I had been trying to get together with a friend of mine for a couple of months with no success. Work and prior obligations prevented us from finding a date that worked for both of us. But a couple of weeks ago I got an email from her.
She told me that a friend of a friend of hers had a yacht. And every summer this fine individual rents out said yacht to a group of 50 people for a nighttime sail around the island of Manhattan. The price was 50 bucks for a spot on the boat, snacks, and all the beer and wine you could drink. It was first come first serve.
I was all aboard.
Normally I don't get too excited about boats (several different motion sickness experiences) but I was pretty pumped about this boat trip. I had hit a lull in my life lately. I hadn't done anything new or made any new friends in a while and I was hoping for something to bring some new energy to my existence. The boat held the promise of that.
Aside from my dear sweet friend who invited me, I would know almost nobody on the boat. Perfect! A bunch of strangers would be trapped at sea (or river) with no escape. They would have to become my friends. I would make them love me. Be my friend or walk the plank.
Now, I've done boat cruises around Manhattan before and they are nice enough. But be they after proms or other special events you often end up trapped on an abused, cramped, indoor, megaboat with a bunch of hideous Jaeger swilling folk from the suburbs.
I mean no offense because I used to be one of them... from the suburbs, not a Jaeger swiller.
So when the day of the yacht trip came I was excited to be on a small boat full of beers with a bunch of good people that had come pre-recommended by my friend. To get to the yacht though was actually quite involved.
I had to leave Manhattan, the island I was currently on, to get on a boat to go to New Jersey, where I would get off that boat and get on our yacht, to sail around the island I had been on in the first place.
When my friend and I arrived at the dock, she saw a large group of her friends had already gathered. The girl coordinating the whole trip had a mohawk. How could you not like that?
But as I was introduced to people and started shaking hands, I noticed something. There were a lot of girls. I mean that didn't really surprise me because no matter what I do, many women have chosen to do the same things. All of my jobs since college have been in departments of all women, the writing classes I take are largely female, heck, even my knitting circle is all women. I mean come on!
So I shook every woman's hand, all 20 of them. Very nice girls, smiling, laughing, holding hands, kissing.
I think this is a good time to point out that my friend who invited me is a lesbian. So when she said I would be seeing a lot of her friends I figured I would be meeting some lesbians. I did not know that everyone would be a lesbian.
So myself and the lesbians all headed to New Jersey to meet up with some more friends who would be joining us on the yacht. We arrived and found them. More girls. Standing in pairs. Holding hands.
So we get on the boat and find some spots and get ready to set sail, but we can't leave because of the threat of lightning. Apparently lightning is bad for boats. I had already paid my 50 bucks so I wasn't going to go home at this point.
While sitting and waiting, myself and the lesbians quickly went through all of the beer that had been put out. We started discussing what the owners of this boat had meant by "all you can drink." I'm no redneck but I can drink more than 1 beer. I mean is that all they thought I could do? Just because I was on a boat full of women didn't mean anything. Let's not start judging others. OK boat people?
As I glanced around at my shipmates, some 30 lesbians, a trio of straight guys, and 1 straight girl, I started getting the feeling I was filming a spot for an alternative lifestyle cruise.
"Hey there, are you tired of being straight? Do you hate being around people of the opposite sex? Try hanging out with a boat full of lesbians! Set sail on the Lez-Boat! It will change your perspective."
This was becoming a recurring theme in my life.
I had come out to make some new friends and have a good night. I wasn't looking for anything more. Certainly I wasn't hoping for a Match.com boat or anything. But as I looked around the good ship estrogen, I noticed something else. There was only 1 other single, straight, male on the boat and I felt bad for him. Because while this boat was full of women, this was the worst place on earth to actually flirt with one.
You see every guy has had feelings for a girl in a relationship. Somewhere in our hearts we harbor (boat joke) some hope that these women will abandon their dooshy boyfriends and date us. That is always a possibility in our minds. Chances are slim, but they are still there.
But girls in relationships with other girls, even if they break up with those girls, they are only going to date another different girl. It doesn't matter if she is single or married, or a swinger, you my straight friend are not even part of the equation.
Thankfully another cooler of beers appeared which squashed my existential thoughts of dating. And we also left the dock at the same time. So I forgot my theorizing and threw back some beers as we sailed on the low seas.
Though muggy it was a beautiful night and we were starting to really enjoy the night.
Until of course, it started to pour.
I'm not sure if there is a speed limit on the Hudson River, but the speed that makes casually cruising around Manhattan on a summer night a delightful affair, is not nearly fast enough for avoiding a squall full of wet thundery lightning.
On the boat there was a flurry of activity as we grabbed our jackets and hoodies and ponchos and huddled around each other trying to stay dry. And the boat sped off into the night... at 4 miles an hour.
DAMN IT BOAT LET'S GO!
It was like being in a geriatric episode of Miami Vice. It was like if you were completely engulfed in flames and tried to put yourself out by walking leisurely around the park.
I came to terms with the fact that our boat was not going to break any sort of speed records and resigned myself to just getting drenched with the rest of my new lesbian friends. In fact by the time I got back to the dock I was soaked to the bone and completely gross.
But it didn't really matter because no woman would have found me attractive anyway.
I do love my life.