Thursday, May 14, 2009

Down by the Creek


Have you ever had one of those moments where you suddenly ask yourself, "How the heck did I end up in this situation?" Usually this thought process is accompanied by you suddenly realizing that you are doing something that you never thought you would, and are generally not too happy about it. I had this insightful little thought a few weeks ago...while I was standing barefoot on a bunch of sharp sticks in the middle of the woods of my college campus.

I'm sure you're all now wondering, "How did Little Scarf Girl end up in that predicament?" too. Well, it started on a lovely Saturday afternoon. Mountain Dew Girl and I had already been up since early morning being the busy bees that we are. We'd shown up to support the annual all-girl's chess tournament, performed a lackluster Tae Kwon Do demonstration for a kids-day event, and eaten a rather tasty lunch at CiCi's Pizza. I had gone back to apartment for some relaxation when I got a phone call from none other than Mountain Dew Girl.

"You want to come to the creek with me and Bee Cool Boy?"

What I thought she meant by that, I am still not quite sure. Maybe I assumed we would be dipping our feet in the water, and exploring the areas around the marshy creek on campus. Maybe I thought we'd be playing frisbee. Who knows? At any rate, I enthusiastically replied, "Sure!" and promptly got ready to go.

A few minutes later, MDG and BCB were outside my apartment, waiting for me. MDG was wearing short-shorts, and BCB was toting a Vitamin water and a frisbee. It looked like we were heading to the park! What fun. The weather was so pleasant as we walked past the school buildings and over the bridge to the field.

As we approached the creek, which was surrounded by trees and vines, I suddenly realized that we weren't going to be picnicing in the park.

"Okay, we'll cross here!" Bee Cool Boy declared, and took off his shoes, and waded into the muddy creek.

Mountain Dew Girl followed.

I blinked.

"Er, I think I'll leave my shoes on!" I declared as I started down the muddy slope into the creek.

Let us pause the story here for a moment to describe what I was wearing:

* Jeans
* [Borrowed] flip-flops
* Onigiri-shaped earrings
* A cute new t-shirt

None of these things were very compatible with wading into the creek water, which had a somewhat strong current. My flip flops came off and started flowing away with the current, and I had to scramble to retrieve them. BCB and MDG laughed at my lack of creek knowledge.

From here, we continued to wade up the stream. We stashed our shoes and belongings up on a manhole that was in the middle of the woods, and then continued, barefoot, wading down the creek. The water level got higher and higher as we went down, and the soft sand on the floor caused our feet to sink. The sand wasn't even as bad as the sharp rocks that kept jabbing our feet as we walked! Not to mention, the water temperature was extremely cold and numbing. Moving slowly with my jeans rolled up to my thighs, I was not having much fun. (The other two? Having a blast!)

Finally when the water got thigh-deep, we decided it would be best to climb over the muddy wall of the ravine holding onto the grass above for support. This brilliant idea resulted in my grass tufts (not Bee Cool Boy's!) being ripped out of the earth under my weight and sending me sliding down a muddy slope back into the water. I think any "fun" I was having had officially drowned at that point.

I was more than ready to turn back, but Mountain Dew Girl insisted on seeing the "waterfall," or the source of the current and where the creek originated. The creek itself had become far too deep to wade through, so we headed up on land and continued our quest through the woods.

Barefoot.

It was after a few minutes of sharp sticks jabbing at the pads of my feet that I called out to the others to keep going without me, and that I'd just wait for them. Mountain Dew Girl and Bee Cool Boy were more than happy to oblige. (I suspect they were sick of hearing me complain about the harsh conditions.) I could hear them off in the distance, although, they were obscured by trees, so I never actually saw this supposed waterfall. Instead, I was standing on a bunch of sticks, barefoot, surrounded by plants of questionable nature (I'm almost positive that I got poison-something on my ankles from this outing) and wondering why in the heck I ever agreed to go on such a trip.

Fortunately, we made it back in one piece. I took off shortly after we reached the field again, completely muddy, with poison-something covering my ankles and a splinter in my foot. And wouldn't luck have it that my roommate was using the shower when I returned to my apartment?

At any rate, the next time I get a call inviting me out on a seemingly fun and innocent outing, I have only to remember the feeling of standing alone in the woods with no shoes to remind myself of the consequences of saying "Sure!" without getting all of the facts first!

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