June 13, 2013

we're lake people

I don't like to stereotype, but I think you can pretty well categorize people by the kinds of vacations they go on. There are people who ski, who spend their spring breaks in Breckenridge and their Christmas bonuses on goggles and poles. There are people who spend long weekends at resorts in Mexico, who buy sarongs and wide brimmed hats and have jewels on their sandals. There are people who just want to park their mobile homes in your driveway for a few days on their way to Niagara falls. I hear there are even people who just like roadtrips, belting out Springsteen as they blaze down the highway, nothing but open road ahead of them. There are people who camp, hike, backpack and those people, well, they're tougher than me. People do all kinds of different things for pleasure. And sometimes we branch out, yknow, to broaden our horizons and whatnot, but for the most part people seem to gravitate back toward their own vacation kind. I am of an interesting breed myself, always have been and always will be --

I am lake people.

Lake people are a lovely kind of people to be, I think, and vary quite greatly in terms of their non-lake living. Some of us actually live on lakes, sure, others go for weekends, others once a summer, etc. We come from all different walks and places and lifestyles [mostly midwestern], but at the lake, we are the same. And while this does not go for all lake people, people who go to lakes are probably pretty average on weekdays. They probably go to a job and are productive members of society, most days, but when it's time to go to the lake? Things shift in a big, delightful, borderline trashy way. We transform. We become lake people.

Maybe you wear a suit every day to work, but the ones who are lake people can also wear a swimsuit and nothing but for a straight week and not flinch. No shoes, no shirt, no service? Sorry, that's a dealbreaker. Drinking during the day at home may be unheard of, but at the lake? If you're awake, I'd say it's fair game. Children are wilder and adults let looser and teenagers dream of the day they'll be allowed to go to party coves and take Sea-Doo rides with the boys from the boat next dock (who they also plan on marrying, one day). Lake people don't worry about showering - on a day we're feeling particularly fancy we might bring some soap down to the dock. Lake people don't get upset when they accidentally have a cocktail too many in the afternoontime and end up using the dog's brush on their hair. Lake people eat dinner at 10pm and still wake up early to ski before the rookies come out. Lake people have not a care in the world aside from when do the fireworks start and do you think we have enough bratwurst?

As you know I am a girl of many families, but one thing we all share is a common acceptance that we are lake people. It's something I get from both sides, and thank goodness for it. Since I live farther than is drivable to any of the lakes we frequent, I don't get to go as much, but I am always thankful for the ease with which I slink back into my easy breezy lake self. Give me a speed boat, a cooler full of cocktails, some jorts, and a bottle of sunscreen and I'll be happy for days. Add some smutty mags and a couple whips around the lake on a tube and I'll be downright giddy. Maybe I'll lake bathe [i.e. suds up/rinse off in the lake] once. Maybe I won't. It's fine. We're lake people. We can handle getting a little filmy for a few days.

I was lake people all weekend, in fact, but now I am back; wearing a dress and washing my hair, putting on makeup and being professional. But it doesn't mean I won't morph right back into the same kinda trashy, jorts-wearing, dog-brush-using, day-drinking, tubing-even-though-it-hurts-me, lake-loving fool when I get in sight of the water again. Give me a good fireworks show, put a cocktail in my hand, and color me delighted. We're lake people. We don't need much more than that.

If you're curious about finding lake people outside of lakes, there are ways. They can often be spotted singing karaoke [this, in my experience, is a big tell], hanging out in dive bars, sitting in the Rockpile at Rockies games, shopping at Walmart, wearing Corona t-shirts, talking about wakeboarding, and frequenting the frozen drink and encased meat sections of the grocery store.