kayaking for two

Have you ever wanted to kill your significant other? I mean like, were you ever so full of simmering, bubbling rage that you wanted to just close your eyes and have them disappear from the earth forever? Yes?

Well then obviously you’ve tried kayaking for two.

It seems a universal truth that the generally innocuous activity of couple’s kayaking is actually the ultimate relationship test. I don’t know what it is exactly about this date idea that’s so horrific… Perhaps it’s because water sports carry such a low key, fun-loving vibe that you’re royally unprepared for the consequences.

“Hey babe, want to rent a kayak for an hour and spend some time out on the water together?”

OF COURSE. Who would say no to that?

Well, the answer is ANYONE who has ever gone kayaking with their boyfriend or girlfriend before.

It’s not just me, I swear. There’s something about two otherwise compatible people committing to this particular outdoor activity that dooms you to experiencing the most agonizing sixty minutes of your life.

You think, oh, everything is soooooo great in our relationship, we’ll be one of those adorable in-sync paddling couples like the tan muscley people on the brochure at the kayak rental shop. Except you’re not. Not even a little bit.

Unless you’re a competitive kayaker — actually, even if you’re a competitive kayaker — you will suck at kayaking with your partner just like everyone else. Being a strong guy doesn’t make it any better because you’re in the back steering and your paddle keeps hitting your girlfriend’s and she’s screaming at you to quit it and you’re yelling at her to paddle harder and she’s tired and you’re dehydrated and the current is pulling you farther out to sea and you begin to think that hurling yourself overboard to drown amidst the waves is a far better option than returning to shore with this person you now detest but have to share a bed with for four more days of vacation.

At one point you actually contemplate knocking her overboard and paddling quickly back to the dock. She’s got a life vest. She’ll be fine. Someone else can deal with her.

But then, there’s the race against the clock. You’ve rented the vessel for an hour and if you go even a minute over, you’re stuck paying for the full second hour as well. $30 extra bucks to continue this misery?? Fuck no.

The shore doesn’t look all that far away, but you’re in the middle of the ocean and the surfer dude on the dock looks tinier than your patience and you start yelling at your girlfriend to paddle harder and she howls back that she is paddling as hard as she freaking can and then she just stops and lies back in the kayak and stares up at the sky and waits for you to paddle the two of you the rest of the way back.

She’s glaring at you with fury in her eyes and you just reflect that pure rage right back at her and somehow, miraculously you make it back with 2 minutes to spare.

Arms aching, lungs burning, you disembark and throw your lifejacket back into the communal bin.

You look at each other and silently vow – never again.

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2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Relationship Test

  1. For me the ultimate test was taking a road trip to Chicago, which resulted in me getting a baseball thrown at my face, driving through downtown Chicago with the passenger door open, and having to drive overnight back to DC while getting yelled at each time I veered ever so slightly over the lines on the road, amongst other things. We ultimately failed that test, but I think I’m glad about that.

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