You may remember the recent party in my mouth? Well hold on to your knickers because this past weekend I had a new party. A party in my bathing suit. And wait until you hear who was there. IN there. My pants. Partying.
As you know, most summer weekends find me and the kids in Corolla at my mom’s beach house. I am happiest floating in the warm salt water with the sun shining above.
But guess how many times we have been able to swim, counting a full week plus weekends? FOUR. Only FOUR TIMES. Why? Because of the Outer Banks Cold Water Phenomena that has been haunting us all season. For goodness sakes – the surfers are wearing winter suits in JULY! In FREAKING JULY!
So the moment the water hit 59 this weekend we decided to jump in. The air around us was 105, so on average, it wouldn’t be too bad, right? But let’s throw in another factor. There were red jellyfish scattered throughout the water. Red STINGING jellyfish. Very uncommon. Let’s just say it was another straw on the camel’s back.
My mother and I ventured towards the water’s edge. Hold your breath. It’s COLD. Timidly step in. Take another step. Another. Dodge the jelly fish. Now hold on, because there is a wave that is about to take you DOWN. And…. Here….. It….. Comes….. CRASH! Hold your breath. Dive under. The cold water wakes your every sense.
We broke through from the icy wave in to the amazingly hot summer air. Refreshing. Cold. Lovely. Ouch!
Whah? Ouch! <pause> OUCH!
And then it hits me. This weekend it came in threes. More icy water. Red stinging jellyfish. And swarms of CRAB LARVAE.
You can’t see them. But when they are in the water, they are EVERYWHERE. By the time you feel the first pinch you are doomed. For at that point they have poured in to your bathing suit already. EVERYWHERE in your bathing suit.
The moment they feel that pressure they grab on to the closest thing they can find. And that would be you. And your private parts. And everything else your bathing suit covers.
Imagine taking a needle and pushing the tip quickly in to your skin. Then imagine an itch following the sharp and unexpected pain. Now imagine thousands of these goings-on going on beneath your bathing suit. That is what blue crab larvae feel like. In your going on places, no less.
I have seen THE WALK OF SHAME many times on our beach. One is the obvious, “I have to go to the bathroom immediately and it is NOT something I can take care of in the water.” Yes, I’ve walked that walk. There is also the “my CHILD has to go to the bathroom and did so, as a matter of fact, just now.” Been there done that. But the final walk? It is the “I have crabs in my bathing walk.”
When you find yourself in a swarm of blue crab larvae, you have to make a decision. Do I pretend I don’t have a thousand crabs biting my butt and walk out casually, or do I fly out of the water and race to the beach house as I strip down to my natural nakedness?
It’s a hard decision. After all, everyone who has been in the water knows what is sharing your bathing suit at that very moment. But there are some people that haven’t been swimming due to the cold. And they don’t know what is happening.
So do you go the “I’m so cool nothing bothers me” route or do you throw caution to the wind along with your bathing suit top.
The first time it happened to me I learned how to fly. I walked quickly towards the stairs. Then I began running up the stairs. Then I took flight over the walkway. And then I went warp speed towards the house.
My mother found pieces of my suit going up the beach house stairs that day. And jokes ensued for the rest of the week about how “Katherine got crabs.” Ha ha that is so funny I forgot to laugh.
But now I’m a weekend local. And I have to be cool. I don’t live in Jersey, Ohio or New York. My mother pays Currituck taxes. So in my heart and head, I’m a local. And locals don’t let on that they have crabs.
My mother and I played it out well. We smiled through gritted teeth and slowly walked to our chairs. As we packed up our things we made every effort to appear that we truly had meant to go back to the house right after our swim. Joe Cool had nothing on us.
We climbed the stairs, went over the walkway and then I turned to see if anyone had followed. It was only then that I dug my hand into my bathing suit trunks and went to town. Scratching. Digging. Pulling.
So maybe it was my MOM who more resembled Joe Cool than I. But I couldn’t help it. Because there was a party going on in my bathing suit, and from what I remember, I hadn’t sent out any invitations!