It’s A Big, Scary Ocean Out There

, , , , , , | Learning | September 18, 2020

I live in a small house on campus. It is a dorm, but we only have about a dozen rooms. I become good friends with two of the other girls, [Friend #1] and [Friend #2].

My second year, at the “get to know you” meeting, the three of us decide to take one of the freshmen under our wings. Our chosen freshman, who we call “Little Fish” — freshmen are often referred to as fish around here — is a very small girl, not even 100 pounds soaking wet, maybe five-foot-nothing. She is a sweet little thing, she was homeschooled, and while she knows how to do housework and is very well-prepared academically, she is very naive and believes nothing bad could ever happen to her.

One day, we find out she has been walking home alone from her night classes. Being the concerned big sisters we are, we have to stage an intervention. We sit her down in the lobby one day.

Friend #1: “Okay, Little Fish, it has come to our attention that you are walking home at night alone and unarmed.”

Little Fish: “Um, I guess.”

Me: “And are you aware just how dangerous this is?”

Little Fish: “Um, no. I mean, you guys walk around alone all the time. I don’t see why I shouldn’t if you do.”

[Friend #1] and I are both over 100 pounds and at least half a foot taller than Little Fish. [Friend #2] weighs more than all of us combined and is a weightlifter.

Friend #2: “Fish, you are small and portable.”

Little Fish: “No, I’m not.”

Me: “Yes, you are.”

Little Fish: “I’m not.”

[Friend #2] stands up, grabs Little Fish, throws her over her shoulder, sprints down the hall, touches the back door, and then sprints back and drops Little Fish back on the couch.

Friend #2: “See, portable.”

Little Fish: “That’s not fair! I wasn’t prepared for any of you to try and kidnap me. I’d be prepared for a stranger on the street.”

Me: *Standing up slowly* “Okay, Little Fish, I’m going to pick you up now.”

I proceed to grab her by the waist and carry her a few feet while she flails her hands about wildly. She manages to make contact with my face a few times but I don’t even have a bruise the next day. After I set her down again:

Little Fish: “But [Friend #2] could carry both of you off just as easy.”

Friend #1: “Honey, I carry a full-sized umbrella everywhere no matter the weather. It’s not just a style choice; that thing is a weapon and I can use it.”

Me: “And I have pepper spray on my key chain and have been learning aikido for years.”

Friend #2: “Heck, I carry pepper spray and I’m the least likely person in this room to ever need to use it.”

Little Fish: “Oh, but why would anyone want to kidnap me?”

Friend #1: “Because the world is a dark and scary place full of bad people.”

Little Fish: “It is?!”

I started dragging Little Fish to my aikido classes. We also found a friend of a friend who was taking the same night class and got him to walk with her, since his boyfriend’s dorm was in the building next door to ours.

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