I think it was my last college spring break. I’d been spending lots of time with Chris’ biology friends (who I lovingly called ‘biology dorks’ because they spent parties finding bugs and labeling them scientifically. I am, however, not entirely sure they understood and appreciated my good-natured teasing.)
Somehow a trip was planned to drive down to the Keys and camp out on one or another of the islands, stopping around halfway to swim in some springs (remind me to tell you about my overwhelming fear of manatees and big rocks that, from the corner of my eye, look like manatees.)
I don’t know if many people know this about me but I don’t do well on vacations. And here’s where all of my friends and family who I’ve ever traveled with are knowingly nodding their heads. I love to travel, I love going new places and discovering new foods and cultures. But something about the discombobulation messes with my funk, y’all.
I’m the type who can travel all the way to Germany in winter and freak out because my hair dryer won’t work and I don’t want to go outside with wet hair because I will freeze and my hair will break and I will get frost bit. In my defense, though, it was SO FREAKING COLD. Also, I will be irritated when Chris fixes the hair dryer with just flipping a switch because all that does is make me look like an idiot, CHRISTOPHER.
But I digress.
I do like to think that I’ve matured somewhat since then and hopefully any future vacations will not be spent glowering at my travel-mates because someone had the nerve to take a shower in the only bathroom when I had to pee.
All of that is to say that on the trip to Florida I was already jumpy and tense because of the afore-mentioned travel mental breakdown. I also got sun poisoning, which is a story for another day. (Or maybe just a public service announcement: Don’t go that close to the equator and not put sunscreen on your legs, asshole. You will pass out and puke at the same time whenever you try to stand up.)
So one of the evenings we were there we went to a reserve or preserve or just a place that had a crocodile. Or alligator. Or whatever it was. And we were walking around and I was a little bored anyway, because how many fancy deer and alligators (or crocodiles) can you look at on one vacation, am I right?
Chris and I were with another couple, one of whom was into biology. We were staring at this small crocodile (or alligator!) who was just lounging around, not really doing anything. So this guy started throwing rocks at its head, trying to get it to do something, I guess, which actually had no effect. I know Chris agreed with me that it was kind of a stupid and mean thing to do, but didn’t say anything because he’s Chris – the man who is afraid of offending anyone. Otherwise known as my hero.
We walk away, and I start complaining. Chris shushes me, but I continue on saying “For being biology people they have no respect for nature!”
And of course, then I hear something behind us. RIGHT BEHIND US. I was so busy bitching that I didn’t realize that the people I was bitching about were following us.
The guy said “Hi Jaime,” and gave smiled in that way that showed me he had heard everything I’d said but wasn’t going to say anything back.
And we all pretended like it never happened for the rest of the vacation.
Also, sun poisoning sucks.