Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

My Inflatable Bathtub

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | May 27, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: Inflatable bathtub

Things are starting to quiet down for the summer, and I'm turning to figuring out what a single college professor is supposed to do with her time after the craziness of a difficult year. boat.jpg

At the beginning of the year, I moved closer to school, about 10 minutes away, in Rockland County, New York. There not much to do here. I don't have friends nearby. New York City's about a hour away, and I don't like going there that much.

But the most gorgeous state park I've even seen east of the Rockies is right here: Harriman State Park. Beautiful hiking trails, about 200 of them. The park itself is 40,000 acres.

There are also a dozen big, beautiful lakes. But there's only one beach on the lakes I know of, and I hear it gets pretty crowded. When it's hot, I need to be near water. A pool, a beach, a bathtub, something.

So I bought an inflatable boat, kind of like a little inflatable bathtub. I know nothing about boats. As a result, I was forced to invent a husband. How do I get into these situations?

So I go down to the lake to inflate my boat and put it in the water for the first time a couple of weeks ago. It's a Thursday, and no one else around.

I read all the instruction books obsessively, as befits any geek, and filled all the chambers, and got the oars ready, and put my diet coke and a paperback in the boat.

Now it's time to put the boat in the water, so I lug it down to the lakeside dock, and push it in.

Uh oh, it's floating away.

And I'm trying to figure out how to get in without killing myself, when I hear a voice from the bushes. "Need some help?" he cheerfully offers.

"Uh, do you know how to get into one of these?" I ask lamely, looking helpless, because I am.

He comes over and tells me I need to inflate it more. Okay. I do that. Then he helps me lug the boat back down to the lakeside, and put it in the water, and he holds it, and my hand, while I gingerly step in. I did it!

Meanwhile, he's still holding on to the boat.

"How long are you going out for?" he asks.

I don't really know, but I tell him a half-hour, which was probably a mistake.

"Are you married?" he says.

My mind whirls. He seems harmless enough. Nice guy. Kind of cute. But you never know.

"Uh, yes," I say unconvincingly.

He looks at my ring finger, which has no ring.

"You ought to bring your husband down here sometime," he says.

"Oh," I reply, thinking quickly, "He doesn't really like this kind of thing. Can I go now?"

He lets go. Off into the water I go, flattered to be the object of his attentions, a little concerned about whether he's a serial killer, kind of hoping he's not there when I get back.

I stayed out about an hour. It was absolutely gorgeous. I figured out how to use the oars, rowed around for a bit, then dropped anchor and read for a while. After I had enough, I thought of rowing back to shore. I looked to see if my friend was still fishing on the bank. He was. Drat.

I rowed back to shore. The boat handles like a bathtub. It's a real workout rowing that thing. The birds were chirping, and the crickets were starting in. The dragonflies were starting to come out in force. Perfect timing.

He offers to help me out of the boat, but I decline, saying I need to learn how to do it on my own. I get myself out of the water, kind of hippo fashion, rolling myself in the most ungainly way possible onto the dock. I lug my inflatable bathtub back to the car, figure out how to deflate it.

Who do I see getting ready to leave? It's him again. He glances over.

Oh Lord. I didn't want to give him a chance to try out his new pickup lines.

I shove the boat in the car, hop into the driver's seat and zoom out of the lot.

I checked to make sure he wasn't following. (It's happened before.)

I've been back to that lake, and some others, several times. He hasn't been there.

Now I can't go to the lake without thinking of him. Now all I need is an inflatable husband.

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kori mika | May 27, 2010 2:30 PM

Where's my husband? Well, of course he is off to the voluntary workouts. What voluntary workouts? You know, the ones for NFL linebackers of course. He's a middle linebacker for ______ and go from there about how he used to box until he hurt some guy really bad. Come on Jullian, use that imagination to have some fun!

Oh, I like the idea of a linebacker, Kori!

Allison Wunderland | May 27, 2010 2:38 PM

Nahhhhhhhhhhh . , ,

"Are you married?" (This is really presumptuous.)

"I have a partner. SHE'S working today at the U. Grades are due." (Course planning, whatever.)

Then you don't have to thrust, parry, dance. Anything he wants to know about "your partner" and "what she's doing at the U." you can extrapolate from your personal experience.

