Saturday, February 14, 2009


This workboat was at the Seabreeze restaurant on an unusually cold, windy day. I have very fond memories of a workboat that actually looks identical and for all I know may be this very one. My high school boyfriend was a waterman, and I'd go clamming with him sometimes. I'll write a whole separate post on those experiences and my intense love for workboats, because that love can't be conveyed in a few brief sentences here.

Speaking of past boyfriends-- but not about how some crazy woman just professed her love for a wooden vessel--we turn now to a brief glimpse at some of the antics that Chesapeake Bay Woman has found herself a party to. Or a victim of. Of which she found herself a party. To.

(I know the grammar rules, really I do, in spite of all my obvious errors. I just choose to ignore them. I pay attention at work, but I'm not at work because this blog gig doesn't pay one red cent. So if I want to have dangling participles, run-on sentences, split infinitives, conjunctivitis and prepositions at the end of a sentence, I'll go ahead and do it. And yes, I know what conjunctivitis is, I was just seeing if you were awake.)

Valentines Day conjures up images of homemade cards made of construction paper and adorned with white lace. Conversation hearts, chocolate, flowers and romance. Chasing a blond-haired boy around the playground in second grade. Throwing him down on the ground and kissing him. Woops, I got side tracked, I'm sure not everyone did that....

If I ever had a particularly special Valentines Day as an adult, I don't remember it. Of course that doesn't mean I didn't have one, it just means that like most everything else that happened before I had children, I've forgotten it. (One day, "they" are going to discover that I'm right, that kids cause mothers to have permanent brain damage which renders any and all memory functions null and void. In case I'm not alive when this happens, please tell them that Chesapeake Bay Woman says, "I told you so.")

No, there isn't a particular Valentines Day that stands out in my mind, but I do recall some memorable dates, none of which have anything to do with flowers, romance or chocolate, but at least one of which has something to do with mud, stolen bicycles and awkward first impressions.

One time a guy I barely knew asked me out to dinner in Williamsburg. Yadda yadda yadda, close to midnight he decided he wanted to take me to one of the local plantations. Yes, a historic plantation at midnight. As my eyes shifted quickly from left to right, I pondered his proposal and decided it sounded like a good idea. This is because I had Stupid Teenager Hormones coursing through my veins.

When we arrived at the plantation, he (but not I) was surprised to see that it was closed. We couldn't enter the grounds thanks to a locked gate at the end of the driveway. Mere rules were not going to deter him, however. He put his truck in four-wheel drive and barreled through a swamp with the intention of going around the gate. Once again to his surprise (but not mine) we got stuck in the mud, had to leave the truck and hoofed it back to Colonial Williamsburg. It was cold, dark and we were very far away from Colonial Wiliamsburg thereby creating the longest walk in the history of walks on a first date with someone you barely know where both of you are covered in dried up mud from the swamp outside a historic plantation.

This happens to everyone, I know, but it was a first for me. The excitement didn't end there, though, not for a Chesapeake Bay Woman date.

He borrowed (some people would say "stole") a bicycle that was leaning up against someone's tree, and I rode on the handlebars. This is what everyone does on a first date at two in the morning, right? I casually admired the pretty Christmas lights in the windows of the historic buildings as I delicately balanced myself on the handlebars. He on the other hand strained to see where he was going and grunted as he struggled to pedal a teetering bicycle that was very heavily laden down in the front. Somehow we found a pay phone, called a cab and ended up getting a ride to his mother's house, about 20 minutes away.

Did I mention I hardly knew this guy? "Hey, Mumma, have you met Chesapeake Bay Woman? We got stuck in the mud trying to bust into a historic plantation, and I drove her on a stolen bicycle while she sat on the handlebars, and can she spend the night in the guest room because my truck is stuck in a historic swamp, and I can't drive her home--which is over an hour away?" They say first impressions are everything. Mine reeked of mud.

