Needs To Bathe In A Bit More Sleep

, , , , , | Related | November 18, 2017

(My sister is always on what I call “HER time.” This means that she’ll call or talk to you when it’s convenient for her. To this day, she still doesn’t pay attention to the time difference between us and will call at a good time for her but a terrible time for me. When we were living under the same roof, she used to do this when I was napping. This results in one exchange when I am napping after an opening shift.)

Sister: “[My Name], wake up.”

Me: *groans*

Sister: “[My Name], come on. You have to show me how to do that thing with my iPod.”

Me: *mumbles something*

Sister: “[My Name]!”

Me: *whispers* “Bathing cap.”

Sister: “What?”

Me: “BATHING… CAP!”

Sister: *giggling* “Why do I need a bathing cap for my iPod?”

Me: “Well, you want to change your outfit, don’t you?”

(Thankfully, my sister decided to let me sleep after this, and I woke up later with no recollection of this happening.)

 

A Miraculous Comeback

, , , | Related | November 17, 2017

(When my parents married, they waited five years until they had me. They always wanted another child but decided to wait until I was five. My sister had other plans, apparently, and was born only two years later. My sister and I jokingly fight:)

Me: “Oh, yeah? Well, at least I wasn’t an accident!”

Sister: “I. Was. A. Miracle!

Let Them Carry On While You Carry

, , , , , | Related | November 17, 2017

(My stepdad is notoriously sexist and has put on a big show about coming outside and actually helping us for once. He and my fiancé are carrying bags of cement into the garage by themselves while my mom and I watch, because we have already cleaned the garage.)

Stepdad: *in a derogatory tone* “What would you women do if we weren’t here to carry this for you?”

(My mom snaps back while I lean close to whisper in my fiancé’s ear.)

Me: “I’m the one who put them in the car.”

Fiancé: *bursts out laughing*

Someone Worth Talking About

, , , , , , , | Related | November 17, 2017

(A group of new students has just started jobs at my workplace. I mention this fact in conversation with my mother.)

Me: “A bunch of new students started today.”

Mom: “That’s nice. Was one of them called [Coworker]?”

Me: “Yeah. Why?”

Mom: “I think I work with his parents; they were talking about how their son was just starting his first job today, and I think they mentioned that he was at [My Workplace].”

Me: “I’ve yet to see any evidence that [Coworker] knows how to stop talking.”

Mom: *pause* “Oh, so, he takes after his mother, then.”

Have Lunch Or Be Lunch

, , , , , , | Related | November 16, 2017

My family has always loved the sea, and we’ve always had a boat, travelling around New Zealand during weekends and holidays. Growing up, my siblings and I loved to swim off the boat whenever it was anchored, and we often proved difficult to persuade out of the water, causing our mother to go hoarse as she yelled over the waves for us to come in.

The year I was 12, we were anchored in the Hauraki Gulf which is around the top of NZ’s North Island. My siblings and I decided we’d have one more swim before lunch. I was wearing a snorkel and a mask and although I could hear Mum calling us in for lunch, I decided to take one more dive. I dove and resurfaced a couple of times, moving away from the boat. On my third dive, I turned up the right way, floating in a circle to see all the fish… and found myself staring into the face of a grinning great white shark.

Looking back, years later and with a degree in marine biology under my belt, I know now it was quite small — probably not even seven feet — which meant it was a juvenile. It was so close I could see each one of its ampullae of Lorenzini, the black marks around the snout. Every cell in my body was screaming in terror, but I had frozen in place. After regarding me for a couple more seconds in what can only be described as mild curiosity, the shark swam away on its business, leaving me to float, still literally scared stiff, to the surface, where Mum was standing on deck waving her arms in the air.

“Honestly, [My Name], you are such a dreamer! I’ve been hollering for you the last 15 minutes. I know you could hear me when you popped up! What do I have to do to get you out of the water, start screaming that there’s a shark around?”

Although that baby great white gave me the fright of my life, it sparked in me an obsession with sharks that has endured to this day. I studied marine biology at university and have a fantastic career in shark research. I’ve cage-dived with great whites in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa. The first time, at Stewart Island in New Zealand, I was privileged to see a magnificent, 18-foot male pass majestically back and forth in front of the cage. He was truly astonishing, but as I gazed at him, marvelling at his sheer size and power, I couldn’t help but think back to the little, baby great white who’d started it all!

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