. Even though I said no, he chucked his phone at me. When I picked it up, I saw his calendar and said, “Man, I can’t give my phone number to someone who hands me their calendar screen!” He of course clumsily tried to fix it. “Nah man,” I said, “it’s too late.” He was drug away by his friend’s as he cried out my name until I was out of eyesight.
  • There’s a bunch of mother’s who decide that their rules are superior to the rules of the theater, so we should let their underage teenagers into a rated R movie. It’s pretty simple people. If you’re at least 17 – bring your id, or bring someone who’s 21 and over to sit and watch the damn movie with you. It’s not my fault you forgot your id, but I do enjoy watching you freak out about it and leave in a huff.
  • There was the guy who told me all about how he’s a Christian now and doesn’t want to hear any swearing.
  • There’s the nerdy high school boys who thought that my hair look like Princess Leia’s. I of course corrected them, because I did not have two buns on the side of my head. So they clarified that in that one scene, where she’s taken by Darth Vader on her own ship, she didn’t have her hair in the classic two buns. And that mine resembled it significantly.
  • There’s the lady who told me all about how she used to be a mistress to a married guy.
  • There’s this guy that frequently comes to watch children movies with coupons. Part way through the transaction he always says, “If I had my choice I’d watch something with lots of action in it.” – Even though those passes technically reflect only a dollar amount and could be used for a different movie than it’s promoting.
  • There was the guy who insisted that, “the difference between men who like men and men who like women is that men who like men don’t understand that men and women are different.”
  • There’s the little old lady who came to see Magic Mike and said, “I’m only watching it because I really like the soundtrack.”

Of Balloon Madness

Balloon Fighting

My friends Lainie and Jackie decked out in balloons.

We could be going to the bars. Instead we stay home playing with balloon animals, hats, flowers, and swords. Why? Because we’re awesome! And because my friends just learned about my secret talent. I know how to make balloon creations.

So what do I do when my best friends are in Vegas and I’m not? I go into their apartment, set up an Easter egg hunt, and decorate with balloons. Clearly I need more friends.

I wasn’t aware they didn’t know. When I attended the Lord’s Boot Camp (a two-week training period for the evangelical and handyman-esque skills teens may need on the mission field) I had the choice of wire laying or balloon making – I chose balloon making – twice. Course, two days ago marks the first time I’ve gotten bendy with balloons since I was seventeen. I think I did a damn good job.

Me With Balloons

The first balloon hat I ever made – and a flower.

This evening, rather than venturing outside and mingling with friends, acquaintances, and strangers in the way that young adults are supposed to behave. We stayed home and made MORE balloon creations. Lainie made a swan. Jackie made a flower that looked like a deformed-exploding-penis. And I made random things and a much better parrot than Jackie did – though she tried to claim that she was going for a vulture after both creations were complete.

Eventually this happened:

Then this happened:

Just because we’re all in our twenties doesn’t mean that we can enjoy some good ole’ fashion balloon fighting fun.

Of The Drunken Twin Connection

Drunk Twins

I’m going to make a grand assumption and believe that everyone knows about the Twin Connection. I mean, a generation who grew up watching Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movies, at the very least, should understand that twins are able to sense when the other is in trouble, their stomach hurts, pissed off, keeping a secret, overtly happy, has a new love interest, and so forth. It’s a miraculous skill that can only be developed in the womb.

I’m not a twin – but I know some twins.

My dear friends Britney and Dawn recently turned 21, so I along with my friend Alleschea took them out for their 21-run. Basically, a bar hopping experience where they are expected, in fact, it’s a demand that they get so shitfaced they won’t be able to function properly for three days. We decked them out in adorable birthday hats, sashes, shot glass necklaces, and bracelets – they looked fantastic, though, their shy personalities initially made them want to take all their decorations off. That simply wasn’t an option, if they wanted free drinks, they were going to wear the hats – end of story.

So they wore the hats.

