at least one family has a pretty weird vacation video fo me in the bahamas
Updated: Mar 12, 2019
you know, there are few things in this world that i am unequivocally sure of. what adult life has taught me so far is i don’t know anything about anything. it’s how i know that i finally made it out of that unbearable quarter of everyone’s life where they keep thinking they know things once they hit a milestone.
when i graduated high school i was like, “i’m eighteen now! i’m a real adult!!”
when i graduated college i was like, “i’ve got a degree, suckas! i’m a real adult!!”
babygirl. you sleep in a mattress with a hole in it, you’ve never made your own doctor’s appointment, and you are still consistently mispronouncing “epitome.” so let’s not get too cocky, bud.
anyway, now i’m like, “i know nothing except that i’m afraid of the yellowstone supervolcano!” and that’s how i know i might almost be a real adult.
what was i saying? oh, right: i don’t know a lot, but i do know three things:
dogs are good;
eating is the best part of every day; and
i don’t understand why we as a society have gone all-in on bikinis. i mean, okay, yes, they’re “““““sexy””””” and “minimize” “tan” “lines” and whatever whatever whatever, blah, but like, they are the least practical article of clothing mankind has ever invented and we all!!! just accepted it!!! we were all like, “yeah, this is fine, even though you can’t jump off anything without it falling off, you’re gonna get twice the sand stuck in the places you want zero sand, and the tan lines you do get are gonna be frickin weird once we inevitably evolve from bra-and-underwear style to like, aeonflux-inspired leather flesh prisons.”
i resisted buying bikinis for a long time, and because you are all my friends you will accept me at my word when i say it was for the above reasons and not deeply-rooted insecurities about being a woman in society. but at a certain point, it became like, more difficult to die on the hill of not wearing bikinis than to just accept my body for all of its flaws.
you hear that, capitalism? laziness got me, not your advertising.
my first bikini was fairly lowkey, as far as bikinis go. it was blue and white, had pretty strong coverage, and tied on both the bottom and the top so you could adjust how tight it was. that was great for when i wanted to jump off things and needed it not to fall everywhere, but also sometimes wanted to lay out in the sun and didn’t want my legs to fall off from lack of circulation.
haha, just kidding. if i’m out in the sun for more than 20 consecutive seconds, my whole body bursts into flames.
i caved and bought it because i was in the seventh grade and we were going on a family vacation to the bahamas. well, it was sort of a family vacation. my brother couldn’t come so i just brought a friend. that’s the same, right? her name was jane and she was the kind of great that meant eventually we had to stop being friends, because she was into all the same things i was into but was slightly better than me at all of them.
as an adult i probably could have made that friendship work but as an insecurity-riddled twelve-year-old, it was doomed.
not to inject a dose of reality is sad into this funny story about a bikini betraying my trust, but. you know.
that one’s on me, pal.
this was way before the tragic but inevitable breakdown of our friendship, however, when jane and i were still thick as thieves. she came on vacation with my wonderful but admittedly weird family and was a real trooper, even when i made her dance the cha cha slide up to sixteen times in one day and insisted on wearing a billabong t-shirt with an orange butterfly on it everywhere we went. also, at the end of the trip, when she was sad because she’d met a boy and their love was doomed, i just said “aw, hey, bud, bud, aww, heyyyy,” over and over because i didn’t then and don’t now have any idea how to respond to people who are crying.
“pineapple hurt mouth? mouth want less acidic fruit????” -- me, panicked and confused, every time someone starts crying near me.
like, i consider myself a fairly empathetic person, it’s just that the concept of crying in front of someone is so horrifying to me, molly mccriesalone, that i never know...what it is...that other people want. because i would want us all to pretend that it isn’t happening.
