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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

What Has Two Thumbs and Is Unsinkable? Part I

I've mentioned my affinity for all things ocean-related, so it only makes sense that, while staying on a tropical island located in some of the clearest diving waters in the world (visibility up to 150 feet!), I would finally go scuba diving.

My intro-to-scuba session took place with the local instructor and Marika--a girl from Holland. Marika was tall, slender and tan. We wiggled into our wet suits and I thought up all these great jokes I didn't make out loud about waiting my whole life to wear a wet suit:

"Best $120 I ever spent. I don't really care bout the scuba lesson. Thanks, see ya!"

Stuff like that...

They gave us our weight belts, and I grew very suspicious of the weight. Or I should say the lack of weight. They had given me the same as the tall slender girl.

I don't find it uncomfortable to speak about the fact that I am a fullish-figured lady. Not always--I've been much, much thinner. But right now, I am by no means petite. (Blah blah blah...here, let me use more euphemisms.) Don't get me wrong: I'm a lucky fatty; I gain weight very proportionately. If my butt gets 10 percent bigger, so do my upper arms. Whenever someone seems surprised at my mention of weight gain or my calling myself chubby, I'm a bit insulted. Like, don't you know that I'm a skinny person who has gotten fat?! This is not my body, dummy! This is my body, fat.

Calling me big boned, however, would be as inaccurate as calling me olive-skinned. There is a bird skeleton under this cushion, and my hands and feet have not grown since I was 11.

I wanted to try and explain this to them: Please add more weight, I am a walking life preserver. I am a human buoy. But I guess I felt too embarrassed to question the professionals. And maybe I was a little complimented by them thinking I had muscles or something.

Ideally they would add like 50 pounds of weight to avoid the embarrassment of having to add more weight. It would feel so awesome for them to have to remove weight, but no one wins if they have to keep adding weight. Which is exactly what they had to do.

It really was a bit sad as they added another kilo, then another, then another. But once I could finally sink I forgot about the whole ordeal. We went through the basic training and within a half hour I was really doing it: I was scuba diving!

What a goddess.

 

We descended to eight meters on the introductory dive. As we surfaced and then paddled backwards to shore, the instructor looked at me, his puffy little pupil, and said, "I've got a mermaid on my hands." And I beamed like a four-year-old, even if I felt a bit more like Ursula.

 

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