In Charleston and the surrounding environs, it was common knowledge that any occasion worth commemorating is best celebrated on the water. Birthdays, graduations, engagements (including the popular romantic evening boat ride proposal), anniversaries, first communions, bar mitzvahs, new jobs, new houses, new dogs, new spouses, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Easter if it comes late in the spring, Labor Day, various regattas, and post-funeral boat cruises. If a party was required and a boat was available, it behooved the planners to hold the celebratory event on said waterborne vessel.
So, as they were both kid-free for the weekend, Will suggested Tipsy invite a few friends on a Tipsy-Sold-Her-Painting Saturday Boat Day Funfest. Tipsy hummed her way through the aisles of Harris Teeter in her beach cover up and flip-flops, and arrived at Will’s house with several grocery bags and an eighteen pack of Bud Light. She’d cooked dinner with him at his place a couple times, so she was starting to get the lay of the land. She flitted around his kitchen, packing a cooler with fried chicken, fresh salsa, Palmetto Cheese, and a pasta salad she’d made the night before. She added a few peaches, because her conscience told her she must include something with obvious health benefits. As a precaution, she took an Aleve and a Dramamine. Extra protection should her headache come back, or she suddenly developed susceptibility to seasickness.
Will sprayed down and mopped out the boat, an older model Grady-White he kept on a trailer in his driveway, and then filled Yeti coolers with beer. She handed him the food cooler, a few bags of chips, and her beach bag of towels and sunscreen. He opened a beer.
“I have koozies in my bag,” she said.
“I keep some onboard. I have extra sunscreen, too,” he said.
“You got it all covered.” She climbed the ladder by the engine and kicked off her flip-flops.
Lindsey and P.D. arrived first, followed by Glen and Shelby. Glen and Shelby had guests in tow, two guys and a girl that Tipsy didn’t know. Tipsy gave them all vague smiles, but found she didn’t want to engage in much small talk. All three had a distinctly barfly look about them. A certain air of hard living— the eternal adolescents with no kids, or kids out of wedlock, who had either never been married or had been married too many times. Glen himself fit that bill. His most recent ex, the mother of his son, had been his third wife. She watched him puff away on a cigarette and toss the butt onto Will’s driveway before pouring a bunch of vodka into a plastic cup of orange juice. Tipsy wondered once again what Shelby saw in him, or what Will saw in him for that matter.
Will probably don’t care as long as the fish get caught, said Granna.
Tipsy frowned, but before she could reply to Granna in her head, a Volvo station wagon pulled up in front of the house. “She’s here!” Tipsy called.
Mimi climbed into the boat and sat beside Tipsy on the bench seat in the back. “You made it,” Tipsy said, as Will climbed into the truck.
“Thanks for inviting me,” said Mimi.
“What’s Jimmy going to do with the kids?”
She shrugged. “Not sure. We’ve been fighting. Think he was happy… to have me out of the house for a few hours.”
“You still haven’t said anything about leaving, right?”
Mimi shook her head.
“Good,” said Tipsy. The boat jerked a few times as Will pulled out of the driveway.
They put the boat into the Wando at the neighborhood ramp and set off in the direction of the Ravenel Bridge. The Allman Brothers blasted over the speakers, but once they got moving, Tipsy heard nothing but the engine. She smiled up at the cloudless blue sky through her sunglasses. The combination of hot sun on her shoulders, cold beer on her tongue, and glancing droplets of salty water on her shoulders made her shiver. For the first time in over a week, she felt pretty darn good, as if her supernatural hangover had finally worn off. They passed under the Ravenel Bridge and she wondered if the drivers above watched Will’s boat and thought, oh how lucky! It was her turn to feel fine, and thank the good lord, she did.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish