So, we’ve talked about this before. For quite some time now, I’ve had a steadfast rule: Don’t shit where you eat. Well, for a while I’ve had that rule. OK, perhaps it’s a bit more like a guideline. OK, since I’ve moved out of the U.S. I’ve had it …
Having “dated” my fair share of skydivers and hangers-on of our sport, I formed the opinion long ago that women in skydiving are badass, exciting, cutting edge, incredible, beautiful, sexy as fuck—and in my personal experience, bat-shit CRAZY.
Having formed this opinion, and having put this rule into place, I figured that dating outside skydiving might offer a bit more of a challenge , seeing how we can be an interesting dynamic to deal with in the real world (that and the fact that so-called “normal” women sometimes run from “our” kind), but that the extra effort could potentially yield a lot less bat shit.
Taking a small step back, I’ll explain why I made the decision to institute said rule. In skydiving, I’ve “dated:”
- The tandem student (as a cameraman, tandem instructor and pilot)
- The AFF student
- The packer
- The manifest girl
- The pro-shop girl
- The fun jumper
- The instructor
- The non-jumping skydive fan
- The ride-along
Tandem students are casual visitors to the world of skydiving; very few problems would arise with them. They got just enough of a glimpse of the sport to make me look super cool and totally bang-able. They never lasted terribly long (if even past sunset on the day of their tandem), and other than being a great source of entertainment, they never had any lasting effect on me. But as soon as I started getting into it with more than a passerby …
If you’ve either been in the sport for a while or have a fair amount of common sense, then you can see how some of the above listed could cause real problems for an instructor or pilot if they’re on the same DZ. The students and newcomers don’t do much more than follow you around in full-on puppy mode, or show you quite quickly that she wasn’t your girl, it was just your turn. The fun jumpers and non-jump staff you’ve messed around with can certainly make time around the bonfire pretty uncomfortable, but at least they don’t have a terribly large effect on work. But as you go further down the list …
Dating a packer with access to your rig on a daily basis is kinda like fucking your rigger’s wife. You don’t know when you’re gonna get it, but it’s gonna happen. And date the manifest girl and you not only won’t get one single attractive student while you are getting along, you’ll get every smelly pig and fatass when you aren’t!
Breakups on the drop zone are always fucking messy, always public and cause everything from ridiculously uncomfortable working conditions to loss of job, trailer, gear, sanity, etc. … So that’s why the rule came into play. When I relocated from the U.S. out of the airlines and back into skydiving, I did so intending nothing further than friendship with the female side of the sport. So far, for over a year, I’ve followed that rule to the letter. It’s been … interesting.
I’ve discovered that being a pilot (they call me Captain here) is an amazing leg up in the dating world. I’ve discovered that being an American living abroad in a city filled with expats works well. I’ve discovered that being 40-something with salt-and-pepper stubble is a real turn-on for a fair number of 20-somethings, and I’ve discovered (to my great despair) they are just as, if not even more, out of their fucking minds!
Less than 48 hours after our first date, a girl we’ll call “Alberta” sent me this text:
“So Dean, I guess it’s a no-go for round two then … Curious … Hair not blonde enough? Boobs not big enough? Too tall? Ass too big? Be honest, I would appreciate it.”
Ho. Ly. Fuck. That is some straight-out-of-the-gate nuts. And she’s a 32-year-old school teacher! Not only a totally respectable age for me, but holding down a more than respectable career all her own. Alberta was close on the heels of the crazy Stage-5-Clinger 23-year-old cabin crew member (stewardess) who was sending “I miss you” messages to me five minutes after I’d dropped her off from what appeared to be a one night-ish stand …
It’s true. If you put me in a room with 99 normal well-adjusted women and one bi-polar, schizophrenic booze hound with daddy issues, I’ll make a straight line for the mental case pretty much every time! Yet I thought this new rule would go a long way toward alleviating some of my substantial dating issues. I mean c’mon! A 32-year-old teacher?!?
Clearly my new rule is flawed. Clearly I’ve simply traded one set of fucked-up problems for an entirely new set. The drop zone I fly at is predominantly couples-based, and is unlike any other DZ I’ve ever worked at because it lacks the fire pit, the hangar parties and the social scene that most places sport. The city that I live in is unlike any other because, first, it’s the only place I’ve ever been where having an American accent is something they look for, and second, it’s full of people from all over the world with NOBODY actually from here. Taking all of this into consideration, going back to the way things used to be seems unlikely, but I’m still left wondering which set of crazy traps were better …?
So I guess the real question is: Is the Devil you know better than the one you don’t?
To be continued …
Like this article?
Get more just like it every month, delivered straight to your mailbox. Subscribe today!