by Amy Mullis
“What are you doing?”
The Captain is kind of an embarrassment savant when it comes to sensing when I’m hovering on the brink of humiliation. We’d been frolicking in the ocean all morning and for the past mortification and a half, I’d been attempting what I thought was an unassuming display of aquatic gymnastics in the effort to rid myself of a sand dune lodged in a place that should never be landlocked.
“The lining of my bathing suit is full of sand. I’m trying to empty it.”
There’s nothing like a little wet sand in the crotch to give you that “close encounter with a live mackerel” feel.
“It looks like some kind of tribal interpretive dance.”
“You might call it that.”
“You need a native costume.”
“I have a costume. You’ve heard of a cement overcoat? This is cement underwear.”
“I’m just trying to help.”
“Thanks, but what I need is a helper who can mind his own business.”
“Okay, I’ll wait for you at the hotel.”
A King-sized bed and a $20 room service cheeseburger called for drastic measures. I would have given up my pay-per-view for a drink of fresh water and a bathing suit that didn’t retain ocean life.
“Hold still so I can get my balance. I need to squat.”
“I want to lean on you. I need to squat lower in the water so no one will see me.”
The Captain has a way of raising one eyebrow in a gesture that makes you feel as if you’ve asked for something unreasonable, like pink pompom fringe for the bedroom curtains.
“If I let you lean on me, can we get rid of that nasty pink pompom fringe in the bedroom?”
“Okay, just stand still.” I took the opportunity to effect a grand jeté with the passing of a major wave. Grand jeté is a ballet term meaning “your crotch is still full of sand and it’s beginning to chafe.”
I tugged. I wriggled. I did a little side step. I did the hokey pokey. Not only did I have enough sand in my personal space to build Cinderella’s sandcastle, I auditioned successfully for Dancing With the Stars.
“I’m not accomplishing anything.”
“Let’s just go on in. Nobody will notice.”
“Nobody will notice? It looks like I’m smuggling tropical fruit in my swimsuit.”
Just then a particularly devious wave crashed down from behind, sending me floundering underwater and knocking the straps off both shoulders. Mothers covered their children’s eyes. Low-flying seagulls pointed and laughed. I’m pretty sure the lifeguard quit his job on the spot.
The Captain raised the eyebrow. “Well, I don’t know about your banana, but your grapefruits are getting a little pink.”
As soon as I reached the area of civilization that has indoor showers, I retired that swimsuit.
But the pompom fringe is staying put.
These days when Amy goes to the beach, she packs a new swimsuit. And duct tape. Join her for more “Don’t let this happen to me!” moments on her blog, Mind Over Mullis.