"The best education is usually expensive, and not in terms of money."-- Ed Cox, my dad
My "encounter" with surfer-carpenter-dude Eric (not his real name) and my subsequent decision to hire him for my home remodel did indeed lead to some priceless "education." Of course, I didn't get the lesson until it was too late.
The surfer dudes I met there (while definitely masterful and macho) exhibited a kind of "mafioso" approach to their activity and definitely their turf. I learned many things during my "cute surfer boys" episode, courtesy of Eric.
- A full day's work is always, always pre-empted in favor of waves. ALWAYS.
- His hourly "safety meetings" when he DID work had nothing to do with safety and weren't really meetings, but actually smoke breaks. (And by smoke, I don't mean tobacco cigarettes.) That should've been my first clue.
- The surfer world in Santa Cruz does NOT resemble the surfer world in the Gidget movies and Beach Boy songs. You may say, "well, DUH!" But to a gangly bespectacled adolescent growing up in Columbus, Georgia, those movies and songs were like a travel documentary.
Even so, I continued to trot down to The Lane, and consequently became enchanted with all the surf competitions held there. This led to my taking a couple of surfing lessons, with decidedly comical results. Such as, bawling like a little girl when the instructor told me to let go of the board and fall into the water. I was SURE I would drown. (Did I mention I was not a good swimmer and truly afraid of deep water?) Of course, I didn't drown. I suppose I really just wanted to look cool carrying around a surfboard, thinking the cute surfer boys would pay attention. HA! My flailing and splashing would've only attracted attention from the life guards. (Hmmmm...interesting approach, maybe?)
During one of my daily treks to The Lane, I met Steve (not his real name), a surfer visiting from the East side. In contrast to Eric's Norwegian blonde hair and blue eyes, Steve had dark hair, an olive complexion, rippling muscles, and a fondness for Crown Royal. He gave me the funniest response I've ever gotten to my surfing adventure. I described my experience as being totally counter-intuitive, in that one actually races TOWARD the big wave coming at them, and then STANDS UP on what feels like a very narrow piece of wood. To which he replied with all seriousness, "Lady, you can't use big words like that. I'm a surfer." I guess the term "counter-intuitive" threw him for a loop?
Anyway, seeing as how I figured the surfing thing was beyond me, I eventually gave up on the idea of turning heads on a surf board. Besides, as most Black women will tell you, we really don't like to get our hair wet. Probably explains why I never saw any in those dang Gidget movies!
Next time: I decide to delve into the world of the cosmic, heart-centered, and spiritually-inclined artist. One of the key words from this episode is "broke."
p.s. I eventually did catch a couple of waves on a boogie board -- absolutely some of the most FUN I've ever had, wet hair and all.