and now for... the REST of the story!
While it is true that the five day kayaking trip was fun, I have to admit that there were significant portions of the experience that sucked.
I predicted, actually, that there would be conflict on this trip the likes of which our group had not yet seen. It was palpable the night before trip when we met at J's to load up the boats and gear so we could get a smooth start early the next morning. There was just something in the air, some tension, some snappishness.
I was standing off to the side watching the proceedings when my current favorite kayaking friend, Holly, came over to say hi. I made my prediction then that there would be major conflict on this trip. Holly's girlfriend Reg joined our little huddle and we all put bets on how long it would take for the conflict to erupt and who the major players would be.
Turns out none of us had it all right, but the basic idea was totally on target. K.O., the so-called "activities coordinator" of the group, became increasingly bossy and shrill as the trip wore on. There's no point in recreating all the annoying moments for you. Suffice it to say, most of us got really tired of being screamed at on the water for five days. Screaming at your adult friends is really unacceptable. You will find yourself alienated, and fast.
It wasn't just her, though. By the end of it, I was annoyed with almost every one of the women on the trip and I could not WAIT to get off the water and away from them. A few made it out unscathed. But the rest...?
So I think I'm ready to take a break from my kayaking group. The real hint from the universe came yesterday when my little pewter kayak fell off my keychain. The kayak was a gift from a member of the group to everyone and I immediately put it on my work keychain so I could always think of the good times while I was slaving away at my job. Yesterday I reached into my pocket to pull out my keys, and the little kayak fell off and clanged on the ground. I took that as a sign that it's time to take a break from my group.
I have loved those women like family, and I'm sure it isn't totally over, I just need some space. Maybe I can find some new friends who like to kayak...