It’s tough to be human these days but let me tell you, its seriously tough to be a mermaid.
How did eight year old granddaughter Grace and I find this out?
Winters are long, cold and dark in New Hampshire with the emphasis on cold. Grace lives with us, and for that I am eternally grateful because, among other things, she likes crafting as much as I do.
Much of our after school/ after sledding time together is spent crafting to our heart’s content. However at a certain point in the evening, we need to put down the Elmer’s glue and do something else. Sometimes we wrangle Grandpa into reading aloud to us. As a sixth grade teacher, he is practically a professional reader. Grace’s mom also reads aloud wonderfully well. We love listening to her too. But sometimes we need to go somewhere warm with different problems than masks or not getting to see cousins and friends right now except from a distance.
How fortunate that we stumbled on a tv show about teenage Mermaids on the gold coast of Australia.
Nothing takes your mind off your problems like learning how challenging it is to have a tail that sprouts whenever you get wet.
Oh the mishaps mermaids have!
The teenage mermaids on this show are hidden in plain sight. Some have always been mermaids and some became mermaids by accident. They sport legs when they are on dry land, but whenever they get even slightly damp, they have only ten seconds before their tails return. During this ten seconds they either need to get back to the sea or hide from all the humans.
For a mermaid, if
You grab a bottle of water with condensation on the outside? You get a tail.
Someone spills a cup of tea on you? You get a tail.
A hose gets pointed in the wrong direction? You get a tail
Kids on the beach accidently spray you with a squirt gun? You get a tail.
Someone knocks you into a swimming pool? You get a tail.
A rainy day and you forgot your umbrella? You get a tail.
This particular pod of mermaids hangs out at a juice bar- A JUICE BAR! Heaven forbid, because let’s face it, all that juice considerably ups the ante for getting accidently splashed by an errant mango smoothie.
All in all, it’s a tough gig to be a mermaid.
Consider the difficulties of being a mermaid but not having your parents know.
How do you explain to your mom or dad why you can no longer do the dishes?
Or why you can’t help install that new sprinkler system in the yard?
Or how come you run away when the dog shakes himself?
Or why you never go swimming with the family anymore even though you live on the ocean?
Or why you wear gloves when you go fishing?
Or why you won’t go camping on a rainy day?
Or how come you quit your job as a lifeguard?
And what about how weird you act during full moons? I mean, we all know how challenging full moons are for mermaids, but to have to come up with some plausible human reasons for your moon lunacy to your parents? It’s a serious challenge.
Then there is the issue of your dietary choices. How do you explain the fact that you now eat nothing but seafood? Plus you have to remember that regular humans don’t eat lobster shells. Nor do they crack open oysters with their teeth. Mermaid table manners are very different than human ones.
And when you sing? It’s a dangerous thing because some mermaid songs are siren songs, and they make everyone fall in love with the wrong people. This leads to another whole other arena for mermaid disasters- the world at large.
Out in the world, say at school or at your after school job at the water park, challenges sprout like mushrooms after a storm.
For example, how do you let people know what is wrong with the sick dolphin without telling people you speak dolphin?
And how big of a disaster is it when your ice cream stand breaks down and the ice cream starts melting everywhere?
And what about the other special powers you have like water shape shifting and the ability to freeze or boil water at will? These would seem to be assets, but…… Oh No! These mostly seem to get you in trouble, especially in science class.
These are the kind of pressing problems that mermaids face. They remind me and Grace that it’s not so bad to be human. Though right about now, deep into winter, we might not mind a week or two with a tail, if it meant we were in a juice bar in a warm climate.