Why water safety is always important and how I can make any situation into a really awkward moment.

So this weekend I traveled for work and may have scared a fellow passenger into never flying anywhere ever again. Also, I may have outed myself as a complete loser. 

Fellow Passenger: Does anyone ever really listen to these instructions they give?

Me: Oh, I listen every time.

FP: You do?

Me: Absolutely. I like to know exactly where my flotation device is in case of an emergency. I mean, I know that I need to put on my oxygen mask before assisting others. That’s just common sense. But depending on what plane you fly in, sometimes your seat can be used as a flotation device, sometimes there are different levers and stuff you can pull, and sometimes they have additional life rafts as part of the plane and they tell you where those are.

FP: Wow, you know a lot about the flotation stuff.

Me: It’s key. I think about how I’ll handle an in-water crash every time I get on a plane. Which is weird, since I’m not scared of death or flying. I’m just really afraid of falling into water without a life jacket.

FP: You don’t know how to swim?

Me: I do, but I don’t trust myself in a panicking water situation, so it’s just good to have the back-up.

FP: Wow…I’ve never thought about it that much.

Me: Oh, sorry…I think maybe I’m kind of a freak about it. Mainly because it gives me something to think about while taking off and landing, because they say those are the most dangerous parts of flying and so I like to just be prepared.

FP. Stunned silence.

Me: But don’t get me wrong, I’m actually a pretty laid back person. Just not about water safety.

FP. Still stunned silence.

Me: Haha, this reminds me of that scene in “Sleepless in Seattle” where the woman next to Meg Ryan says “Don’t you just hate flying?” and Meg Ryan thinks she said “lying” and then goes into a whole thing about lying to her fiancé? The woman kind of looked stunned like you.

FP, not knowing how to escape the crazy lady.

Me: I’m sorry, I promise I’m not weird. I just sort of talk fast and a lot when people bring up water safety. 

  

Luckily for all involved, though, there were no flotation devices needed at any time during my visit. 

However, the same cannot be said for our trip to Rhode Island a few weeks ago where everyone in CB’s family, including CB, lovingly mocked me about my life jacket paranoia. 

You see, it started earlier in the day when we were all talking about the potential sunset sail we were going to embark upon for our first night in Newport. Sounds awesome, right?  Wrong. It sounds awesome if you’re normal. However, if you’re me, it cannot be awesome until you’re sure they have life jackets that fit you. 

But because I’m not part of the family and still care whether or not I make CB look bad to his friends or not, I tried to play it off. I’m not sure I was successful, though, because as the time grew nearer, so did their concern – both for me and for themselves that they may have to hang out on a sailboat with a glass of champagne, a gorgeous sunset, wonderful company, and the spaz in the bright orange life jacket. 

However, things were made much better when I walked up to board the boat and had this conversation with one of the guys leading the sail, whose name turned out to be C-Bass:

 

C-Bass: Welcome!

Me: Are there life jackets on board for me to wear?

C-Bass, looking at CB to see if I was kidding.

CB: No, she’s not kidding. Unfortunately.

C-Bass: Seriously?

Me: Yes, seriously! I’m getting on a boat! Why, is that a weird request?

C-Bass: In all of the years I’ve been doing it, no one has ever needed a life jacket while on this sailboat. And no one has ever asked for one.

Me: But you do have them, right?

C-Bass: Uh…yeah.

Fast forward to ten minutes later when we’re all seated on this gorgeous sailboat. And no, I wasn’t wearing a life jacket because I got shamed into being brave:

 

C-Bass: Hey life jacket, I think you need a glass of champagne to loosen you up.

Hence, the nickname “Life Jacket” was born. And I must say, after a glass of champagne, a gorgeous sunset, a surprise visit by a ton of dolphins accompanying our sail, and the company of some great people, I almost forgot all about the life jackets altogether!

 

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