On Election Day 1996, my then-boyfriend and I deliberately misheard the weather forecast.
“It’ll be a great day for voting!” the meteoroligist said enthusiastically.
“Should be a fantastic turnout at the polls!” the news anchor responded.
Well, maybe short two people. Mark and I both heard, “it’ll be a great day for boating!” and decided that indeed, we should spend the day on the lake. I was between jobs and Election Day was a holiday at his company (seriously), so we were free to do as we pleased.
We fully intended to make it to the polls, but I truly don’t remember if either of us did or not. My memory is better focused on the fact that Mark let me take over the wheel of his beloved boat for a time, in fact, until I no longer wanted to steer.
This was remarkable for two reasons: one, the law required I take a safety class first, which I hadn’t yet completed, and Mark was strict about those rules. Two, Mark didn’t let anyone, I mean ANYONE, save himself steer that boat.
Our relationship had already hit a rocky point, and we broke up a few months later, but that was a good day. We were one of a very few boats on the lake that afternoon, making the lazy, rocking feel of slow cruising ideal.
We had our routine with the boating; he would start out at the wheel, while I stood on the dock and tossed the rope that tethered the boat when it wasn’t in use. After the rope was in the boat, I would leap into the back as it was pulling away. There was no room for error, but I never failed to safely make that jump.
We each had our soft drinks, and I think that day I had brought a book. The sky was clear, and a light breeze added to the comfort. We talked about inconsequential things, stayed away from politics, although we were (excuse the pun) on the same boat there. After a couple of hours, we headed back to his place for a barbeque.
Memories are a funny thing. After a breakup, it can be easy to forget what drew us in to the relationship in the first place. But that was a great day for boating.
Photo Credit — Header (Lake View) © Kagenmi – stock.adobe.com