…and not a metaphoric one. No, no. My kids were great. The family we stayed with was amazing. Everyone got along, with the added bonus that my kids wanted to play with their kids and not me. It was ideal.
So boo-hoo for me and my hemorrhoid. I know, it could’ve been worse. Like a foreign parasite (which I actually thought it was at first). Or some accident caused by reasons more active than spending several days in a lounge chair by the pool doing nothing more than drinking. So, yes. When examining the facts, it’s probably fitting that day three of my vacation brought sunshine, good food, and an extreme anal vein.
Unfortunately, I have been known to make very stupid decisions while in pain. Especially when it’s the kind of pain I don’t really want to talk about, and there’s a swim-up bar with two-for-one drinks during happy hour. (Seriously, do you know how much easier it is to spend hours with your kids at the pool when you’re double-fisting margaritas?) And for me, the fact that I was even at the pool and in the water was a big deal. It’s not something I normally like to do. Mostly because I’m so self-conscious about my bathing suit. Not because I’ve got the kind of body that warrants a second look. But because I’m a cheap, last-minute kinda girl. Which translates into clearance rack bathing suits from Old Navy that never fit the way I’m pretty sure they should.
But this year, I made an effort. Got myself two bathing suits that fit snugly. One blue-and-white striped tankini (kind of matronly, but whatever) and one super cute white bikini. ONE barely glanced at the bikini before she asked me to take it off. She claimed that fish would try to eat me because they’d think I was a fish. What I think she was trying to say was that I’m waaaaaaay too pale to pull off a white bikini. Since I was already coming down off the high of spending too much money on bathing suits, I quickly crumbled and went with the blue-and-white ziploc suit.
Anyway, back to the cycle of pain and bad-decision making. Because of my painful vacation guest, I felt it necessary to visit the swim-up bar more times than necessary for someone of my stature. And it was during this juncture that we were chatting with some people who were taking their kids swimming with dolphins and we thought: Let’s do that! It sounds like LOTS OF FUN!
The next day we took a (very sober) ferry to Isla Mujeres so that we too could have The Experience of a Lifetime! ONE and I arrived just minutes before our scheduled dolphin swim and were ushered to our group as they began their decent toward the water. It was then that I realized several things:
1) I didn’t want to do it. At all. It’s not that I was afraid of dolphins. Or water. But I’d never done it before and they’d be photographing the entire “experience.”
2) There appeared to be an informational session of some sort, complete with hand gestures. Like someone was explaining what they’d be doing. What was expected, etc. And we missed it.
3) My deodorant had the exchange rate of the peso.
We walked into the water with two trainers, eight other people, and two very well-behaved dolphins. We stood in waste-high water on a grated platform with lots of little fish darting around our legs. We “kissed” the dolphins, “danced” with them, and took a zillion posed shots. It was cold. It went on for too long. My mind started wandering to how many other people clung to the same life jacket that I was wearing. And then it was time to “swim” with the dolphins. Which was more like performing, even though they were trained, and we were not.
ONE went first. She was told to swim out and wait. The dolphins popped up behind her, she grabbed their fins, and they rode her back to us. Success. She was thrilled. Then it was my turn. I swam out as far as she’d been, but every time I turned back to see if I’ve gone far enough, the trainer yelled:
“Farther, Cindy! Farther!”
Which made no sense. She didn’t swim out that far. I kept going until I was closer to some of the other groups and their dolphins. The water was colder. I was tired. I just wanted to grab the stupid fins and make it back to the grated platform so my feet could get torn up a little more. That was when I heard the instructor yell:
“Float like you’re Superman, Cindy!”
What? Superman? No one said anything about Superman.
But, like the eager people pleaser I am, I didn’t question him. I just followed his instructions. Hoping, of course, that I was doing it correctly. (And that he’d point out how exemplary I was.)
The next thing I knew, the dolphins swam under me, and lifted me up in the air.
“Arms up, Cindy! Arms up!”
I lifted my arms over my head. The air whipped my hair around my face. I rose to an almost standing position. I was flying like Superman. Zooming around the world, saving the day. And just like Superman, the faster we flew, the faster my bathing suit bottom filled up with water, until it was so full that it slipped down my legs.
For everyone to see.
Including the photographer, who had been snapping away from under her umbrella on the dock.
“Oh, no, Cindy!”
The trainer blew his whistle. The dolphins instantly stopped and disappeared. And Superman? I belly-flopped into the water and struggled to pull up my bottom before I resurfaced. Everyone looked away as I took my place next to ONE on the grate. Everyone other than the adolescent boy who happened to be positioned on my other side. He smiled. (Not the same adolescent boy who smiled after this situation, though there always seems to be one nearby during my accidental public exhibitions.) And I heard a woman three people down whisper to her boyfriend, “That’s what I’m afraid will happen to me.”
Ironically, the last time I exhibited my vag to a group this large I was giving birth, and acquiring my first hemorrhoid.
“Let this be a lesson to you, folks,” crooned the instructor, in his smooth, foreign accent. “Hold on to your bathing suit!”
And to that I’ll add: Don’t make stupid decisions–like paying a lot of money to hang out in an aquatic zoo–while under the the influence of anal veins.
It only ends well for other people.
©2012 CEK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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