She’s the one with the raccoon eyes from her sunglasses, mismatched socks, and let’s be honest, furry legs more often than not. She’s convinced that brighter, bolder shirt patterns are better than neutral colors. Truth is—and she’d tell you herself—these shirts hide stains better. See, she’s not the wash, starch, and iron type. Laundry is the last thing on her mind; she’s got bigger plans for life.
She lives for adventure.
She’s constantly checking spring flows online and fist pumps at the sign of high water. She disappears mid-April through October, because she’ll be on the river. Some river. Somewhere.
Don’t date a river guide because she’s anything but normal.
She’ll always want to sleep under the stars instead of a fancy hotel in the city. She’ll insist on vacations to hot springs, instead of Vegas. Her idea of dressing up will be wearing a sundress and brushing her hair. Oh, and you can forget about high heels and makeup.
Don’t date a river guide because you’ll get stuck with an artist.
She sees the world just a little bit differently than everyone else. She’ll howl at the full moon and hula hoop by river’s edge. She’ll have a dry bag full of costumes, and she’ll insist that you wear one of them.
She thinks on her feet and doesn’t hesitate when making decisions.
When chaos hits, she becomes calm. She is strong. She takes risks. And she won’t apologize if this makes you feel uncomfortable.
Don’t date a river guide because this is her “real job.”
She’s not in it for the money. Lord knows how many times October has rolled around and she scratches her head, wondering what job she’ll find to keep her busy and eating until next season. You’ll convince her that a steady job has its perks. She’ll listen to you (briefly), but come March, she’ll be itching to get on the water, and the cycle will continue for yet another season.
She’ll be distant.
She’ll be removed. She’ll be distracted. Because chances are, she’s thinking about that one wave, in a certain rapid, on a particular river. She’s picturing hitting it just as it breaks onto her boat, digging her oars in and leaning forward to get the full force of the splash. She’ll say you don’t understand. And you won’t.
You’ll come to realize that you’ll always be second to the river. And you may find peace in that realization. But she’ll never be completely yours.
So, if you absolutely must date a river guide, if your heart has made its mind up, my advice for you is simple: Practice high-siding.