Thank God my days of squeezing strangers’ boobs are over.
See, I’ve been making a concerted effort to socialize more this year, so I’m open to trying new things. Within reason. My most recent weekend excursion was boating in an area of the Ohio River affectionately known as “Party Cove.” I was a virgin to both boating on the river and the Party Cove bedlam. And boy, was it one delight after another.
I mean that in the nicest possible way. Mostly.
For the uninitiated, Party Cove is a summer hotspot for anyone who owns a boat and a beer cooler in the Louisville area. I’d heard of it, of course, but the idea of joining in the debauchery never really appealed to me before now.
First of all, you could not pay me to put so much as a pinky toe in that nasty river water, and second, no one in my past inner circles ever owned a boat.
Now that those circles are expanding in tandem with my choice of social activities, a good friend recently introduced me to a crowd that's part of the regular Party Cove scene.
After four days of crap-ass, rainy weather and dreary social prospects, I was really looking forward to a sunny Sunday on a boat. I had no idea what to expect, and I was a little skeered, to tell the truth.
Armed with only basic information about what the day might bring, I made a gallon jug of tea and some homemade chicken salad, donned one of my 12 bathing suits (some people collect coins, I apparently collect bikinis), and headed out for the day.
Our crew of 12 loaded up on a boat that I was told was a Bayliner/Sea Ray style. It seats about eight on deck, and has a small kitchen, bed and bathroom below. There is also plenty of room to work on your tan on a foam pad positioned on the nose/front of the boat. (I know nothing about boats – starboard, stern, whatever – so I’m sure my terminology is totally wrong, but you get the gist.)
We motored out two or so miles from Admiral’s Anchor in Jeffersonville to Party Cove, which looked to me like a decent-sized lake. Then we trussed up our boat to 10 or so other boats out in the middle of the cove. I was told later that this was a light day for boating. Normally there are river-worthy crafts of all sizes lined up in a wide semi-circle, with hundreds of revelers flitting amongst the vessels all day.
Trussed right next to us was a houseboat called The PainKiller, on the top deck of which sat an inviting lounge chair. As soon as we were parked, I commandeered that chair. It was the perfect perch to work on my tan and observe the crowd, which wasted no time with Jell-O shots, Capri-Sun juice bags infused with pure grain alcohol, and whatever else was lurking under cover of ice in myriad coolers.
Yep, early on, I could see this was going to be an entertaining afternoon. To top things off, quite literally, the PainKiller houseboat was equipped with – I am not kidding – a permanent stripper pole on its uppermost deck. As a bonus, the owner of the boat took it upon himself to give pole dancing lessons to sloshed 20-something sorority girls all day.
It was a like a car accident – I could not look away.
I should point out that the only drink in which lil' Amy imbibed was the unsweetened iced tea I made for the trip. I haven’t had a sip of alcohol in almost four years, and this Party Cove adventure was a dandy reminder as to why I quit.
As the day wore on, and the crowd got more unsteady on their feet – which let me just say is especially entertaining when the “ground” is already moving underneath them – I started to notice that my personal space was shrinking.
One of my boat mates – a guy I had met not two hours before – held up his phone and announced loudly that he was taking photos of my chest.
Now, I’m pretty proud of how this ol' 40-year-old bod is looking these days, but I am not well-endowed in that area. So I suggested he take pictures of another woman, whose chest was much, ahem, fluffier than mine. Being three sheets to the wind herself, she was all for it.
And then, Mr. Inebriated Paparazzi decided that it would be fabulous idea for me to feel this other woman up, so he grabs MY hand and tries to force me to squeeze HER boob. *SIGH*
I am no prude, and God knows I did enough inappropriate body-part grabbing back when I used to drink, but I quickly learned that this was no longer my idea of fun. I said no thanks, and we all laughed it off.
But this turned out to be just the beginning of a downhill spiral for Miss Perky Chest. God love her, she got so blitzed that I’m pretty sure she put on a porn show with not one, but two douche-y guys in the galley area of our boat.
While I never had sex with strangers steps away from a large group of other strangers, I was no angel in my partying days.
Observing in action the lack of self-esteem that radiated from several of the drunken women I encountered at Party Cove made me enormously grateful to be long past that kind of behavior. Words cannot express how glad I am to be able to say that I am NOT THAT GIRL ANYMORE. It took me 40 years, but I’ve finally grown some self-love and self-respect.
Anyhoo, X-rated entertainment aside, I had a great time people watching. And I did make some new friends. On our boat and at the cove, everyone was welcoming and friendly. Only a few were too friendly, and I handled all of that shizz gracefully, all things considered.
But the best part of the day was the ride back, music blaring and most of us dancing on deck… bringing the party back with us to C dock. Good times.
I can’t handle that brand of crazy every weekend … the low-key, sober, family environment at Lakeside is much more my speed, but I’d definitely go back to Party Cove.
I will never swim in that funky river (ick!), and I won’t be coerced into grabbing anyone’s nether regions.
But lounging on that deck chair on top of a houseboat again … yeah, I'd be OK with that. Very OK, indeed.
About Amy Higgs
A former newspaper columnist, Amy takes her random, slice-of-life stories to the web. After 10 years, she's still just saying.