Monday, March 5, 2012

The sea was angry that day, my friends...

It’s with shame and humiliation that I share this story.

Here’s some background for you. I’m a simple person. I like simple things. This mindset has served its purpose for the most part…that is, until I find myself in a foreign setting, where often I don’t think things through as much as I should. The day in question found us enjoying the last day of our holiday in Spain this past October. We had just finished packing up our bags and decided to head down to the beach for a final bask in the glorious sun. As we were heading out the door, I distinctly recall my sister stating (somewhat cruelly):

Sister: Are you really going to wear that laundry out of the house?
Me: Why, what’s wrong with it?
Sister: What’s not wrong with it?
Me: It’s a tank top and gitch set from Wal-Mart.
Sister: Yeah, and it looks like a tank top and gitch set from Wal-Mart. Which part of this aren’t you getting?
Me: I packed up my bathing suit.
Sister: Go unpack it. I’ll wait.
Me: It’s not that bad. Let’s go.
Sister: And Jesus wept.
I had no intention of leaving my lounge chair so no one was going to see this awful outfit anyway; other than the retinal trauma it was going to cause my sister, brother-in-law and husband, I wasn’t overly concerned.

As luck would have it, at some point in the afternoon, I got hot. Like hot-flash hot. Like that-time-of-the-month hot. I was panting like a dog. What to do? I was holding our four-month old son, James, and told my husband to come with us for a walk to the water to cool off. At some point during that conversation, I also asked my sister to come along to take a family photo to commemorate our last day in Spain (Clearly forgetting about what I was wearing, as that should never have been captured on film.).

It's important to note that up until this last day, all experiences on the beach and in the water had been spectacular. James and I would walk up and down the beach, enjoying the sound of the crashing waves, while my husband would hit the waves to body surf.
The sound of the waves scared James at first,
and I just loved how he snuggled up against me to feel safe.

The look on his face when he squished his toes
in the sand for the first time was priceless.
What's that cresting the wave?
Is it a whale? A seal? An endangered mammal?
No, friends. That's my husband. Talk about perfect timing.
My sister didn't even notice him there until looking at the photos afterwards...
she was like: "What the f*ck is that?"
Another thing - my husband never has both eyes open in a photo
and this is the one he manages to do it in. Mercy. 

Now, back to that fateful family walk to the water on the last day of our holiday. This next batch of photos requires few words as the sequence of events as they unfolded are captured rather magnificently through the following images.

If pressed, I’d be at a loss to identify the most disturbing aspect of the story, but it'd be a toss between the following:
  1. That my sister, albeit not a professional photographer, could not find it in her heart to warn us of the rogue wave that was rearing its ugly head behind us. Mercifully, I had handed James off to Roddy. (likely to adjust my “swim wear”)
  2. The sea was angry that day, my friends. It hurled itself upon us with such force, that it knocked me to the ground. The initial hit knocked me out flat. As my face was getting scrubbed by the ocean floor, I recall a feeling of such fright that my baby was getting washed out to sea, that I lunged forward, clawing and flailing at my husband like a wild person. I couldn’t see a thing, as my eyes were sealed shut from the salty water, not to mention my sunglasses provided about as much clearance as staring out a window in a carwash. I had no idea if he still had hold of James, as I was certain he had gotten knocked flat as well.
  3. That, as we were fighting for our lives, my sister continued to snap photos.
  4. That my husband, who held our son safely in his arms, can be seen turning to watch me drown. You can just make out my ponytail as I go down for the second time. Is that a smile on his face? Yes. I believe it is.
  5. The look of complete and utter horror on James’s face. Oh, that's sadness right there…it’s a real heartbreaker. If you’ll allow me to venture a guess as to what he was thinking, it’d go something like this: “This is f*cking awful, just terrible. I’m being cared for by a pair of lunatics. I pray there’s been a horrible mix-up at Regina General Hospital, and I’ll be demanding a DNA test upon our return. That is, if these nut-jobs can pull their shit together long enough to get me home in one piece. And at the moment, I consider that to be quite a stretch.”
  6. Most importantly (maybe not quite as important as almost drowning our son, but it’s right up there), my choice of “bathing suit” is an absolute disgrace. My sister was correct. There is absolutely no reason in the world to think it’s OK to wear a horizontal-striped tank top and gitch set on the beach, just sixteen weeks after giving birth. Check that. There’s no reason in the world to EVER wear it in public; whether you’ve given birth or not is completely inconsequential.
  7. Prior to sharing these photos, I was going to Photoshop the pictures; maybe remove the stripes or something in a feeble attempt to smooth out the lumps. The other alternative was to replace my head with my sister’s, but I don’t know how to do that, or I totally would have. It then dawned on me that I needed to share these with you. Consider it my gift to you, should you ever find yourself tempted to wear a striped gitch set from Wal-Mart to the beach (tell me I'm not the only one...) The title of my photo gift? Cotton breathes, Wet cotton cleaves. The end.

6 comments:

K :) said...

Wow...that is a totally a LOL story. Thanks for sharing the perils of WalMart wear at the beach. I've learned my lesson... (smile)

Tash said...

Kudos to Joanne for keeping such a steady hand while undoubtably laughing her arse off. To James I say, "at least you knew what you were in for from day one".

cjc said...

new post.
just for you.

Wynter said...

I cannot stop looking at these pictures. I was laughing so hard i puked up in my mouth a wee bit. I wish there was video...well played wave, well played!

Jenny V said...

I love a gal who's not afraid to throw herself under the bus for a good laugh...these pictures are amazing...the commentary straight up, killed me. And that's one hell of a body after baby, miss J! You should be damn proud of yourself! :)

Chelle said...

My children are wondering what has Mommy convulsing in a fit of laughter when we are all supposed to be quiet at bed time. This couldn't be funnier.... And you look fabulous ....period...let alone having a 4 month old.

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