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right, so let’s face it. Some girls just don’t have enough
adventure in their lives.
When you’re a
seventeen-years-old member of the female population and you sit down
to dinner with your family, and your mother or father says “so what
was interesting in your life today?” and you answer “well, today
in a chemistry lab I broke a nail”—well— I think you can safely
admit you have a lack of
Oh, sure society
tries to trick you all the time. After all, that chemistry lab was
titled “Adventures in Titration” and the nail polish you
were wearing was called “creamy plum adventure” and the
music you were illegally listening to on your iPod was by your
favorite group, “The Band That Writes Exciting, Adventuresome
Songs.” And when your chemistry teacher caught you listening to that
music, he told you to go straight “on a little adventure to the
But do all these
things really deserve the use of the word adventure? I’m not
going to get up and go on an adventure to find the dictionary, so I
don’t know the exact definition, but shouldn’t it involve more actual
fun and excitement? Beyond titration…exciting as that is…beyond
nail polish, exciting as that is…even beyond the joy of
listening to your favorite band? Shouldn’t the word adventure
embrace a level of fun—dare I say it—beyond a trip down the
hallway to the principal’s office? Sure the principal has that bowl
of chocolate candy on his desk that you routinely steal…but isn’t
adventure more then some delicious chocolate?
Okay, you’re right,
there is nothing better than chocolate.
But what this
seventeen-year-old member of the female population experienced this
summer could come awfully close.
Upon hearing that
I’d get a break from my teenage-girl monotony (painting my nails,
tanning, going to parties, talking on the phone, reading the
occasional Upton Sinclair or John Irving) I rejoiced immediately,
figuring it was too good to be true.
Then a bolt of
lightning came down from the skies and struck our boat, almost
completely destroying it.
Turned out it was too
good to be true. A dark cloud of anger and rage consumed my whole
life. I began to paint my nails “adventure black.”
An hour later, I
learned we would still be going on our trip, just with a different
boat. The dark cloud of anger and rage disappeared.
So I prepared myself
for an “adventure,” that I figured—if I was lucky—would be
slightly more interesting then chemistry titration, maybe a little
less exhilarating then “creamy plum adventure.”
I hopped in the car
with my family and we drove four hours to the marina, during which
time I had a little sleeping adventure, arrived at the marina, hopped
out of the car, hopped into the pool for a quick dip, and hopped onto
the sailboat Golden Sun. After all that hopping I was pretty tired, so
I grabbed my John Irving and had a fun reading adventure while we
sailed toward Stockton Island.
By the time we
arrived there, I felt like any teenage girl would feel at the end (or
beginning, or middle) of any long (or short, or busy, or not busy, or
happy, or sad) day: irritable. After all, I’d had to wake up
early—teenage girls hate that—get in the car with my
family—teenage girls hate that—hop—teenage girls hate that—and
I’d tripped over those stupid dorades approximately four hundred
time—teenage girls complain about that all the time. Sometimes my
friends and I spend entire days complaining about those dumb dorades.
I’m the only one who knows what a dorade is, of course, but that
makes no difference. We all hate them.
But life improved
when we got to go ashore to the sublime sandy beach, where I—what
else does a teenage girl do on a beach?—wrote Samuel Taylor
Coleridge poetry in the sand with a stick.
We went back to the
boat and gazed at the stars, and I was overwhelmed with adventure. As
I layed in my bed, I thought about how adventuresome the day had been.
It almost came up to the level of “creamy plum adventure”! But not
The next day we woke
up bright and early (nine o’clock) to greet a day that, my dad
assured me, would be way more exciting than nail polish. He looked a
little confused when I asked that question, but I figured it was
because he was tripping over the dorade at the time, and was confused
about who in the world had put it there.
We all piled into the
dinghy and made our way ashore, where we lazed around for awhile
before it was someone’s idea to go look at a shipwreck.
I wasn’t sure of
proper shipwreck behavior, so I refused to look down at it for fear
that it would be creepy.
Then, gradually, as
everyone else told me how cool it was, my fear subsided and I looked
down, then quickly back up, because it was creepy.
And that was the
This was followed by
several other adventures, including the eating Rye Crisp with peanut
butter and jelly adventure, the sailing to Outer Island adventure, the
sand spit adventure, the “ew! I found a rock that looks like it has
a face on it!” adventure (that was when I forgot about my nail
polish), the “whoa! That giant bird of prey just flew so closer to
my head that he could’ve tangled his talons in my hair!” adventure
(that was when I threw my nail polish away, because it was so boring),
the “oops! I haven’t drank anything today and now I’m
dehydrated!” adventure (that one wasn’t so fun), and finally, the
“oh, here we are back at Stockton Island only in a different bay!”
But the next day was
the crowning glory of adventures. After the lake glassed on us after a
rough night of sleep, my dad decided that sailing sucked. He said this
aloud, which concerned all of us, but we soon decided he was wrong,
because glass meant a one-way ticket to Devil’s Island! Which,
everyone knows, has not only the most adventuresome name, but the most
adventuresome sea caves as well! Okay…the only sea
caves…but that still makes them the most adventurous!
Our fist adventure at
Devil’s Island was the “oh man, are we safely anchored?”
adventure. The answer to this was never really determined, just like
the purpose of this whole paragraph is kind of undetermined.
The boat didn’t
float away, which we took as a good sign, so we all piled into the
dinghy once again and made our way to the sea caves. I thought they
were creepy at first, but my dad amused me by referring to the dinghy
phonetically, without the silent g, and I felt better.
Just like any teenage
girl would do inside some creepy sea caves, I imagined that I was an
evil sorceress queen in my lair. My family did give me odd looks when
I jumped into the water, crawled all over the weird spires of the
rocks, and commanded my evil demons to surround the intruders. They
were shocked when my evil demons really did emerge from the water,
wielding spears made of the Adventure nail polish series and singing
songs by my second favorite band, “The Band Who Writes Creepy,
Sea-Cave- Atmosphere-Like Songs.”
kidding. My teenage girl imagination gets a little carried away
It was after swimming
around the cool Devil’s Island rock formations that I stumbled upon
a great truth (seriously stumbled, my foot really hurts): true
adventure lies in cruising Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. I
stopped longing for chemistry titration and the chocolate on the
Yes, you got me. The
longing for chocolate goes on and on.
But I even—for a
split second—forgot about John Irving, which is almost a miracle for
me. I felt sorry for all those poor teenage girls out there who were
all wrapped up in The Cider House Rules, not aware that the
Apostle Islands even existed. Poor lost souls.
So now, when the
summer ends and I go back to school, I am going to preach the true
meaning of adventure to my fellow members of the female population. I
will enlighten them on the folly of the lab entitled “Adventures in
Titration.” I will stop listening to the music of my third favorite
band, “The Band That Writes Songs About John Irving Novels.” And I
will boycott the nail polish color “creamy plum adventure” (I
mean, how does a plum get creamy anyway? Whose ever heard of plums
and cream?) and I will tear out my eyes when I see someone wearing it.
probably won’t happen. I love that band.
But one thing is for
certain: from now on, I will never look at the word adventure the
same way again, and my definition of it will always include the words
“Lake Superior” “Apostle Islands” and “cruising.”
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