He's asking if you're "available." You're not, and it's more fundamental than having a husband.

But don't some guys get all kind of steamed up about lesbians, Allison, whether homophobically or as a challenge? I didn't want him trying to turn this bisexual straight. Know what I mean?

Ummm... for a PhD, you (and some of your readers/commentators) are a bit off - to say the least. (To say the worst, your bunch is just as discriminatory as the folks that discriminate against the LGBT community.)

A random guys helps you out. You assume he is a bad guy because he does what straight men do -- try to pick up women. The only "off" person in the equation was "Dr. Hypocrite." All the "hard work" you put into avoiding this guy that tried to be nice and help you out could have been easily averted by just telling the guy when he asks you if you are married that you are in a serious and committed relationship, but you appreciate his help. Full stop. No need to tell him your sexual preference (TMI). He would get the point (hopefully) and both of you can go your separate ways. Saves you the cost of buying that inflatable husband too.

To Alice who wrote: ""Are you married?" (This is really presumptuous.)" No more presumptuous than our kind Doctor who assumes that a guy who helped her out is a serial killer, eh?

As a minority, I'm starting to now figure out why so many of my people refuse to align themselves with LGBT issues. For the most part the (white) LGBT community is as discriminatory as the broader (white) population. In this specific example, you made assumptions and effectively discriminated against a straight guy that was actually helping you out!

And oh BTW> are you sure you are lesbian? (Now I can't go to the lake without thinking of him.) Ha ha ha!

Allison Wunderland | May 27, 2010 3:00 PM

Actually, I don't know what you mean. I suppose I can imagine. I try to imagine how oppressive it must be generally to be female and be constantly "hit on" or required to defend against same.

Male sex-role expectations suck some into being jerks. I understand that part.

What you need is a girlfriend/partner who is a former Navy person. Since I'm no longer on the market, I can see if I can find you one up in that area. (giggle) Anchors Away!

Jillian, you can always get one of those inflatable male dolls. haha. I know your angst, reminds me when I left for work last Friday. I had to be at work early. The bus didn't operate that early so I had to walk a half mile down the street to the rail station. I was coming up to this street corner where just previously a SUV had just turned moments ago. As I get to the street to cross here is this SUV stopped. As I am crossing I hear this male voice, Would you like a ride? I said, No thanks. He then replies, You don't have to worry, I won't hurt you. Now what person in their right mind would make a comment like that and especially at 5 am in the morning. Like I was really going to believe him, sort of like that phrase, trust me...lol. Nowadays, you really have to be aware of your surroundings and be wary of people. Because we all know that there are still some freaks out there lurking. Jillian, anyways have fun with your boat and hopefully there are no spear fisherman lurking in the waters. Hahaha

I just can't resist. The spirit of Edward Lear has possessed me.

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?'
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'
So they took it away, and were married next day
By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.

Wait, I thought it was only gay guys who hit on people in public like that! I didn't know straight people did that too.

Oh, excuse me, I should have said it's only gay guys who get arrested for doing that.

I wonder what this dude would have done if you told him you were an undercover cop investigating sexual activity in that area and you're going to have to take him in for lewd behavior? Hmmm... actually, that probably wouldn't have stopped his advances.

You could tell him your husband is a SWAT Team State
Police officer. That generally gives them pause. Or if you happen to speak a foreign language like French or Italian or even Latin well you might pull off being unable to talk to him. ( I have seen your photo and I doubt you could pass for Hispanic )
I do think the Lesbian angle will work with some but as you said some view it as a turn on or perhaps a challenge. In any case I hope you swim well in the event your boat finds a sharp stick. If not hopefully you have a personal flotation device. Have a nice summer.

Now see, I just say that I'm not married, thank him for the help, and go on.

And I get hit on fairly often, and it does make me think of serial killers and rapists and lord knows what else.

But I've learned that most of the time, they are just being interested, and all you have to do is not be in turn, and things go pretty well.

My life is complicated enough!

Maybe... he was just a good guy trying to help?

Most of those are married, or gay, or both though.

Or maybe I'm too innocent....

GraciesDaddy GraciesDaddy | May 28, 2010 10:53 AM

Thank you, Zoe, for taking up for us Nice [Gay] Guys!

Every "Y" chromosome isn't a total deviant, y'know. ;)