I couldn’t get the song “Reverse Skydiving” out of my head. You know when you get a song stuck in your head, always at the least likely moment when you couldn’t actually find out what the song is. I’ve spent many a spin classes wanting to yell to the teacher, “Who sings this?” Not that anyone could hear me over all of the woot’ing and excessive self-empowerment exhales. Invariably the song will stay in my head for what feels like days and I’ll turn into some adrenaline fueled music junkie who won’t stop until she finds out who is singing. I’ll spend far too much time to be proud of Googling the one lyric I can remember before finally contacting the person with whom I first heard the song. Let me tell you, fewer things can make you feel like you need to get a life than text’ing your spin teacher to find out what song #3 was from the 6:15 class the previous morning.
So when I heard “Reverse Skydiving” on a catamaran in Mexico, I figured I’d go straight to the horse’s mouth and ask the guy playing music on the boat. I even took a screen shot of the title on his playlist thinking I was using millennial-worthy tech skills, only to get home and find there are about 57,000 remixes of this song. I had no idea which one was the one I’d heard and I was determined to recapture the kid-free, dancing on a boat in the middle of the day with thirty friends in Mexico, moment. So naturally I listened to all 57,000 remixes, realized they all sound the same, and picked one. Two minutes later, I was tired of the song.
The reason Justin and I found ourselves dancing on a catamaran in Mexico? We were there for my darling friend John’s birthday party, which was a kid free love fest in Zihuatanejo. There were thirty of us there for the weekend and we took a catamaran on Saturday afternoon so we could go to a little beach thirty minutes away where we would try not to die banana boating. Justin’s a fearless shit stirrer who sat on the front of our particular banana boat. He made it his day’s mission to bounce the banana boat while it was being dragged at full speed so that the six of us sitting behind him would get projectile’d at full speed into the air, landing in the ocean.
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In general near death experiences aren’t my cup of tea-quila, but we laughed so hard while trying not to die that even I had to admit it was worth it. Also if you’re curious what it feels like to have your husband dump you and six friends into the ocean at full speed, it feels like you’re being slammed into a cement wall while someone sprays a fire hose full of salt water directly into your sinuses and your asshole at the same time. If it sounds horrible, it is. But, it’s horrible in a “this will be the story of the trip” kind of way.
Also important, the term love fest should be interpreted here to mean the thirty of us in attendance are long term, old shoe, die hard friends of the birthday boy. In other words, we’re all madly in love with him in an old friend kind of way. I felt the need to explain that so you didn’t think I flew South of the border for an orgy.
And just to clear up any future rumors, I don’t actually have an innate problem with orgies or orgy go’ers. In fact, I’ve always admired people who were open enough to have three, four, or thirty-ways. Me, I’ve never wanted anyone to have a view of my ass for that long, which is probably a logistical requirement of an orgy. So other than the long term cellulite viewing, I’m sure it’s fun.
So I got the song stuck in my head. I wasn’t alone. Everyone else on the boat did, too. And we all kind of spontaneously started dancing. If you’ve never danced on a catamaran, it’s worth a try. The boat bounces for you making it look like you can actually dance, even though what you’re really try to do is not fall into the ocean and get left for dead like Castaway without the volleyball. So we all danced.
I was stone cold sober, but I was intoxicated by the song. And so I was enjoying the moment. Justin came sauntering over to join the dance party and whispered in my ear, “I love your confidence this weekend. There’s the girl I married.” This is what I call a marriage landmine. He thinks he’s saying something nice. I want to throw him overboard. I wouldn’t have even collected the insurance money. I just, in that moment, wanted to shove his words back in his mouth.
Because the girl he married didn’t have to do ten loads of other people’s laundry nor was she, by ovarian default, responsible for folding all the boxer shorts in the world (again, not hers.) The girl he married didn’t have to know where so-and-so left his library book, nor did she have to defecate in front of an audience, eat standing up, and go to more grocery stores than the guy who delivers the food. The girl he married just had to dance.
This past Saturday’s sun filled dance party was not the first time I’d heard the term “There’s the girl I married.” My L.A. bestie, Liz, gets it all the time from her hubs, usually in response to her not wanting to do a family trip to say…Tehran, or a couple’s weekend sleeping in a yurt while wild boar’s gnaw on her toes. “The girl I married would have been up for any adventure,” the phrase implies. “Instead of this cautious tired person you’ve become.”
It’s as though a woman who has created human beings out of her body parts, fed them with other parts, and then not slept or pee’d in peace for a decade is being challenged to be an enthusiastic cheerleader or a reality show contestant who will do anything to avoid elimination. A score is kept from the moment we give birth. Not only should we get our pre-baby body back. We should also get our pre-baby spirit of adventure, free time, endurance, and recklessness back, too. Because the girl he married was simply more fun.
I have no doubt that I was probably more fun prior to having children. Quite frankly, so was my husband. We all were. Life was relatively worry free, responsibility free, and constraint free. But when you choose to have children, you choose to become someone else. That person doesn’t have to be less fun, but the opportunities to have fun are different. There’s more time in between. There’s more at stake and more constraints. That’s life with kids, at least for mothers.
We have to change. Not forever, just for now.
Justin actually meant his comment as a compliment. “You’re back!” is what he was really saying. But the truth is, I didn’t go anywhere. The girl he married is alive and well. She’s just stuck in the laundry room folding everyone else’s underwear.
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*Reverse Skydiving by Hot Natured featuring Anabel Englund