Two weeks before I got onto the online dating site, I broke my big toe on my left foot in an unfortunate accident with a freakishly heavy vase. Long story short, the vase is still intact while my toe was smashed like a cherry tomato hit by a falling brick.
As I contemplated dipping my toes into online dating, I wasn’t even sure I should be getting my broken big toe wet at all, let alone taking it kayaking (see A is for Alcohol), and so I swaddled it carefully in gauze and waterproof bandages. I am sure I mentioned it to my prospective date, but she didn’t seem terribly concerned. Possibly a bad sign.
My second date and I bonded a little over broken toes before we met in person, and that felt better. A little empathy goes a long way toward drawing people in. And by the time we put our paddles in the water together, my toe had recovered a bit more, and the salt water felt good on my flattened digit.
And that date went well. We set out on a Sunday afternoon in rough waters, and I wasn’t sure my little tub of a kayak was up for it, but the winds died down as the afternoon wore on. We had a slight breeze at our backs as we rowed in unison, marveling at the seals dotting the shoreline and oohing over the enormous schools of tiny silver fish. The Indigo Girls should have been singing Power of Two in the background. It was that perfect.
We meandered our way back to the boat launch, sharing stories, stopping at a beach for a cider and some snacks. Once we landed, she left her rental kayak on the beach to be picked up, and I schlepped my boat up the ramp to my Jeep.
(I should mention here that exactly a week before, I had purchased a new Jeep, similar to my old Jeep but different enough that I was still figuring a few things out)
As she tended to her rental paperwork, I contemplated how to best get my kayak into the back of the Jeep: open the back door or just lift the boat over it? I opted for the latter but lost my grip, sending the kayak skidding to the gravel, and taking my right index finger with it, trapped as it was in the lip of the cockpit. I can’t remember ever feeling a twang like that. It reverberated all the way up my arm.
I mean, my finger didn’t fall off, but dammit, that hurt. I ignored the pain in my finger long enough to recover the kayak and wrestle it back into the Jeep. I wanted to cry, but instead I jammed my fist under my left armpit and said goodbye to my date. We agreed we’d like to see one another again.
As I watched her drive away in her sexy little hybrid, I opened my fist to examine the damage.
Well, I thought, that can’t be a good sign.