Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Flipper and Me

What do Tyra Banks, Jessica Simpson and I all have in common?

No, it's not Botox.

It's a fear of dolphins.

Or, to be more accurate, in my case, it's a fear of sharing aquatic space with dolphins.

I hear you now Internet: Dolphins! They're magical!

Yes, they are swell which is all the more reason I should not be swimming with them... they have jobs to do - like saving sailors from drowning or scaring off potential shark attacks.

I actually have some rather bizarre water issues which include, but are not limited to, an extreme squickishness about man made objects under water (which makes it difficult to climb in and out of boats or swim around docks or piers), as well as man made lakes. Especially when those lakes are over former towns - Hello? Lake Mead, can you hear me??

Anyhoo, as dolphin swims don't pop up with any sort of regularity, this phobia doesn't much matter.

So why, you ask, did I find myself floating in a manky lagoon on Tortola, eyes shut tight but hands obediently out at my sides with my thumbs up, waiting for Venus and Poseidon to come along and give me a ride through the murky water?

Because I am goddamn team player, that's why.

Hugh and I originally planned to catch the ferry over with everyone else only, instead of taking the plunge, we were going to walk around Road Town, check out the museums, the rum distillery, hit a few gift shops and toss back a couple of Bushwackers.

But nooooo... we are stooopid and didn't bring our wallets and so were fated into an aquatic swim.

The video shows 5 enthusiastic people, clapping and smiling and laughing with glee at the wonder of it all, and 1 person looking vaguely nauseous and highly nervous and maybe not laughing with glee at the wonder of it all but instead peering into the depths wondering just where those little fuckers graceful creatures lurked.

Guess which one was moi.

Luckily there were "tricks" we could/would do with our new friends. My personal nemesis was The Superman - a stunt whereby Venus and Poseidon come along and push you up out of the water by the soles of your feet, straight up in the air out of the frigging water... I sucked it up for the kiss and the drag along pull, but I was damned if I was going to allow this aberration.

So the trainer made me do something else... Oh, Kristin, you will love this! (Mon) Put your arms out like this,(Mon) yes, that's good (Mon) and now hang on here comes Venus... next thing you know I am pretty much atop this dolphin and it is undulating under me in that way that they swim and so I am sort of rafting along and can I just say that undulating dolphins + me = ew.

Now, I know the question you all have is: did I conquer my fear? Do I now love The Dolphin?

No.

In fact, now that I am uber-aware of their cleverness, I am even more inclined to give them their space - all 5 (seriously, I am glad I Googled this because I thought there were only 4) of the world's oceans.

the superman.
not me.
or anyone i know.

*edited to add - I cannot get the DVD we received from Dolphin Discovery to work... it will not read on any of the 4 computers in this house... but I will keep trying to sort something out because, as mentioned, I am a TEAM player!

29 comments:

egan said...

Hey, is there supposed to be a link here to some cool movie clip including you and dolphins?

Kristin said...

Egan - the video which we viewed while still at Little Dix, does not want to be read by my laptop... so, we'll see what I can rig up because the video is pretty damn funny.

Anonymous said...
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CDJ said...

You are such a trooper! I would have thrown a major hissy fit if I was in your shoes.

furiousBall said...

yeah, where's the video! tease!

Kristin said...

FB - You're not the first to call me that. ;-)

Seriously, you are a computer guy - are some DVDs not readable?

Anonymous said...

Again with the Tyra Banks! Coincidence? I think not. BTW, dolphins are "fierce!"

krj said...

After that big tease, no clip. Dang it.

Hey. I love dolphins, but your phobia is LEGIT. Those little suckers can be extremely aggressive if they want to be.

Kristin said...

Anon/Jenn - I know! Tyra and I... we roll!

Anonymous said...

You're so funny! But, I would love to swim with dolphins. I think they're "magical".

hee hee

Marisa

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

Nope, never swimming with dolphins. Never ever ever EVER. That's just too much for me. I'd rather watch them at SeaWorld.

dgm said...

They're more afraid of you than you are of them.

Or not.

And yet, I do think dolphins (and most sea creatures) are wicked awesome. I stop in my tracks every time I see dolphins in the H20.

But man-made lakes--now those are DISGUSTING. So I'm kinda with you on this post.

kim said...

You crack me up Kristin! I hope Jack is feeling better ! *smooches & hugs*

Ninotchka said...

I am absolutely baffled. The experience of swimming with dolphins has been one of my life's greatest joys and thrills and I can't wait to do it again someday. WITH THE KIDS. All that said, I still love you to death. And you tell the story quite well. :)

'kmum said...

Yeah, I had one of them snap at me once. Granted, it was a "park" in the Caribbean somewhere, I can't remember which island, but still. Made me never want to intentionally swim with one. I still think they are cool and all that, just not swimming with them.

Sarah O. said...

I've never thought about it but now that you mention it, dolphins have always creeped me out a little, too. And I just don't get people's infatuation with whales and their awful "singing".

Go ahead, say it. I'm a wimpy landlubber.

Kristin said...

Nino - One of the women in our group felt as you did... it was just a really amazing experience for her and she lit up like a Christmas tree through the entire thing... and her energy was just so great - I was the freak show in the corner!

Phoenix said...

I am laughing at your fear of dolphins. I shouldn't, but I am. I adore dolphins and most anything that lives in the water. But I am scared shitless of ants, so to each his own. ;)

Lisa and Tate said...

In my wildest dreams, I would be swimming with dolphins. But truth be told... I would be to freakin' scared to go into the water to swimm with these creatures of wonder....

carrie said...

As fun as it looks, if it came right down to it - I'd totally probably chicken out.

Back to the rum distillery I'd go! :)

Shelley said...

Okay, I can't get past all the undulating.

;D

M3 said...

Oh!!!!! I need to see that video. NEED, not want, seriously. (I love dolphins, by the way, and would give Rod's left arm to swim with them. Oh wait, I think he needs that one to play the tuba? Ok, the right arm.)

Los said...

I think that would be cool, swimming with dolphins ... I have a friend who wants to swim with sharks ... I gotta draw the line somewhere.

Oh, The Joys said...

This is the first I've heard of dolphin fear!!

The Domesticator said...

I was going to say you, Tyra, and Jessica all have great hair in common *LOL* but a fear of dolphins? Hmmm....

And you went to Tortola? It is so beautiful there!

Kristin said...

Dolphin-Phobia suffers, UNITE!

Slackermommy said...

Rock on! You go on with your big bad self! Can't wait to see the video.

Poppy Buxom said...

The advantage to going to Chicago?

Jello shots. WITH ME.

And no dolphins.

(Seriously, email me your travel plans, mon.)

Anonymous said...

I was talking to a dolphin expert at a party a few years ago (seriously - he lived on Maui and worked for some Fish and Wildlife type operation) who told me that male dolphins can be very dangerous to women in the wild. (Not women-in-the-wild, dolphins in the wild) because they can try to mate with you. Alas, as we all know, mating underwater means they have to KEEP you underwater while they're attempting to have their Evil Dolphin Way with you. Be afraid . . . be very afraid . . . unless they buy you dinner first.