After weeks of not-so-subtle hinting, a friend of mine recently invited me to spend the weekend at her family’s cottage in Muskoka. Water I could actually swim in without turning into Blinky, the three-eyed fish from The Simpsons? Sign me up!
Since Canada Studen Loans owns my ass and I probably won’t have a car until 2072, my friend offered me a lift with her and her boyfriend in her convertible. Now this was something. I think the last time I was in a convertible was when I was four and won the “Little Miss Stellarton” pageant. I got to ride around town in the homecoming parade on a 1989 Camaro. Good times.
Anyway, I’ve discovered that riding in a convertible is a lot like going to the drive-in movie theatre: great for the two people in the front, miserable for the poor sucker in back. Only, instead of struggling to get a good view of the film, you’re struggling not to get beaten to death by 100km/hr gale force winds the entire time.
What I looked like:
But if getting the sh*t blown out of you in the backseat of a convertible is your biggest problem, then friend, you don’t have any problems. And it all proved to be worth it once we got to the cottage. Between the 12 or so of us, we had enough food, booze, games and ironic hats to make even the worst of your troubles fade away:
Although I hadn’t even been back to the grind for two weeks, it was still nice to get away and replace such urbane concerns “how many hours have i billed today?” and “how many miles have I logged on the treadmill?” with the much more important questions of “how long has it been since I last applied SPF?” and “who’s going to get me another Corona?”
This weekend was also the first solid chunk of time I’ve ever really spent at a lake. Growing up a stone’s throw from the Atlantic, I had always just assumed oceans were far superior. What did I want with a puny old lake when I had 22% of the Earth’s surface in beautiful, glistening H2O right at my fingertips?
But this weekend as I lounged on the dock and floated idly on a paddleboard, it occurred to me that maybe I had judged lakes too quickly. For one thing, this water was warm enough to actually swim in… unlike the Atlantic, which will make you cry and then freeze your tear drops until at least late September.
I started mentally composing a list of other “pros” to lakes:
1. You don’t have to deal with sand. While its lovely to look at, there’s something to be said for not having unwanted sand particles clinging to your wet skin, whipping you in the face, or, worst of all- burrowing irretrievably into your lady parts. (amiright ladies?)
2. You can put a diving board RIGHT ON THE DOCK . My inner 8 year old’s mind was blown by this.
3. There are No jellyfish to contend with. Trust me, peeps- you don’t want to deal with those suckers. Just look at what they did to the Crocodile Hunter. (ok, so that was a Stingray… but close enough)
4. Your Shellac manicure won’t be ruined by swimming in them. Ladies- take heed: salt water will strip that sh*t faster than Nadia Suleman on a pole. Trust.
5. “Lake Showers” After a swim in the ocean, showering is pretty much a non-negotiable, given both the aforementioned “sand in lady parts” predicament and the salt residue that forms a visible film all over your skin. In a LAKE, on the other hand, one quick dip will wash away all your iniquities and cleanse away all your sins. Or, at least your mascara from last night, anyway.
Lakes were starting to look pretty good at this point. But, then I thought back to my beloved Atlantic, and of course had to construct a corresponding list of Pros about Oceans:
1. Seafood. Although I’m all about considering the lobster these days, I still love me a fresh catch.
2. Sand castles/digging giant holes for no reason. Really, is there anything better?
3. Wavy beach hair- that you don’t have to buy in a bottle.
4. The wound-healing power of salt water. (Ok, so I haven’t actually used the ocean to clear up any festering wounds lately, but the point is that I could)
5. Sandbars (see #2)
6. Surfing (who am I kidding, I also never do this)
7. That salt water smell. mmmm
So by a completely arbitrary score of 7-5, it looks like oceans win! Phew. I was starting to get worried Nova Scotia might get wind of this and expatriate my lake-loving ass… but alas, I live to breathe fresh air another day!
Question of the Day: Which do you prefer, lakes or oceans?
Feel free to throw other bodies of water into the mix too- bays, rivers, gulfs, a pool of Ryan Gosling’s sweat.. whatever tickles your fancy, really.