I must say, I was very impressed. As a light-weight if I have three drinks, odds are I’m not going to be able to function. But bar after bar, drink after drink – they seemed fine. Alleschea and I were highly disappointed, “We’re failing!” we ranted.

Until, the eighth drink.

From that point on I watched in bewilderment as the twins went through the various phases of drunkenness in unison. It was a miraculous sight. That eighth shot brought them to stage one, denial. They were fine, hardly feeling it, don’t see what the big fuss is all about. Sure they barely sense their own drunkenness, but from an outside perspective, their mannerisms all pointed to intoxicated.

After the ninth drink, they lost their filters. Suddenly, homophobic and racists slurs were being spun out of their mouth like they lived deep within the Bible belt. An outsider would have assumed the worst of them, defiantly never would have guessed the Britney herself is Bi, as their mouths continued to offend all who did not know them. Alleschea and I laughed, almost stunned by this sudden switch in behavior.

Their final drink, number eleven, sent them straight for the bathroom.

I felt like I was in a scene from a nineties teen movie. Britney throwing up in one stall, as Dawn throws up in the other. The bathroom smelled terrible, I could hardly tolerate the odor of vomit floating around the room. After awhile the spewing stopped (at the same time), and Dawn kicked her foot out of the stall. Poor girl, she missed the toilet, her shoe and calf were covered in regurgitated beverages. I was sympathetic, but not about to help clean up.

Eventually they were both ready to exit the stalls. They locked eyes on each other, and immediately Dawn collapsed on the floor, like a child pouting in timeout. Britney ran back into the stall and spent several minutes failing to throw up. I left them like that, unable to handle the stench.

I found Alleschea who had been watching the fries we ordered this whole time.

“I can’t deal with that smell anymore. Dawn’s fallen on the floor and Britney’s still in the stall,” I said.

“I know, it’s terrible. I’ll go check on them,” she said.

She was gone for all of three minutes when she came out and told me, “We’re being kicked out, someone complained.”

I grabbed the fries (but left the basket – I have manners), and we shuffled them out the door. Originally the plan was to escort our drunken twins to the car, quickly it became apparent that they wouldn’t be able to handle a ten minute car drive as walking sent Britney in the wrong direction. That girl is a drifter, I’ve never seen someone veer to the left so intensely when trying to walk in a straight line, it was like trying to control a distracted puppy. Dawn was just fumbling around and much easier to manage. So we led them to the dock by the river.

On the boardwalk they collapsed on the ground once more, and said what every belligerently drunk person says, “How did I get so drunk?” Um, I’m going to go with eleven drinks including a double long island that you had – but hey, I’m just guessing. Eventually they stood up and leaned over the edge toward the river.

I got to offer tips I never thought I would teach somebody – how to make yourself throw up in a, “there’s too much alcohol in my system,” situation.

“Just go back a centimeter,” I said. Of course, the booze ridden twins were initially confused. “If you want to make yourself throw up the alcohol, where ever your finger is hovering to make you dry heave – go back a centimeter.” It worked like a charm, and finally we were able to take them back to the car.

And so concludes my fifth 21 run (I have five more to go). The drunken twin connection is a thing, and if you ever get the chance to witness it – prepare to be stunned with amazement.

Of Hempfest

Simpsons Hempfest

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There’s are only handful of places that I know I don’t belong: hardware stores, the zoo, prison, and a satanic chapel. This weekend I experienced a new place that isn’t exactly me – Hempfest in Seattle.

I don’t smoke. I don’t have an issue with people who do, so long as it’s not in my car or house, but personally I’ve never truly enjoyed smoking. And please don’t give me that, “But why? You’ve never smoked have you? You just need to try again,” bullshit that I get every time I turn down a joint or hookah. I don’t feel the need to explain my smoking history with people or justify my choices, calm down folks, calm down. So you can imagine how at Hempfest, a festival that literally exists to praise getting high and all of the gadgets involved, is not a place that most people picture me in – in fact, many laughed when I said where I was.

