So over Memorial Day weekend, it was also my little brother's graduation from high school. I decided to make the long weekend even longer and took the Thursday and Friday before the weekend off of work so I could spend that time with my family down in Springville. This meant that I was going to be meeting up with Alex and his Provo friends rather than just driving down from Salt Lake with him and anyone else up from that way. This also meant it was up to me to procure a wetsuit on my own.
Alex let me know I could get one at the BYU Outdoor Recreation Center (I don't think that's even the right name...oh well. Go UTES!), but that I should wait until later in the day on Saturday to get it so I wouldn't have to stress about returning it early on Tuesday.
I had a bunch of errands to run in Provo that morning, so my little brother and I went out to lunch and enjoyed shooting movie quotes back and forth at eachother as we scoured the city. When it finally came time to pick up my wetsuit, it was around 2 in the afternoon. The sales girl who was available asked me what I needed and headed over to a seeminly empty rack where the wetsuits (I'm guessing) usually hung.
Girl: Oh...it looks like we are low on suits.
Me: That's okay, I only need one.
Girl: Looks like we only have women's mediums and smalls left.
Me thinking: I've lost weight in the past year. I've been buying a lot more mediums. It might be kind of short on me, but I'm sure it will fit everywhere else, and they look stretchy.
Me: A medium might work
The girl took a medium suit off the rack and held it up to me--the edges of the suit were 2 inches in on my torso on both sides.
Me thinking: Wow. That's a confidence builder. Were these made for girls with eating disorders? Nope. I'm just
Girl: Yeah, that will probably fit!
Me: Could I try it on just to make sure?
Girl: Sure, just down that hall.
I handed my purse to my little brother (I know he loves it when I do this. Every time I come back from making him hold my purse he's standing awkwardly, holding it in front of him as if he might catch some disease by being seen holding a women's purse. Cooties are real people. And apparently can even be caught by interactions between siblings. Watch out.) and headed to the provided bathroom. Side not: you could tell that the building was owned by BYU because the bathroom looked exactly like every bathroom you go into owned by the church anywhere. It even smelled the same. Weird. I locked myself in a stall, took off my shoes and stuck my feet into the leg holes.
I could barely even pull the suit up over my calves.
All of the "it will stretch!" pep talks I had given myself minutes earlier were put to shame. These things have zero stretch. Which I guess makes sense for their purpose, but is not so great on the whole self image thing. I peeled the sandy suit off and made my walk of shame back into the main room trying not to feel like a walking, breathing, balloon. Forrest was standing awkwardly (as per usual) and the girl was nowhere to be found. I hung the suit back up next to its skinny friends and wandered into the next room with the cash register. The girl was helping out another employee (very apparently his first day on the job) ring someone up and none of the employees were wearing name tags or anything so I couldn't tell who else in the place might be able to help me and who just looked legit because they were use to renting things like kayaks, climbing shoes, and canoes.
We waited a painfully long time for the transaction at the front to be completed and finally the girl was available for me to ask a very improtant question.
Girl: Did it not fit?
Me: No...it was pretty small. One size up and it might have fit.
Girl: Dang, that's too bad.
Me: Do you know of anywhere else locally I could rent a suit?
Girl:.....(long pause)....No, I don't really know of one. Sorry!
And off she went to help the next poor sop in line.
I walked out of the store completely defeated. The trip was the next day. The water we were going to be swimming through was suppose to be fridged. It came all came down to one thing:
No Wetsuit = No Canyoneering for Chelsea
I texted Alex asking if he had gotten his suit yet and if he could grab one for me up in SLC, but he had gotten his the day earlier since they weren't open on the weekends. He very graciously offered his to me, as he "had always wanted to try doing the canyon without one" (macho-man-chivalry-pride at it's finest). I was about to accept his offer just so I could join in on the trip when Forrest remembered a suba shop in downtown Springville (Most random thing ever? Yes.) that might have some to rent. Good old Suba Ted's. I gave them a call and low and behold they had some in stock!! We finished up with the rest of our errands and headed home with a short stop by Suba Ted's.
