The third (and biggest) reason why I love the RTM Disco kayak is because it played a huge role in bringing my girlfriend Meaghan and I together. I’m sure that she’d recount the exact details of the introduction quite differently but I’m also sure that she’d agree that it was a magical beginning to our Lady and the Tramp romance. I couldn’t possibly think of a better kayaking story to ring in Valentine’s Day so kick back and enjoy!
It all started on a sunny Sunday afternoon in August of 2010. I arrived to work at Billington Sea kayak and began my usual routine of setting up the waterfront for demos. Steve and Alex were also working that day and we were hoping for the wind to pick up in the afternoon and have ourselves another Disco Day! I walked over to the woods to check on the Disco and there it was, safe and sound, just where we left it to hide from any customers that may try to steal away our fun!
That was about the time when I met Meaghan. She had come down to Billington to buy a kayak. Her desired paddling location was by the Spit at the mouth of the North River in her hometown of Scituate. Initially, Steve was working with her to select some kayaks to demo and I couldn’t help but notice that he kept bringing down sit-on-tops. I took one look at her and said to myself: “Nope, none of those Ocean Kayak or Native boats are going to work for her. She’s a Disco sort of girl.” Then some sort of mild insanity came over me and I walked into the woods to the place where the Disco was hiding and dragged it out to the docks for her to try. She loved it, of course, and like many customers she told us that she’d have to think about it before buying it. As she walked away I was overcome by another fit of insanity and announced “the only problem with the Disco is that I come with it if you buy it.” Apparently that embarrassed her in front of her Dad.
My sentiments also made it up the hill to the office and it wasn’t long before I got a call from my boss Doug about having a talk later that afternoon. He wasn’t angry or anything but he was definitely interested in jousting a little which is commonplace between the dock and office staff and I had just fed him some great ammunition. I basically joked that I was well aware that our Disco was the last one in New England if not on the entire East Coast and that if he sold it then I’d have to follow it to its new home in order to keep the Disco Days going. He knew that there was much more to it than that because he had met Meaghan and I figured that he could see right through my shinanigans.
A week went by and I was busy at school and didn’t think much about the Disco. That was until the next weekend when Doug met me down at the docks at the start of work and told me to come up to the office after set-up. In the office Doug informed me that Meaghan had called back and expressed interest in buying the Disco but he wanted to give me first refusal. “I don’t want to lose one of my instructors over a silly boat”, he jousted. I retorted with “Don’t be ridiculous. You know I’m already working to pay off another boat. Plus, I’ve been hiding the Disco in the woods for the past two years to keep people from buying it and you’ve been pretty cool about that so please sell it before it goes back into hiding.” “Ok” he said, “But you’re working this sale and you’ve only got one chance so you’d better get a date out of it.” He had seen through my shinanigans.
Meaghan came by the shop later that day to pick up the Disco. Where was I you ask? Why in the bathroom of course…where else would I be at an important time like that?? Anyway, I made my entrance from the bathroom into the shop and walked her down to the waterfront to retrieve the Disco. I had no idea how to ask her out. I’m terrible with things like that. Acutally, I’m fairly certain that all of my previous girlfriends had actually asked me out. Obviously I thought that Meaghan was pretty plus she was buying a kayak, plus it wasn’t any kayak that she was buying; it was the Disco which made her wicked super awesome! However, as the “sale” went on I became less confident in being able to ask her out but I had an ace up my sleeve. I had prepared a business card with my cell number and a picture of a guy kayaking to an island (the original Kayak Dave’s logo) to give to her in the case that I clammed up. Put the ball in her court…
The story goes that her Dad had a conversation with her when I was off tying the Disco into their truck. The message was somewhere along the lines that he wasn’t going to leave until she gave me her number. So when we were walking out of the shop after the paperwork was settled we both handed each other our “I’m too shy to ask you out but I really want to” notes and that was that. The only problem was that she gave me her name and told me to get in touch via Facebook. I hate Facebook and she was actually invisible on it which made finding her pretty tricky. I managed to find her through a cousin and I left her a message saying that if she wanted to go for a paddle sometime then she could call me because she had my number. She called, we went for a paddle, and the rest is history!
Happy Valentines Day, Everyone!
PS: Just to clarify for a specific reader who doesn’t believe me when I say that I typically don’t ask out customers while working at the kayak shop. First of all, I’m typically waaayyyy to distracted at the shop to be thinking about girls. The distraction is not hott, bikini-clad twenty-somethings (which are rarely spotted down at the docks anyway) but by the plethora of kayaks that exists all around us at Billington. I really love my job J. Second, if this case is any indicator of my suaveness then if should be obvious that I struggle mightily in that department. My track record with asking people out is pretty bad; I can count my successful attempts on half of one hand. So, in summary, you are quite special, my dear <3.
PSS: Ever curious where the nickname “Kayak Dave” came from? Well it’s what Meaghan listed me as in her phone after I gave her my number at the shop that day. Apparently she had been dating someone else named Dave who had earned himself the nickname “Doufis Dave” so she needed something else to differentiate between us. It stuck!