Several years ago Thomas phoned with a big announcement, “I have a surprise for everybody. I’m driving up now.” The children and I raced outside, filled with laughter, and saw the object that challenged my wedding vows and changed my life forever—a boat. Not just any boat. A blue boat, its glittering paint sparkling in the sunlight. It reminded me of the Mike Benet pageant gown I wore in the Beaufort Water Festival. The children were thrilled. They thought it was beautiful.
Thomas is a man of good taste. Seeing him behind the wheel of that mirage-like, rhinestoned blue sequined boat seemed totally out of character. Thomas is more like Ward Cleaver than Larry the Cable Guy, or so I’d thought.
Maybe that sparkly boat was his queenly tribute to the fact that he had dated two Miss Americas. “Did you know the boat was this color?” I asked hesitantly.
“Well, I knew the boat was blue, but not this kind of blue,” Thomas replied, not making sense. What frightened me the most was the massive engine attached to the stern. Yes, I said stern. Here lies yet another problem. I know very little about boats. Honestly, the entire thing resembled a piece of blue, rhinestone-encrusted plywood with a space shuttle engine attached to its rear.
To make boating even more interesting, Thomas honors only two speeds: dead still and g-force fast. We were in trouble.
The boat did well in the lake near our home but taking it to the ocean brought new challenges. Tide changes create banks—big islands of pluff mud and/or oyster shell beds. We knew where practically every bank was located—we hit all of them. I kept an old pair of shoes in the boat because I became the designated “pusher.” You may ask, don’t you have a depth finder? Yes, but by the time it beeps you’re already up the “crick.”
I realized the Blue Beauty Queen is one of those big toys that men love to buy that resulted in even bigger family memories. I have no idea what happened to that sparkly boat but I do know there were times of being stared at, pointed to, and laughed at as we cruised open water and got stuck on banks. The greatest lesson is that we learned to laugh at ourselves; that glittery boat taught us how to sparkle and shine.
Pass this on to someone who needs to be reminded that developing a sense of humor starts with being able to laugh at yourself!
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