There are several other dates which stand out in my mind, but I'll save those stories for another time because I now see that everyone has fallen asleep.

In the meantime, speaking of stories, stay tuned for info on how to vote for our contest winner. If you have time this weekend, check back through our list of entries and begin thinking about your first and second choice.

I hope everyone spends Valentines Day with someone they love, whether it is a spouse, a significant other, a parent, a child, a friend, a pet, or simply the memory of someone special.

Celebrate the love, but steer clear of historic plantations after hours.

Trust me.


Annie said...

ah, just wonderful...very funny!

I presume your parents weren't worried about you at all, eh?


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie - This happened during a Christmas break in college, at which point my parents had long since thrown in the towel mainly because other sisters had worn them down (Baby Sis comes to mind). However, I wondered the same thing when re-thinking this story. This was pre-cell phone and they had to have wondered where I was.

Or did they....

Unknown said...

There is no way I'd ride on the handle bars of a bike at 2 a.m.

You must have looked hysterical..I mean cute!

I'd love to know what your parents said when got home.

OOPs..I should have read your answer to Annie...who beat me to the punch.

Is Annie going to Blogfest in July? How about Baby Sis and Middle Sis?

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

GJ - We need to coax Annie into making the trip this way...I think we can do it.

I've told Baby and Middle Sis the dates, but the way this family works, you might as well flip a coin and take a guess. And then count on the opposite happening.

I'll work on them all, Annie included.

Annie said...

Ah, I am so glad you would like me at the blogfest, if only...

Annie from Australia booked her fare to the US before you announced the if you can talk the authorities into extending my visa...haha...

next time I will know to wait for the blogfest dates to be announced before planning my trip...!!


ps I wonder if there will be another blogfest...? Haha!

Annie said...

Have been coming over here to wish you a Happy Valentine's day....third time lucky...I keep getting sidetracked by the scintillating conversation!

Happy Valentine's Day


ps Glad you liked the photos..will let you know (with url) when the next post goes you don't spend all day downloading photos...(I did reduce the number of posts on the front page from 7 to 3 for you!! But no new posts yet. Now I have to go back and reread all the stories and make a is going to be tres difficult!

Ann Marie said...

Oh funny.. that sounds like my kind of first day!

Mental P Mama said...

Were cocktails involved?

Keeper Of All Things said...

Happy V-day!!!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Annie, we'd love to have you. IF I have anything to do with it, there will be many more blog fests in the future, so hopefully you can make it to one.

AM - It really was fun, just a bit unusual to say the least.

MPM - If you go back to th words "yadda yadda yadda" you could substitute the words "After some beverages were consumed."

To Keeper and everyone, Happy Valentines Day.

Anonymous said...

Quite the story! Thanks for sharing it.

And I love the occasional dangling participle but I'll skip the conjuctivitis... heck, I'm not even sure I can spell it! It's early out here in the west coast!

mmm said...

So, (in reference to your story) was there a second date? Multiple? One would think that after an experience like that you'd have to try again - if only out of curiosity.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Asthmagirl - Conjunctivitis is definitely a good thing to steer clear from. On an unrelated topic, a little bird told me you may be coming to the Blog Fest. You'd be our second West Coast guest on the list. I hope you can make it.

MMM - This particular date happened during a Christmas break from college. He stayed in Mathews, I went back to Charlottesville. Although I ran into him over the years, the timing was never right. Once he had a girlfriend, the next time I had a husband. I would definitely have gone out with him again, actually it was a great deal of fun. I've seen him several times over the past couple of years and we always talk about it. He thought for sure he had frightened me off for good, and I always tell him it was one of the best dates I ever had.

Anonymous said...

....adding "Mud Bath" to my list of things to do on a 1st date!


foolery said...

Oh jeebus, I can see there will be PLENTY of trouble around you at the blogfest! Please please PLEASE don't make me ride a bicycle in the dark near gator-ous swamps, but definitely tell me about it every time YOU do it. This was too much fun. : )