Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Boys, Snot Rockets, and Date-Making at the DZ

Jujubee and I sat at the drop zone for a large sweltering chunk of Saturday afternoon. We watched planes load, take off, and land between shifts of skydivers swooping to earth only yards from our shelter. In the intolerable heat, 100 degrees plus a heat index that increased the aura of that sun-bake to a bloody 120, we parked ourselves fairly comfortably: under a tent, in deck chairs, with our feet plunged in a baby pool that we had filled with ice and water. Of all that amused us and inspired our conversation that day were men, certain ones at the DZ in particular. Let me elaborate:

At one point, one of the packers came over to ask my step-daughter on a date, except his manner of delivery was all convoluted. It took me a while to figure out what was going on. His statement to her was that the last time he had made plans, she had "flaked out on him" and he wanted to make sure that this time he wasn't wasting his money buying her a ticket to a concert that she might not attend. "Good Lord!" I announced. "That is not how you ask a girl out!" And then after he left our tent:

"Good Lord! Did you lead him to think you were going on a date?" But before I could chastise her, she explained their conversation from the previous week, I understood, and then set back and announced how glad I was not to be young and dating. It's all too hard to manage. Expectations, hearts broken, wishes led astray. Marriage, for all its problems, is so much better than dating. Watching young folk do the delicate dance is exhausting.

To Jujubee's credit, I see her point about young men. This same packer came over later and borrowed our pool to help recover from heat exhaustion. He plummeted his face into the ice water and we leaned forward to drizzle his arms and the back of his neck with cool relief. When he leaned up, he shook his head like a dog spraying us with the cold, blew his nose into his fingers, threw the snot-wad onto the ground, dipped a bottle into our baby pool, and washed his hands with water from the bottle. I was so shocked, I couldn't speak. My girl, though, didn't miss a beat.

"Dude," she cracked, "did you just blow a snot rocket?"
"Yeah," he answered.
"Tsk. I am so disappointed."


  1. fantastic story. thanks for sharing.

  2. I agree with Gary...well told. The dialogue at the end captures it...I like Jujubee too!


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