Last week I posted a video of me face-planting into the water. I thought I’d dip my toe in but then I realized how cold it was so I tried to back out but the water was not cooperating because it was all “I’m a not solid, idiot. You can’t push off of me” and I was like “JESUS LIED TO ME”. (Turns out I just wasn’t reading that part of the Bible well enough and I guess only Moses and Jesus could keep from falling into pools.)
Hailey recorded my ridiculous plunge and insisted I share the video online, and since she’s always letting me post pictures of her it seemed only fair.
I tried to embed it here but it doesn’t work so you have watch it here. Or here’s a series of stills if you can’t watch videos of children laughing at their parents:
But what was weird was that someone called me “brave” for posting a video of me in a bathing suit. First I thought they were just trying to insult me but then I realized that they weren’t. I asked twitter, “Did we change the word ‘brave’ when I wasn’t looking? ‘Brave’ is for saving orphans from a burning building made of bees. Wearing a bathing suit to swim is ‘normal’.”
Most of twitter agreed. My friend Popehat added, “Honestly I think it was questionable judgement to house the orphans in the bee building in the first place.”
Other’s disagreed. Like Justin Gibbs who countered, “Please use more realistic metaphors. Everyone knows buildings made with bees are fire resistant.”
And then I went on to talk about diseased popsicles (later renamed Poxicles – patent pending) but later I was dragged back into the conversation by a few women who pointed out that to some, posting a video of themselves in a bathing suit would be much less frightening than running into a burning bee building. This sounds a bit insane.
But they were absolutely right.
We all have weird fears. Some of them are universal. Some of them are odd. All of them are valid as emotions even if they are irrational. I don’t have a problem with a video of me in a bathing suit because I’m old enough to not care anymore…but I have an anxiety disorder sometimes makes me terrified to leave the house. It’s completely irrational, but it’s me. But sometimes the thing that gets me out of the house is seeing how easily everyone else does it. They leave their room. They talk to people. They come home. No one laughs at them. They don’t think what they do is brave, but to me it’s inspiring.
So maybe that’s the way it is for some women in bathing suits. I could tut-tut at them but being afraid of having your flaws exposed isn’t nearly as crazy as being afraid you might have to make small talk with the mailman, so I think we’re probably even. We’re all a little crazy. We’re all irrationally afraid of something. We all project our own fears onto others sometimes.
So I’ll keep wearing my bathing suit if you keep leaving the house. And maybe with time you’ll realize that posting an awkward faceplant into the water while your child video-tapes it and laughs hysterically at you is way more embarrassing than being an imperfect woman wearing appropriate swimming attire. And maybe in time I’ll realize that strangers aren’t going to eat me, and that leaving the house is fun and good for me even when every molecule in my body screams otherwise.
Let’s go outside. And talk to the mailman. In our bathing suits. And set bees on fire so we can rescue orphans from them. Pick one.
We can work up to the scary ones together.