“me? crying? oh, no. no, i’m, uh.... i’m just cleansing my cheeks using the natural saline in my body. it’s a whole new thing the beauty blogs are doing. get into it.”
but apparently some people like to be “comforted” in their “times” of “need”. or whatever.
she even helped my mom talk me into swimming with dolphins, which i was excited about theoretically but, due to my well-documented fear of being in bodies of water that sustain life, couldn’t quite make myself commit to.
it’s not that i’m afraid of water, per se.
it’s just that everything that is in water, including water, can kill you.
like, no offense, but anything bad that happens to you while you’re swimming is your own fault. you put yourself in that situation!!!! you knew the risks!!!!
humans are land animals. i just think we need to acknowledge and respect that, as a species.
dolphin day arrived pretty late in the vacation, one of our last, which would end up being a good thing. and i was ready. i was fully committed to meeting my dolphin best friend, becoming a dolphin trainer, and living the rest of my life swimming in the ocean with an army of dolphins to protect me from all the scary things in there. i had even talked myself into believing that if i stared longingly at the ocean for long enough, someone--probably an attractive twenty-something man with a strong jaw and square shoulders, but i’m just guessing--would notice, and see that i was ~meant to be a dolphin trainer.
surely he would take me under his tutelage. i had a natural gift but it would need to be harnessed. would it be our fault when, during the process, we fell in love and got married and lived together in a house with a glass bottom where our dolphin friends could swim? no. it would not be. that’s just what happens when two people work long hours training dolphins.
but that’s not what happened.
what happened was: when my time came, my moment, i pushed off the dock and into the water, ready to meet my new dolphin friends with open arms.
but i didn’t get that far. i got about ... five inches, and then my bikini bottom caught on a nail sticking out of the dock, and i got no further.
this never would have happened in a one piece!!!!
i hung there. probably knee-deep in water but very definitely not touching the ground. not really breathing, because have you ever gotten a wedgie so intense you can, like, taste it?
let me tell you!!!! it doesn’t taste good!!!
here’s the thing about having a wedgie that you get when you are suspended from a height: you can’t...fix it. i had no leverage. i couldn’t haul myself up enough to untangle myself, because i didn’t have that kind of arm strength and i’m frankly suspicious of people who do. and the longer i hung, the deeper the rip became.
on my left, my mother who bore me, who pledged to love me for the rest of my days, who fed me and cared for me and made sure i was vaccinated so that i would die of polio or infect some other poor kid with polio, was absolutely losing it. she was collapsed on the dock, hand over her eyes, laughing so hard that no sound was coming out.
off the top of my head, i can think of about 12 instances where my mother collapsed into laughter instead of helping me solve a problem, and more than one of them is caught on videotape.
“mom,” i said.
she flapped her hand at me to indicate that she had heard but that no help was coming.
on my right was a tall gentleman in floral bathing shorts. i’d guess he was in his late forties or early fifties. he was a dad. i knew he was a dad because a) he looked like he was born with a grill spatula in his hand and b) he’d been taking pictures and videos of his two kids all morning. he was still filming.
he was not filming his children, who his wife bore, who he pledged to love for the rest of their days, who he fed and cared for and made sure they were vaccinated so that they wouldn’t die of polio or infect some other poor kid with polio. he was filming me, wedgie mcwhygod?, flopping around on the side of the dock in an attempt to rip my bikini enough that it would break and free me from the dock’s clutches.
he was also laughing so hard that he was doubled over, hands on his knees, the camera only half-heartedly pointed in my direction.
“why?” i asked plaintively, and through his laughter he managed to kind of shrug his shoulders in that universal human way to signify i don’t know, i can’t stop.
the way that i got down, by the way, is not that either adult rescued me. my bathing suit just finally ripped. in fact, it ripped so badly i had to tie both sides of the rip into a knot so it wouldn’t fall off. the dolphins were unimpressed. i was not taken into the care of a dolphin trainer that i was destined to love.
still waiting on that, tbh.
i think, sometimes, about that dude and his vacation video. i wonder if it got weirder every year to have possession of, or if it’s the kind of thing that you just become used to. “here’s us at the beach, here’s us drinking daiquiris, here’s us snorkeling, here’s that girl hanging off the dock from her bikini, here’s that girl hanging off the dock from her bikini from a different angle when dad was bent over laughing, here’s that girl hanging of the dock from her bikini’s mom howling with laughter, here’s us riding jet skis.”
what does that family imagine i grew up to be?
i feel like....it’s probably nothing good.
well, whoever you guys are, if you’re reading this and still have it: i’d love a copy.