Summertime means that it is lake time, and when you go to the lake, there are a host of lies people tell you. There are the traditional lies about how big the fish was that someone just caught (hint: it’s always bigger than the one you caught the day before), but there are other lies, too, that have become so commonplace, they’ve mostly been accepted as truth.
It’s not that cold
This lie takes many forms and has multiple motivations. Mostly, however, it comes down to this: everyone wants you in the water, and they will tell you virtually anything to get you there. Usually they tell you that “the water is fine.” It’s not. Really, it’s not. You should know that the water, especially up here in Maine, is never fine. It’s cold. The other swimmers will trick you with things like “it’s refreshing,” and “it’s cold at first, but you get used to it.” They are lying.
The best is when they say that “it’s warmer in the water than it is outside.” This makes you, sitting on the dock, feel like perhaps you’d be warmer if you, too, were in the lake. Just know that your fellow lake-goers are only cold “outside of the water” because they got in the water at all. You, with your hooded sweatshirt and towel draped over your bare legs, are in fact warmer than are the swimmers.
You can ward off these temperature-of-the-water fibbers by telling them that you will stay on the dock and watch their phones and keys, and you will have warm towels ready for them when they get out. Everyone appreciates that.
It’s not that far
People lie about distances all the time. Especially at the lake. By virtue of being a lake area, there is no direct route to anything. Unless there is a bridge. In the absence of that, however, you have to drive, boat or kayak around the entire thing to get anywhere.
Here in Maine, we call the roads leading to the lake “camp roads.” When people give directions, they will tell you that you just go up the camp road “a bit” or “a ways.” If these terms were plotted on a map key or scale, they would amount to “many long, slow, winding miles.” Two miles on a camp road takes 10 minutes. But when the others need milk or eggs, they will ask you to go up to the market to get it, and they will tell you that it will just take “a bit.”
People at the lake also lie about the distance across the water. If you are going on a kayak trip, be wary of anyone who says “it’s not that far.” It’s going to be far, and when you are headed back to the shore, the wind will not be at your back, despite what people say.
It’s not that high
We like to jump off rocks here in Maine, and no matter what people tell you, the rock from which you are about to jump is definitely higher than people say it is. “It’s only about 5 feet” is definitely a lie. Multiply by three any height people say, and that should give you an idea of how high up you will feel once you are standing on top of the rock and about to jump.
You should especially be wary of anyone who claims that the water is “really, really deep” below the rock. Always check this for yourself. Seriously.
It’s not that fast
If someone is asking you to get on any type of flotation device that will be pulled by a rope behind a boat, exercise caution when they say they will not go “that fast.” Going 20 miles per hour while safely inside a boat, sitting in a seat, is one thing. Going 25 miles per hour while your feet are strapped into a pair of 5-foot-long skis is another thing. And if you will be pulled on an inflatable tube, be aware that you will bounce and spin as well as go faster than 25 miles per hour. While you are doing all of this, and even while you are screaming and holding on for dear life, the people sitting safely inside the boat will smile and laugh at you. They think this is fun. The more adventurous of them will have brought their cameras, too. Then they will get pictures of you, and those pictures will be terrible. If you’re really unlucky, they will post said photos on Facebook.
For all these lies, however, and despite the mid-scream photos mentioned above, there is one thing you can always count on being true: you DO look good in that bathing suit. As long as you are out there swimming, kayaking, hiking and jumping, you look fantastic.