So there I was, in a room full of pretty blond girls, pretty brunette girls, and pretty curly haired girls, all wearing tight, pastel workout clothes. It was like walking into a jewelry box or a box of lovely candies. Actually, they looked a lot like those pretty, pastel Tampax pearls. We did, I should say, because after all that hair straightening and make up and tight new athletic clothes, I looked just like them. Except for that they were 100 times prettier, they were actresses, and they probably didn't eat anything but a handful of fruit loops a day. I knew that I didn't have a shot.
Until....one of the pretty little tampons piped up. "When they say kayaking, they mean, like, a canoe...right?" She mimicked holding a single-bladed paddle with one hand and oaring on either side of her. A chorus of affirmations followed from the other little pearls.
This was my chance. None of the girls had ever seen a hardshell whitewater kayak. I had them all beat. They were going home. I was going to be the next Tampax pearl girl and make a million dollars and they were going to be broke, starving (not by choice this time) and alone on the streets of Portland. Also, they would be lonely, forever. Quite simply, I was going to live, and they were going to die. All because I know how to hold a dual-blade kayak paddle. Awesome!
"Oh, is that your portfolio?" One of the girls said, pointing to the file of my photos I had placed next to my seat. "Can I see it?"
"Hell no!" I shouted, snapping up the portfolio and thrusting it up my shirt. "Stay away!" What would happen if they were able to study my photos and mimic my perfect, perfect form? Disaster. I'd lose my edge. I'd lose my one shot at stardom.
"But I will give you ladies a hint." I said, addressing the whole room. You hold the paddle with one hand, and you put the other behind you back, like this. Now, every time you paddle, you have to bob your head up and down. Like this." I demonstrated. A whole room of Liz Taylor Eyes and Perfect Bone Structures nodded at me with reverence. "There you go! Just fine. They're sure to take you for a kayaker. And don't forget- serious kayakers cross their eyes. It's just something we do. You do want to seem like a serious kayaker, right?"
And then I stepped into the room of surrounded 360 degrees by video cameras.
(To be continued)