My aunt and uncle have a boat and belong to a private lake. The lake is so private only a few boats are ever on it at one time, which means they can feel very bourgeoise without anyone having to see them, which may defeat the purpose, but they’re not the type to flaunt. Talk about the boat like a third child, yes. But flaunt about the lake, no. After all, we’re descended of farmers, flaunting is just not in our nature.
However, sometimes the aunt and uncle take pity on their poor relations, ie, those of us who only have condos in Vail, not boats, and they take us out on the lake. Such was the case today, when, in the great American tradition of Father’s Day, we decided to do what every American family should want to do and go water-skiing, eat ribs and strawberry shortcake, and hang out at the lake.
The key words being that these are things we should all want to do. However, perhaps not all families contain a pasty writer child who burns in the sun, cannot water-ski, and doesn’t really look like she belongs on a boat. Don’t get me wrong, give me enough time and I can assemble one hell of a boating outfit – navy and white stripes, loafers, a fetching head scarf, the whole thing, very Ralph Lauren – but then I’d have to actually go out on the water, and then the ensemble would be shot to hell anyway, so why bother? If I’m actually going to be forced into the water, then a black bikini under my wetsuit will do.
I’m not sure when it became the American dream to go boating and barbecuing all the live long day, but it seems to be a pervasive myth. When I told people I was “going out to the lake” they were very impressed and made envious noises about how fun that would be. What they didn’t know was that “going out on the lake” means cheering for my cousins, who look like they were purchased at Abercrombie Kids, while they wake-board, and then listening to them laugh at me while I attempted to put my water-skis on. This, of course, was only a little overture to how hard they laughed at me when I tried and failed, several times to even get up on the skis. And then, when I finally did get up, they tell me “way to stay up for a whole five seconds!” Annoyingly, the exclamation point was one of sarcasm, not excitement, so I guess it should be a sarcastic point instead.
In the end, I can at least say I went on the boat – apparently, flaunting is in my nature. And come November, I’m going to kick some cousin butt on my snowboard. And when we all go to the condo, you better believe I’m going to laugh when they lock themselves in the bathroom, as they inevitably and annually do.