I was thinking about the upcoming conference being held at the Swan and Dolphin Resort and realized there will be many pools there. All I can say is…oy vey.
It isn’t that I hate the water. I know it has many redeeming properties…you know, cause the human body is about 60% water and the earth is two-thirds water. But still…I just can’t like it.
Oh sure, I started out as a waterbaby, swimming every chance I got. Summers at Grand Isle (now the site of oil storage) were fantastic. We’d race out to the Gulf, swim (I had an adorable pink ruffled bikini), play in the sand and all that rot. Then one summer when I was 6, I saw the most horrendous thing. It was Labor Day weekend. The female crabs were coming in to lay eggs, but I didn’t think anything of it. I was young and having fun. Then, one of my older cousins lifted his foot out of the water with a giant crab hanging from his big toe. I’m telling you, this girl ran on water! I climbed up my mom’s heavily pregnant body (she was about 7 months along with my brother), plopped my ass on her belly and wrapped myself around her like a boa constrictor. I wasn’t going back in that water.
It didn’t get better from then on. I’d finally seen Jaws, had a scary experience in the Gulf, so now beaches were out with me. Pools were fine though. Until my mom and aunt decided to put me in swimming lessons. The last day of lessons was the big test. We had to jump off the diving board and swim to the shallow end of the pool. Easy, right? No. I wasn’t about to jump off of that wobbly thing! So I had a plan: I was going to jump off of the side of the pool, make a right hand turn and swim to the shallow end. It started off well…until I ran into the opposite wall of the pool. Yeah, don’t remember much about that day except waking up in the shallow water. I hadn’t gotten there on my own either.
So now pools were out, but because I was young and stupid, I still tried. Swimming with my cousins at a hotel pool when I was 20, I became the ladder my panicking cousin used to get to the top of the water. Guess where I was? You got it: staring up at the surface thinking “I am going to die at the bottom of a Holiday Inn pool.” Luckily my brother saved me, but ever since then, I just can’t…relax in the water.
I can swim if I need to. I float really, really well. Don’t ask me to dive because my butt (my built-in floatation device) pops up to the surface almost immediately. I have to struggle to dive and it isn’t worth it. I’m okay with water, I just have a healthy respect for it. Besides the fact that I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bathing suit (the days of the little pink ruffled bikini were over before I developed breasts), I just don’t trust others around me.
Yes, you know…”others”. My best friend’s family is filled with seals. They love the water. They horseplay in the water and I’ve been the victim of several dunkings (in the shallow end of the pool) throughout the years. But I still can’t manage to trust everyone else around me. What if that person doesn’t know how to swim and grabs me to save themselves? I don’t want to drown in the Happiest Place on Earth! So no, I won’t be going in the water. Oh sure, I’ll sit by the pool if I’m meeting with anyone, have a few drinks, relax…but the only thing going in the water would be my feet.
How about you? Are you a waterbaby?