When we were planning to leave for Pensacola, we had a lot to do and I ran out of time. I did not have time to make the “Blazing Hot Tracks” CD for our friends who decided to drive to Florida (crazy, but they saw cotton fields and Elvis’ house so maybe not super crazy). I didn’t even have time to get a pedicure, but that turned out OK because the ocean chipped my do-it-yourself pedicure anyway.
I was focused on getting our boys’ laundry done, leaving instructions for my parents, letting the teachers know that pick up and drop off schedules were changing, etc. The last thing on my mind was preparing for the beach.
After a few days exploring Pensacola and collecting sea shells, the hubs and I decided to hit the water with body boards. The ocean was shallow before getting deep and then becoming shallow again. Because of the waves (and the fact that I’m vertically challenged), I had a hard time swimming past the deep part. I would swim forward, then get knocked back. It was more like I was swimming in place.
My husband, who is 6’1″, didn’t struggle with the ocean depth like I did. In fact, he was kind enough to give me a “sea tow” and pull me to shallow waters when needed. And this is what we did all afternoon. I slid to the shore on a wave, turned around and headed back out to catch another one. “Sea tow!” I would yell and the hubs would make his way over to pull me to shallow waters. But there was one time my trip back out to the ocean didn’t go so well.
I was going nowhere in the deep part and the hubs was really far away. Then I felt stinging. First on my left ankle. Then on my right hand. My right wrist. “I’m getting stung!” I yelled. But the waves were so loud the hubs couldn’t hear me.
“What?” he yelled back. “Sea tow?”
“No, I’m getting stung!” I tried to swim out of the deep spot but I wasn’t getting anywhere. More stinging on my left thigh. The hubs started to make his way over. “I’m getting stung!” I yelled again.
“OK!” he made his way past a few waves and pulled me out of the deep.
“Jellyfish,” I said. “Look.” I showed him the red spots.
“Does it hurt?” he asked.
“Yeah, but it’s not horrible. They must have been small.” We both looked at each other in silence. I could tell we were thinking the same thing.
“I think it’s just a myth,” I said. He nodded. He didn’t want to pee on me.
“Is it still stinging?” he asked.
“Yes, but it will be fine,” I said. “Didn’t you see that episode of ‘Friends’? I think peeing on it doesn’t really help.” We stood there for a few more seconds not saying anything. And then, about 15 feet in front of us, two dolphins jumped out of the water. Suddenly, I was at peace with the ocean again.
As for the hubs, well, he never made peace with peeing on the jellyfish stings. Eventually the stinging stopped, and later — after the stinging had subsided — I found out the front desk keeps a spray bottle of vinegar on hand for jellyfish stings. Vinegar. So noted.