In the beginning, we were nothing but cattle being herded along the streets of downtown Seattle. The men in charge of controlling the chaos had to yell phrases like, “Bags to the left! No bags to the right!” all day long. For the most part people seemed to prefer the, I only shower once every two weeks to preserve water, look. Lots of dreads, organic loose ill-fitting garments, and tie-dye. I can’t say that it was a dashing style on anyone, but man were they ever excited. Everyone was super pumped, ready to cross that threshold into the festival so they can smoke, buy pipes, hang out with buds, and eat some serious munchies.

When standing in the long line my surroundings were what I expected. Piles and piles of dirty hippies getting high, and street merchants trying to sell “brownies” and “rice-crispies.” What I wasn’t prepared for the was the extremity of politics at the festival. Turns out that Hempfest is not just a merry place where stoners go to buy bongs, grinders (still not sure why these are necessary), and ugly hemp shirts – it’s a goldmine for politics.

When the human cattle drive was reaching an end, in the distance I saw picket signs near the entry gates. The signs said things like FEAR GOD! REPENT YOUR SINS! amongst other ‘damn you all to Hell’ language. I was fascinated and appalled. I’d never seen so many angry and delusional people, did they think they were going to touch the souls of the burnt out stoners and peace loving hippies with cries of hate and abomination? I hate Christian’s like that. I was raised Christian (my family is very religious) and while I may not consider myself devout, I still loathe when the crazies make the sane people look bad. If the sign holders would check their Bible, then they’d know that only God can see the sin in someone’s heart, making their picketing not only rude but far from Biblical – just saying.

Once passed the angry Christians there was a different type of politics. It was a liberal explosion! Everywhere I turned someone was trying to get me to sign something. People were giving passionate speeches about legalizing marijuana and anti-corporations who just want to steal money. A truck drove through the festival path (as if it wasn’t already crowded enough with humans) saying how important Hempfest is and why we should be free to smoke what we want. I must have turned down at least 40 flyers. Politics were unavoidable.

I’ve never been good at meandering, I’ve always been the, step out of my way – I’m on a mission, type. But at Hempfest I was forced to go slow, as my friends stopped at every booth that sold glass pieces. So while they shopped, I stared at the crowd. I must say, it was quite the sight. People were absolutely fearless to be themselves, and I respect that. I saw a pregnant woman with a pot leaf painted on her belly, lots of bright rainbows, fuzzy boots, belly shirts, bras, ‘I heart dope’ sunglasses, and to my surprise, children. It didn’t matter gender or age, everyone wore whatever the fuck they wanted.

Despite the police walking around people still smoked freely (apparently it’s only a problem if they use a bong, I don’t see why it makes a difference). Those that weren’t shopping sat around in circles, letting the smoke take over. I’ve never seen so many red eyes. If I smoked I guarantee I would have got more into the festival, but from my sober mentality it was the biggest street fair I’ve ever seen, the chaos stretched out for a couple of miles – and this fair had a definite target audience.

There’s one thing I’ve would have bought if I wasn’t completely broke, a handmade hula hoop.

At the third stage they played dub-step. On little side stages were dancers, but not go-go, or even slutty hippie dancers. They were hula hoop dancers, and I gotta say it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The girl who caught my attention had more of a hip-hop vibe than the other. She controlled her hoop with grace as she threw it around her effortlessly. I stared at her for about five minutes before continuing my slow walk through the festival. I’m officially obsessed and need to learn this skill.

Eventually I resumed my role amongst the cattle, walked past the picket signs, and marched up the steep streets of Seattle. But despite my out-of-placeness, it was an entertaining day.

 

Of the Jackass in the Red Shirt

Jerk

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Social rules exist. Everyone knows this, or rather, I hope they do. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are some things that are just not okay in certain social situations. Swearing at the Pastor’s house. Outing someone. Wearing a long white dress to a wedding that’s not yours. Staring up a girls dress as she climbs a tree. Crashing a baby shower. Talking loudly throughout a movie. These are just things that you should really rethink attempting.

