One Friday afternoon back in May, a friend of mine called me up at work and asked me if I’d like to take a kayaking class the next day. Um…kayaking? Will this involve any kayaking up rivers or against tides? No? Quick check of the calendar revealed not one single thing planned for the weekend. So…kayaking! Sounds good!
I’ll admit, when we arrived on Saturday morning for our kayaking course and in walked Not-Yet-New-Boyfriend, it was not immediately love at first sight. I thought he was a lot older than I was, for a start. He had long hair, which is not something I immediately go for, generally. Also, how do you flirt with your instructor without seeming super weird or desperate?
Yeah, that’s right. He was our instructor.
I really started to notice him probably about thirty minutes into our course as he was handing out equipment. He’s actually pretty cute. I thought to myself. He was also a very good instructor and really knew what he was doing on the water. I couldn’t help but like him, he was just so cute! But that presented another dilemma. How am I supposed to flirt with an instructor!? He probably has to be nice to me regardless of what he actually thinks. How do I know if he’s really flirting or if he’s just humouring me? And add to that, I was in a WETSUIT. The most unflattering garment ever invented. I was DOOMED.
Needless to say, though I thought he may have been flirting with me, I did not get a date with KB (kayaking boyfriend) the first time we met.
(I still tease him about this, but KB was my instructor for an entire day on two separate occasions and he has absolutely NO memory of me taking those classes. I still remember quite a lot about that first day and how convinced I was that he was flirting with me. I was SO SURE that I’d made this super lasting impression and he’d OF COURSE remember me the next time I came for a lesson. That was about six weeks later and…he did not remember me. There I was, trying to look cute (NOT easy while wearing a wetsuit) and he didn’t even remember me!)
Now, this is kind of embarrassing, but after that first lesson, I actually almost turned into a total stalker. ALMOST. I didn’t actually turn into one, I will reassure you, but it was a close thing. I thought he was so adorable and he’d mentioned a local kayaking club that he went to. Hey, I thought, would it be SO strange if I chose to pursue my recently acquired interest in kayaking by attending his club? Of course not! And hey, if while I was attending said club, we had a chance to get to know each other, would that be SO odd? OF COURSE NOT.
I’m sorry to spill all our secrets, but yes, this is what girls do. We scheme. We contrive elaborate plans in order to engage an object of desire in conversation. Even at THIRTY YEARS OLD we do this. I know, I know, yes it’s immature, but whatever. It’s what we do. And I know there are women out there who will think, wait, I’VE never done that. Ok yes, maybe you haven’t. BUT YOU KNOW YOU’VE THOUGHT ABOUT IT.
Anyway, cooler heads prevailed and I never went to his club. Ok, that’s a total lie. I couldn’t find anyone else to go with me so I never actually went. I wasn’t about to go by myself, that would just be WEIRD.
Time went on and I still occasionally thought about the cute kayaking guy and mused on different schemes to allow us the opportunity for a conversation. See for all my scheming (in my head only, none actually put into motion!) I only ever wanted to give us the chance to get to know each other. I really hadn’t planned anything beyond that. I figured, if we just have a chance to have a conversation we could see if we hit it off. If we don’t have anything in common and it doesn’t go any further, then that’s fine, at least then I’d know. But a month or two went by and no further kayaking opportunities came up. I figured that was the end of the cute kayaking guy flirtation.
But, of course, you just knew that wasn’t the end of the scheming.
I had enjoyed kayaking and not just because KB was our instructor. We went on an expedition down the coastline from the sailing centre and it was amazing. We were able to paddle right up to about thirty seals sunning themselves on rocks in the harbour. There were even baby seals! It was amazing. I also had no idea how big seals were until I saw them close up. My friends had really enjoyed the kayaking too and we’d been discussing some more extensive classes or trips while the weather was still warm.
Why don’t we take some more classes at the centre? I proposed. They’re offering a course right now where we can do a few day classes at the weekend to train up and then we can go on a camping expedition! How fun, right? Very fun! My friends all happily agreed. Of course the possibility that KB would be our instructor, while camping overnight, NEVER crossed my mind.
Of course not.