Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cameras: public service providers or dream crushing meanies?

I love the ocean.

I'm not a particularly strong swimmer; I never have been. I like to blame this ineptitude in water on my upbringing in England and Russia, two places where the ocean is not particularly begging to be swam in. Yet still I love playing in the ocean. I love it because I feel like this fantastically elegant creature. I like being able to float and twirl and lounge inside the water, just under the surface, doing tricks and motions that I can't do as effortlessly on land. Granted, if someone in the vicinity of my mystical floating were to suddenly flounder and need saving, I would be the worst possible person to turn to, but at least we would drown together, so it would kind of be like I'm preforming the water equivalent of the "buddy system" for drowning individuals. I am such a good person.  

Today Peter was asked out on a man-date to the beach. Rather than sit alone at home, I picked up and took off to Sunset to water-dance alone. As I floated and watched the sky and smiled because I felt like a happy little mermaid, then I suddenly had a life-changing revelation.

What if I am just as inelegant in water as I am on land?  

This thought occurred to me thanks to some terribly awful pictures Peter and I took last night on the beach. After a trip for free Slurpees at 7-Eleven, we stopped on Bikini beach to meander and talk, and eventually began taking jumping pictures. These types of pictures really seem to pack a double-ended punch; they are simultaneously hilarious while being highly painful to look at and consider. Half of your brain is like, "bahahahahaha look at how lanky and awkward I look!" and the other half of your brain is like, "ohhhhh my...  Look at how lanky and awkward I look *llama face.*" 

It's a sad truth, but it's one which is probably bringing great relief to individuals world wide. When I see an excruciating face or body position which I have pulled, I mentally attempt to compartmentalize it into my list of "Faces to Never Replicate Ever in My Life" filed away in my brain. Thus, hopefully saving a bunch of people from ever seeing such faces, and myself from social humiliation (spoiler alert: this doesn't work, like ever. I need to update my filing system). Realize, before I see these photos, often I have no idea how horrendous I look. Do you do this too? Tell me, smarty-pants reader (who is obviously smart because you're reading this ultra-cool-neat-fancy blog), in your own fantasies are you talented and beautiful until a photo proves you otherwise? Oh good, me too. We're like awkward twins/best friends. YAY!       

Returning to my original thought of my mermaid-like water elegance, two options presented themselves to me today as I float. One - I can attempt to do my water dancing in front of a camera. This provides me the possibility to learn the truth of my water-appearance, however unpleasant the outcome may be. Two - I can keep my water dancing private and to myself. The first option saves any onlookers from watching my doings and having to wrestle with their conscious to decide whether that one girl is drowning or not, and then, if she is, whether to save her or not, but the second option protects the sanctity of my mermaid dreams.

In considering this I felt like there was a lot to learn from the existence of cameras and our capability to take pictures of whatever we like whenever we like. Are these beautiful little machines creating world-wide public services in denying people's retinas from horrifying situations? Or do they simply destroy the dreams of people everywhere, including a 22 year old girl who wishes to be a mermaid in the ocean, but now has access to the knowledge that she looks wholly disabled and unfortunate?

I have decided to apply my Psychology training to this life problem and have my very own Schrödinger's Mermaid. This new theory, created by me and designed after Schrödinger's Cat, states: the mermaid is simultaneously beautiful and disastrous, yet, when one looks at the mermaid, one sees the mermaid either beautiful or disastrous, not both beautiful and disastrous.  


That's the end of my story. 

In a future life where Peter and I are sexy mermaids who gossip and laugh together.

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