Wednesday, November 02, 2011

I blame Steven Spielberg

Last week I posted pictures of the shark mug my friends gave me. Several people asked what’s the big deal with sharks – and to them I must say, are you kidding me? Sharks are huge, scary, sneaky, man-eating creatures that are out to get my children and my husband and me.  Between my irrational fear of the grey swimming things and my detestation of heat and sand you can imagine how relaxing a beach vacation has been for my family.

I have been deathly afraid of sharks since elementary school. We got HBO when it first came out but I was not allowed to watch it. Not at all. You can imagine how happy I was with that decision. But along with the blanket, “Thou shalt not watch HBO,” rule came the decree from my parents that I should not watch the movie Jaws, which was playing on HBO.
Ugh - I can hardly
stand to have this here!

Surely you know where this is going.

One night, when my parents were out, I watched Jaws. Now, for all of you parents who are dying for a real-life lesson in why your children should listen to you, here you go: after watching that movie I have been completely unable to enjoy a day at the beach. Not only that, I’ve had nightmares about sharks for years. I don’t have to be anywhere near salty seas to have the dreams; I’m sure I’ll have one tonight after writing about this.

All I had to do was obey! But no; I was bound and determined to watch a movie my parents told me not to watch. And why did they tell me not to watch? Because they knew I’d freak out. Oh, boy, were they right. (Hey, Mom and Dad, did you read that? It’s in print! You can frame it if you’d like.)

For a time, my grandparents lived right off the water in Florida; you could see the ocean from their swimming pool. I was convinced sharks could swim up the plumbing and get me in the pool. Yes, people, I realize that’s stupid, but you could not convince 10 year old Christy that the sharks couldn’t get in there.  

Since moving to Michigan I’ve noticed the frequency of the shark dreams has diminished dramatically. I’d like to think it’s because I’ve grown and matured but I’m pretty sure it’s because we live so stinkin’ far from the coast that there’s precious little chance of going where the scary things live. For now, if we need a fix of a big ol’ body of water we can head to Lake Michigan. Of course, I’ve heard there might be some scary things in the lake, too, but I really, really don’t want to know about them.  And for goodness sake, if there’s a movie about them, don’t tell me.