Summer in Idaho is hot.
Like, fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk, hair-on-fire, painfully hot. I swear, it feels like your skin is actually melting off and I honestly sometimes crave baldness for the sake of saving my brains from frying.
Due to these ungodly conditions, we Idahoans have to find ways to cool down and one popular method is spending time out on a lake in a boat. It’s usually a really great time spent socializing and relaxing, but when I was about 16, boating took a terrible turn.
In my teen years I was really embarrassed to wear my bikini. I don’t know why. I mean, I was 16 for God’s sake–it’s not like I had any reason to hide. Anyway, I had a favorite pair of running shorts. They were the best ever. I wore them to run, to swim, to lounge around in while my skin melted off from the 105 degree weather, so naturally I wore them over my bikini when we went boating.
This is what they looked like.
It was the 4th of July weekend so the whole lake was swarming with people. It was like ants, gleeful that some kid lost all of her Popsicle to the sidewalk and the delicious sugars could be theirs. I mean, lots of people were at that lake. I was with my friend and her family and we were trying to find our other friend in the mass of people hanging around on the docks all around the lake. Basically, we were trying to find a needle in about 60 haystacks.
We’d been circling around all the different docks for an hour or so, like a shark. It was fun rocking in the wakes from the other boats, watching kids jumping and splashing, and watching folks drinking their brews while turning themselves into Boston Baked Beans.
Finally, we found our friend and her very large family. There were easily 30 people crowded onto their dock, and apparently, they had nothing better to do at that moment than watch us make our way slowly towards them.
My friend who was on the boat with me is a great swimmer. She’s like a dolphin, all graceful and majestic. She jumped from the front of the boat and started swimming towards the dock.
That looked like fun, and since I was sitting right on the edge of the boat I eagerly pushed off to join her, gleefully anticipating the cool water.
But I didn’t make it.
This is NOT what I looked like.
I opened my eyes thinking, “Wow, it’s taking a really long time to get to the water.”
To my surprise I was dangling upside down, hanging off the bow of the boat by my running shorts! Legs up and flailing, head down, face in, arms flapping. My sudden awareness of the situation caused me to start moaning like a whale. A whale. I have no idea why that was my response because it’s not really like that sound elicits an, “Oh no–she is in crisis!” response from people and they help you. As the crowd on the dock started to notice my predicament and body position, the laughter began to build louder and louder. It’s possible my situation made someone wet their pants.
My friend’s dad was on the boat and he saw my legs sticking up from the side and came to my aid. Mind you, he was laughing so hard it took him what seemed an unreasonably long time to help me. It’s understandable, considering how hilarious that must have been from his angle.
The whole time I was dangling upside down I was much less worried about hanging there than I was about losing my shorts! My bikini body, in my 16 year old mind, was not ready to be seen and now, not only was my bikini bottom going to be seen but it was possible everything underneath it-vajayjay and all–was going to be seen too!
Just as thorough panic was setting in I felt a strong pop in the band of my shorts, heard a tearing sound, and then dropped face first into the lake.
It was not as refreshing as I had originally anticipated.
To my overwhelming relief my bikini bottom stayed with me. Barely. I did a quick all-over body check to make sure everything was in place and felt the massive top-to-bottom rip in my favorite shorts.
Once my head was back above water I could hear all the laughter continuing. I saw my friends swimming over to me and then I started laughing too. By now, everyone around me was laughing so hard I saw tears in some of their eyes and some were even on the ground in fits. This spectacle made me laugh even more.
After that, the rest of the day was pretty uneventful but we had a blast and, of course, I became the butt of every single joke. I don’t even know how they managed to make me into so many jokes but they did.
All in all, my shorts were ruined but I had a hell of a good laugh. Not to mention, to this day I pretty much never get embarrassed. Ever.