Since I’m in tropical places this week, I thought this might be an appropriate time to make a good old fashioned confession.
I’m equally terrified of and fascinated by sharks. I bought “Shark Week” on DVD. Even swimming in the deep end of a pool or in a lake brings up all the panicky feelings in all the world. Did you know that bull sharks can live in fresh water? It’s true. Lake sharks. Shark Week told me so.
But that’s not my confession.
Here it is: I won’t swim in water where I can’t see the bottom – UNLESS there are other people swimming with me.
Why is that, you may ask?
That’s right. The idea that Jaws could emerge and chomp on my FRIEND or FAMILY member (although a stranger would be preferable) instead of on my body is somehow calming to me. It’s SICK. I know. It goes against every motherly instinct and every protective-of-my-beloved-humans instinct that I have (or apparently should have, but don’t).
I don’t know how it would play out in real life, if I happened across a shark in a lake or an ocean or a swimming pool. Maybe I would jump in between my loved one and the beast, in a valiant act of self-sacrifice. Perhaps I would channel my inner Jackie Chan and take the shark out, poke it in the eye like the Discovery Channel told me to. It could be that my water-mates get an accidental nudge towards all the teeth while I’m paddling for safety (sorry if it’s that one).
It’s hard to tell.
So, if we happen to go swimming together, and you notice that I’m hovering nearby, it might not be because I’m extra fond of you (even if I do enjoy you as a human). It’s probably actually because there’s a big part of me hoping you’ll be eaten first.
There’s not really anywhere else to go with this information. Certainly not swimming with me, apparently.
If you haven’t yet, you can go ahead and judge me now. I judge myself.