**Regular readers: Sorry for the delay in posting. I blame the sunshine and red, white and blue mania.**
For those that are geographically challenged, Chicago has the luxury of curving around Lake Michigan. As such the edge of the city is dotted with harbors for all the people in the city with boats.
I do not have a boat. Please excuse me while I take a minute to sob into my cornflakes.
I normally don’t care that I don’t have a boat, as Chicago sees on average about 4 months of good weather a year. But in those 4 months I’m so sad at my lack of wads of cash to be able to purchase a boat and rent a docking station so that I can go out on the lake and spend leisurely afternoons drinking champagne and laughing at all those tanned and perfectly shaped 20 somethings squeezed onto North Ave beach.
Enter my amazing and awesome friend, who has a friend, who has a boat. Let me reenact the phone call earlier in the week:
Me (seeing my celly blowin’ up): “What up yo!”
Friend: “What are you doing Friday?”
Me: “I don’t know. What am I doing Friday?”
Friend: “Going out on a boat. It’s my friend’s and she said I could invite someone.”
Me: “Exactly how many sexual favors will this cost me? And yes I’m willing to do them all.”
Not only was I stoked to go out on a boat, I was also stoked because I’ve never swam in a lake and an opportunity had finally presented itself. “What?!” you may scoff. First off, swimming in water right by a city is nasty. Second, I’ve hit up rivers, but never a lake. And finally I’m an ocean baby. Give me seaweed and crabs and jellyfish any day. I know what those suckers look like. What’s in a lake? Fish? I mean actual fish swimming by me? Creepy. Not to mention that rivers and oceans are always moving so the stillness of a lake makes me feel like a giant monster is going to pull me under and eat my face.
So we wake up two days ago to the crappiest prediction of weather you could possibly imagine. All week our super intelligent weathermen and Amy Freeze (really? Is that your actual name or did you just think it was just clever for a weatherwoman to have that name?) had been predicting that the sun was going to be shining all day and it was going to be in the 90’s, getting close to 100. Screw you weathermen (and Amy Freeze). Because it was cloudy all day and 70. You suck.
We decided that we were going to go anyway. I mean, miss a chance on a boat?! Hell no. So we show up and it’s pretty obvious we aren’t leaving the dock. Bummer. But the ladies we were partying with were pretty cool and we were having drinks on a boat on a Friday when everyone else was working, so life was looking pretty rock star.
Later in the day the husband of the woman who owned the boat showed up and I saw him jump into the harbor right by the dock. “Eww, gross!” I thought. I asked him if the harbor was polluted and he said that is wasn’t actually, that the wind in that area took all the trash north. Looking in I realized that sure enough, it was actually pretty clean. Well, clean for a city harbor at least. I wavered on jumping in for the next hour. I wanted to. The sun had finally shown it’s illusive face and I was dying to use my new bathing suit. Eventually, after another Skinny Girl Margarita, I said, out loud, “Screw it.” I took off my dress, grabbed my towel and jumped in.
Now something to consider about Chicago’s waterways: The sun is not that strong here until around August. Therefore, the water is not warm here until around August. I mean I could still breath, it didn’t feel like my heart stopped, but it was still freakin’ cold. I think the water temp was in the 60’s.
There was a woman who was chilling on the dock having a beer by the boat next to us that saw me do this and as I was jumping squealed, “You’re getting in?!”
“Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh shit!” I huffed as I climbed out.
“Cold right? But I bet you’re used to it right now and could jump back in.”
Not one to pass up a given risk (at least not this year), I said, “Okay,” and jumped back in.
My friend was feeling a little jealous and said, “I’m doing this!” She stripped down to her bathing suit and jumped in too.
Feeling the need to up this even more, my friend and I asked for life jackets, put them on like diapers (yes, you read that right) and leaped off the front of the boat. Now this one freaked me out a little more. For one we had seen a huge fish swim by earlier. For another, this leap was a little bigger and I had to gain some distance to not find myself coming up under the boat. It took me a second but I finally jumped. Even though I later joked with my husband that I now had gangrene (my go-to condition that I could develop in random and weird situations), I was so happy to be bobbing around in that harbor.
It wasn’t the same as jumping off in the middle of the lake, but with the amount of nasty that we potentially jumped into and the fact that a boat could decide to pull in at any moment, this was probably a little risky than if I had jumped in 2 miles out. I hope I don’t develop a rash.