I deal with jerks who don’t understand the basis of social etiquette on a daily basis, but I rarely let it truly bother me. Most the time I throw those people into the column of stupidity and move on. Like the man who insisted on showing me his Yankee tattoo (on his calf). Or the woman who stormed out of Ice Age 4 because she was under the impression that she had bought tickets to a documentary about the ice age and not a children’s cartoon. To these people I think, really?, laugh to myself, and move on.

But when a man insulted my most favorite hobby, the teacher, and the overall Blues culture – that’s where I draw the line.

A man in red. I don’t know his name, I don’t care to, he pissed me off. When I walked into the venue I could sense that he was going to awkwardly hit on me. And I was right. He had that look that men on the prowl get where their eyes squint (as if women are some mysterious object), widen (ah ha! they spy a female), and then attempt a casual smile (target acquired, no way she can say no to this sexy manliness). I proceeded to put on my dance shoes, fill my water bottle, and sit down against the wall. The dance floor was respectably full. Sometimes it’s fun just to watch people twirl around.

He walked up to me and started talking, but I found it challenging to follow his pointless chatter. Here’s the basics: “I’m not really much of a Blues dancer I just like to do my own thing, you know what I mean, more of a freestyle dancer, you know what I mean, like Chris Brown or Kanye West, everyone here is so into pair dancing, I’m more of a solo act, you know what I mean, I like choreography, you know, so I’m trying to figure out what the girls like for choreography, I’m here to challenge myself, I like a challenge, I’m not here just to talk and meet girls, it’s kind of like a school dance, you know?” Ugh, never have I want to wave my rainbow bracelets in a man’s face so badly and yell, “LESBIAN!!” at the top of my lungs.

He asked me to dance, and like any good social dancer, I accepted. I wouldn’t call it a dance, unless I was at a wedding, it was more like me walking back and forth while he attempted to do fancy footwork. It was lame. It was awkward. I was laughing – but he probably just thought I was smitten. For the rest of the night I did my best to avoid him (I suddenly went to go get water more often than normal).

An hour or so later I came down from the bathroom to see the man in red attacking the teacher. He was loud, angry, and contradicting himself about every twenty seconds. I couldn’t believe it! I blatantly sat down and sipped my water as I eavesdropped – not that he noticed. He proceeded to bash the group lesson format, he got mad at her for not asking for a detailed account of his dancing experience, whined that they only taught Blues (at a Blues venue … *rolls eyes*), that he couldn’t dance with any of the girls here, blah, blah, blah. Everything that he said, all of his complaints, came down to him not understanding, or even attempting to grasp the culture.

From what I understood of his conversation, which was so emotionally heated and scattered that I can barely remember what he said, he felt insecure about his dancing and thought that people should pay him a lot more attention because he’s new. Shocking as it might be to understand – we encourage new dancers to dance. Crazy right. I don’t know a single follow who will bitch to her friends that she had to dance with a beginner. She’ll bitch because she had to dance with a weirdo.

Based off his body language I determined that he ultimately he wanted to feel like a star, to have everyone ooo and ahh over his impressive skills, and ideally take a lady back to his apartment. When that clearly wasn’t going to happen, he freaked out. If he wanted special treatment he should have paid for a private lesson. He crossed the line, simple as that, in what situation is it ever okay to yell at someone who was trying to help you? I must say, I applaud the teacher, she spoke gracefully and tolerated his attack much nicer than I would have.

