Just spent an hour poolside with Atlas Shrugged. I swear to all trains everywhere, if Ayn gets more long-winded in Part Three, I am chucking her brick into the hot tub and not giving a HOOT about who John Galt is!
Laying on the pool recliner, soaking up rays, I thought of 8th grade Spring Break.
The trip's circumstances were pretty magical. My friend Peppermint belonged to an affluent family, and they owned a condo in Florida. Her parents wanted to golf and go out and have fun, so Peppermint and her sister each got to bring travel companions. I just had to pay for the plane ticket--stay, food, and activities were on the family.
Reflecting back on it, now almost a decade later, I realize A LOT of cool things about that trip:
-It was the first time I sun-tanned. Peppermint announced the first day we were there, "Let's go to the pool." I got on my suit and was confused when my friend left the bedroom with arms full of stuff. I inquired about her need for magazines and a Discman, and she said, "For laying out!" I had no idea what that meant, but I got my Discman (with a Britney Spears sticker on the case). I felt weird at first just laying in the sun listening to music, but after five minutes, I got it. I was so relaxed--warm, digging the 10 Things I Hate About You soundtrack, looking out at the ocean. I consider it my first experience of reverie.
-First time I ate sushi! And black beans! Still two of my favorite foods!
-I think Peppermint was the first person to make fun of how I dressed to my face. She found a stupid blue duck in hot pink and orange swim trunks in some store. She said, "He has your fashion sense." Because the context was me enjoying a free vacation, I kinda didn't care. Precedent much?
-We went parasailing. It's one of those things you really only have to do once, and, I've done it.
-I almost microwaved foil, but sister's companion stopped me in the nick of time. I had never heard that rule and probably would have ruined my family's kitchen later that year had I not learned then.
-It was the first time I had to politely say no to an adult--the context being a nice dinner when Peppermint's parents offered all of us alcohol. I was 13. Boop!
-We watched American Pie 2--MANY times. Not sure why, but I think seeing that movie at that time of life helped brace me for high school romance and expectations.
-While swimming, a dolphin jumped right in front of us.
So, yeah, you don't usually think of anything in middle school being phenomenal, but this is probably still one of my top-five vacations.