We parked at the sketchy looking laundry mat and walked into the shop where we were accosted by a very fishy, oceany, smell. Are they trying to pretend you can actually smell the ocean in the middle of Utah? Because that just ain't gonna happen. Anyways, I asked the man behind the counter if I could rent on of their wetsuits. He answered with a question that I knew was a bad sign as soon as it left his mouth:
(It's called Suba Ted's, therefore I'm going to assume his name was Ted.)
Ted: What are you going to use it for?
Me thinking: I can't flat out say canyoneering. I know that's why he's asking. But I can't lie and say I'm scuba diving. We live in UTAH for goodness sakes, what else but canyon swimming do people even use wetsuits for?
Me: We are going to a canyon that is going to have water in it that's cold.
Ted: *shaking his head and interrupting me before I could even get my full sentence out* Nope, I can't help you. You know that really tears up the suits right? It's just so bad for them.
Me: Oh. Okay. Well I guess you can't help me then.
Ted: Well if you want I could sell you a suit?
Me: How much would that be?
Ted: I have some that are around $100...
Me: No, I can't afford that right now.
Ted: *as I am walking out the door* Well I'm sorry about that--
Me: *No response--Cue closing of the door*
Dear Suba Ted's, how in the WORLD do you get enough business to keep running when you don't even rent your suits out to people wanting to go down a canyon? Do you really get that many customers who take the suits suba diving? I would really like to be proven wrong on this point, because it would make for an awesome trip, but the last time I checked there are no reefs or anything of the type to be seen in the state of Utah. Unless someone is really dying to see the garbage eating fish at the bottom of Utah lake. So thank you for nothing you useless suba store.
At this point I was rather upset and feeling drained from a day of ups and downs "yes I'm going on the trip, no I'm not, yes I am, no I'm not". I contacted Alex letting him know that Ted's was a no-go and he once again suggested I take his suit. I asked "are you sure?" at least fifty times and finally accepted his offer. I really wanted to go on this trip guys.
Haha just kidding. The wetsuit debacle of 2013 wasn't over yet.
I was just getting out of Walmart after buying a new (knockoff) camelback and snacks when Alex called me with some smart reasoning as to why I couldn't use his suit. It went something like this:
Alex: So...I don't think you'll be able to use my suit...
Alex: Well, me and my roommate were talking about it and...well...girls and guys...they have different anatomy...and the suit is already pretty tight over my chest and well...
Me: ...it won't really fit me? (helping him out of his struggle to not make this an awkward conversation which was really just making it even more awkward for himself and more hilarious for me)
Alex: Yeah. Exactly. I'm so sorry! Do you think you could find one anywhere else?
I had actually already texted a friend from high school who had a boat and I thought might have some wet suits to see if I could maybe borrow one, but I hadn't heard back from him. He was my last hold out.
Me: My friend might have one I can borrow, but I haven't heard back from him yet...
Alex: Okay, just let me know. Otherwise I guess you could do it without one...
Me: I'm not sure if I'm hardcore enough for that. I probably just wouldn't be able to come.
And that was when I really thought I wasn't going to be able to go after all the stress, planning, question asking, purchasing, and pumping up of my excitement. Imagonna be honest: I was pretty bummed. I came back home, didn't bother doing any packing, and kinda moped around the house wishing there was another way.
Then came the text from the heavens (aka my high school friend Steve):
His parents had a wetsuit.
They didn't mind if I borrowed it.
I drove over to their house at 10:30 that night, tried on one suit that was once again way too small (at least people are underestimating my size, right?), and finally settled for one that was a bit too big and shorts instead of full length, but would be good enough.
I called Alex to let him know the drama was finally over and that yes, I was coming--he was pretty relived as he felt it was his fault I didn't get one at the first place because he told me to go later in the day. I assured him it wasn't his fault and that after a crazy day, it was all working out.
I frantically started packing my stuff (trying my hardest not to be a cronic overpacker...because I am) and went to bed with a smile on my face.
I was going canyoneering.
...to be continued.