Sink-o de Mayo

Story Submitted by Martin:

In high school, I dated Vera, who lived in a gated community that had its own private lake.  She invited me to the community's Cinco de Mayo party, which sounded like fun, since she said that we could take out her family's little kayak on the water.

An amateur kayaker myself, I took her up on the offer.  The party itself was okay – mostly middle-aged folks eating vague approximations of Mexican food.  Vera and I took out the kayak on the water and made for the island in the center of the lake.  I sat in front, she sat in back.

We hadn't been rowing for too long when I found that we weren't making much progress.  I turned back to face her and found that she was rowing backward.

I said, "This isn't working.  You're rowing the wrong way."

She asked, "Have you ever used a kayak before?"

I said, "Yes.  You have to push the water behind you in order to move ahead.  You're pushing the water forward."

She said, "You don't even know how to use a boat, and now I'm stuck out here with you."

I replied, "Just watch me row.  You'll see, we'll move forward."

She said, "You know what?  I'm not stuck with you at all."  With that, she dropped her oars, jumped into the water, and tried to overturn the kayak.

"Cut it out!" I yelled, using the oars to propel the kayak away from her.  She let go.

"Come back!" she called, swimming after me.  I stopped the kayak about twenty feet away, thinking that by the time she swam over, she might have cooled down.  She didn't.  She wrapped her arms around the boat and rocked it back and forth.  I rowed forward, making for the island.  She wasn't able to overturn the boat, and instead opted to let go again and swim back towards the party.

I turned the boat around and made for her with the intent to pick her up and bring us both back to the shore.  When I caught up with her, though, she tried to overturn the boat a third time, until finally giving up.  She clutched the side of the boat as I brought us back to shore.  She ran up the grassy embankment, past the party, and back to her house.

I followed her there, but all the doors were locked and she didn't answer her phone.  I went back to the party for a little bit, then left.

She wrote me an email that night that said, "I'm breaking up with you."

I wrote back, "Good," and that was that.


  1. Obviously she was embarrassed at not rowing correctly, and as a immature high school-er, she didn't know how to handle it besides going off the handle. The fact that the OP probably put on a superior air (i was rather immature at that age too) about his 'skills' wouldn't help. What he should have done, was stop rowing himself, and just let her see what happened, although this probably would have ended up the same...

  2. agreed. can't fault OP for veras crazy bitch syndrome, but the mature thing would be to do it her way to let her see how wrong she was instead of a my way or the highway attitude.

    i also have to wonder if she wasn't just trying and failing the get in the boat (that can be really hard) rather than trying to overturn it.

    still, high school. he gets a pass from me.

  3. Wow Joshua, really? OP put on a "superior" air? It's not like he's explaining the Schrodinger's equation to her. It's simple rowing.

    Actually, I think Vera was purposely being contrarian and knew full well that she was rowing the wrong way. She just wanted to be weird.

  4. Maybe Vera thought she was in a row boat instead of a kayak... Or actually I say the rebuttal would be that she was trying to be playful and the OP was way too anal about wanting to kayak for real. Seems like they both would have had a good time if he had just played along and jumped in the water...

  5. ^ Last time I checked the paddles still have to be used from front to back to go forward regardless of whether you're in a row boat, kayak, canoe, etc.


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