Social dance has rules just like any other scene:

  • If you attend the lesson do what they teach the group, don’t try to move to far ahead – remember that there’s most likely a wide variety of skill levels in attendance, sometimes you’ll have to learn the same dip/twirl/concept multiple times, consider it practice.
  • If you receive a correction don’t get offended, learn from it – I promise you’ll be a better dancer if you do.
  • If you have a question, ask – don’t expect the teacher to know that you’re struggling (like the jackass in red did).
  • If someone asks you to dance, say yes – unless you have a really good reason to say no – like a hurt joint, you’ve already promised this dance to someone else, you’re a lead who needs to change your shirt, or you already danced with him/her and they got really creepy.
  • AND DON’T DISRUPT THE EVENT AND PROCEED TO YELL AT THE TEACHER ESPECIALLY WHEN THEY’VE BEEN TRYING TO BE POLITE AND HELP YOU.

Aka – use common sense.

Of Cliff Jumping and Waterfalls

This is one of my favorite places: a hidden waterfall located near Concrete, WA.

Waterfall

Concrete is an incredibly small town that’s known primarily for meth addictions, a Leonardo DiCaprio movie that I’ve never seen, and the making of concrete. In fact the first thing one sees when crossing into Concrete is a huge slab of, well, concrete.

Concrete

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Despite the regions reputation for drug addicts, red necks, and extreme overall trashiness – the surrounding area is beyond beautiful. As you drive along South Skagit Highway, everywhere you look is fifty shades of green. The main river, wide and mighty with strength, entices fisherman while smaller creeks cross under the road (about every hundred yards or so). I swear the mountains are so close you can almost touch them. The trees, no longer a blur of green, are now detailed individually all the way up to the peak. It’s simply beautiful.

I try to go to the waterfall at least once a year. My Sister had never been to the river. To fix this, my brother and I took her out on Sunday before she leaves for Iowa to pursue her PhD in Physics. Our dad was convinced we wouldn’t be able to reach the waterfall because the rivers have been very high so far this season – we weren’t going to let something like that stop us. As it turned out the water was only a few inches deeper than usual, and definitely still hikeable.

There’s no point in trying to stay dry, it’s best to just embrace the glacier water. For a little while it is possible to balance on top of rocks but eventually it will be necessary to wade in the river. In my experience it’s not until I’ve nearly reached the big waterfall that I slip into a crevice and end up standing in ice water up to my boobs.

We hiked the normal route, from the base of the river all the way up to the rock above the wavy pool of the waterfall. And had my brother not been there that would have been the end. After risking death climbing on slippery rocks to get down after the falls, eventually we would have reached the car, got back on the road, and headed home. But my brother’s a bit more adventurous.

The water is completely clear, which makes it challenging to guess how deep some parts of the river are. There’s a certain spot about half way to the falls where the river pools at the base of an eight or ten foot cliff. When heading up to the falls we climbed around the side on the only dirt path that we used the entire hike. My brother insisted that we cliff jump instead of taking the path down. Apparently, every time he is at the falls he jumps in and then scurries back to the car. I watched as he wet his hair under a mini waterfall, shrug for dramatic effect, and disappear into the pool below.

Then it was our turn.

I also wet my hair (he was insisting that it makes the water less shocking after jumping). Sister stood behind me waiting her turn. For about forty minutes we took turns stand on the edge while my brother encouraged us to just do it. I’ve never been so paralyzed before, and I’m not scared of heights. The water was almost to clear, and appeared as though the pool below was only three feet deep. I knew it was deeper, I understood that the fall wasn’t that far, and I am a decent swimmer, but for some reason I could not move my feet. Legs trembling, I stood with my left foot behind my right waiting to take the step forward to propel me away from the rock wall I was currently standing on.

When Sister was in front of me, frozen in fear, I was ready to go. Then when I was standing still on the cliff edge, she was ready to go. It was a never-ending cycle of, yeah let’s do this! Holy shit, that’s high – are you sure I won’t get hurt? Um, how about you go first. Then my brother would groan.

My hair had dried for the fifth time so I went to stick my head in the water again. As I did so I heard my brother yell, “Yesssss!!!!!!” I turned around and saw Sister’s arm’s floating down and my brother standing in a v-shaped victory stance.

Now I had to jump, I had too, I couldn’t be the only one to not do this, I refused to pussy out like that. I was frozen. Stuck in my head, but beyond fear. I was no longer terrified, I was strangely emotionless. I wanted to go, I was ready to get back to the car, but my limbs wouldn’t move. Sister sat below, next to the pool, on a rock that reminded me of The Little Mermaid. After another five minutes she climbed up the dirt path and stood behind me.

Still I couldn’t move, and I don’t know why. I wanted to turn around but my stubbornness made me stay there.

Another five minutes passed and Sister turned around to go back down the dirt path – and, I was falling with style.

I don’t remember actually unfreezing my limbs. I remember plugging my nose (until I was inches from the water when for some reason I let go), and hearing my brother yell, “Yesssss!!!!!!” with enthusiasm.

When I hit the water it wasn’t that bad. In fact, overall the jumping and swimming was the easy part. It was the thinking, over thinking, and letting myself get psyched out, that was the hard part.

Next time, it won’t take me forty minutes to cliff jump. At least now I know the secret – if Sister’s not watching me (and in turn I’m not watching her) we can both jump off a cliff. Weird, huh?

I’m very proud that I conquered my first encounter with cliff jumping. Yet, another reason to love my favorite waterfall.

Of Swimsuit Shopping

Kate Upton Sports Illustrated

Honey, I think you need a bigger size. (Click image to view source).

The last time I went swimsuit shopping, like I need to find a suit pronto style, was back in high school. I’m going to guess I was eighteen (I’m currently twenty-three, you do the math). I bought a basic blue two piece for probably about $24. The next swimsuit I acquired was on a whim. I was twenty-years-old and it was on sale for $3, that’s right, I bought a decent string bikini for three bucks. That’s a steal if I’ve ever seen one.

This evening I ventured out in search of a swimsuit for my day at Wild Waves tomorrow. Purely because I was too lazy to make the 25 minute drive from my parents house to my apartment. I thought, it might be kind of nice to have a new suit. No longer interested in that itsy-bitsy-teenie-weenie-yellow-polka-dot-bikini, I wanted something old-fashioned and classy. Ideally like something you might see in a movie from the 1950s.

50s Swimsui

Click image to view source.

I had a shocking revelation. Swimsuits are expensive!!!

Even the shitty ones made of thin nearly see through fabrics and cover maybe three inches of skin. The average swimsuit (regardless of quality) seems to cost about $40. I couldn’t believe it, for a moment I thought about backing out of the day trip tomorrow. I also debated forking out the $20 in gas that it would take to get to my apartment and back. If my mom hadn’t been with me I probably would have backed down, fearful of the expensive prices.

I tried on several suits. What I found is that swimsuit bottoms are incredibly lame. Most of the tops I tried on were cute, but paired with a bottom I instantly looked wide and disproportionate. No wonder women feel insecure about their bodies – all the swimsuits are designed to make us look awkward. I blame the current obsession with showing as much skin as possible at the beach. It’s made for the unfortunate truth that the bottoms don’t rise to a natural place on the body. They end up being somewhere between crotch level and the hip. If they actually reached the hip (or even the waist if the brand was going for the vintage look) I guarantee girls would look prettier in swimsuits.

There was one I did love though. It was pink and rather dress-like. I was almost hesitant to try it on because I knew my friends would get a kick out of me walking around in a swim dress. But you know what? It’s adorable. I looked sexier in this despite that it’s a very modest piece of swimwear – sorry folks, but my ass will not be hanging out for you to gawk at. I felt classic, like I was living in a different time. Who cares if I’ll be the only one in a swim dress. Since when has something like that stopped me? (Um, actually it last stopped me in 2007, fyi). Here, I’ll put a picture below:

Pink Swim Dress

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After much panicking over the cost, and my mom convincing me that it’s actually a good price for a nice quality suit, I ended up spending $50 dollars. To make things better my mom bought me an awesome floppy sun hat, which I fully intend to wear.

For $10 more than it would cost me to get a bikini – I’ll be a classy broad at the water park.