My fiance, the BFE is truly the best. He cooks, he LOVES vacuuming, he doesn’t mind cuddling, he kills spiders when I find them scary, and he even cuts his parents’ grass for them. He really is a good guy.
He also makes high-pitched screams like an emotionally hysterical woman when faced with a simple ocean mollusk in his hand.
This past Mother’s Day weekend we headed down to SoFla (that’s South Florida for you non-Floridians) to visit his parents, soak up some beach time and generally enjoy a mini-break away. The morning of our first full day, BFE and I headed to the beach as soon as we could wipe the sleep and crust out of our eyes and whip on our bathing suits.
It was a beautiful day at the beach. A light breeze, the soft lapping of the waves, crystal clear water , only a few geriatric snowbirds walking the sand for shells, and powder white sand. It was great.
We waded out into the ocean, using our water proof camera to take pictures under the water and explore. Things were fine until I mentioned that my foot scraped over a weird shell. Moments later, BFE ran over it too, and dove down to investigate. It was this beautiful shell! So pretty and intricate. BFE turned it over in his hand, and we realized that the shell was home to …a CREATURE!
It stuck its little eye stalks out and peered up at us, while we huddled together, peering back. BFE insisted that it was a hermit crab that was missing a leg, but before I could decide, the shell disappeared from BFE’S hand!
The creature had reached out of the shell with its “toe” and tried to touch him! In sheer blind panic, he threw his head back and SCREAMED “waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” while flapping and tossing his hands about in the air with complete abandon of composure and tossed the shell further out into the water. It was a high-pitched womanly scream reserved for Hitchcock horror films. The whole episode happened in seconds and the shell was gone.
I couldn’t believe it! It was the coolest thing we’d ever found at the beach and it was just… gone. I railed at him, calling him a “woman” for screaming like that. In the meantime, he utterly ignored me and had already booked it halfway back to shore, telling me that if I wanted to see it again, I needed to find it myself.
I did find another one fairly quickly, and was examining it while calling for the BFE to grab the camera when it TOUCHED me with its “toe”.
In a repeat performance of BFE’s epic meltdown, I screamed “yahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” and tossed it up in the air, which the shell landing back in the water with a big plop. I flew over to BFE, yelling “Omigod omigod omigod it TOUCHED me! It touched my hand!” While hopping up and down in the water waving my affected hand around like an idiot. I made a huge scene, but I did not care. The creature TOUCHED me with its TOE.
In the meanwhile, BFE just stood there, shaking his head and, in a move that was clearly borrowing some of my sass, said “mmhmm… who’s the WOMAN now?”
We found a third shell and this time I tried to buck up and hang on to it while he ran to our umbrella area on the sand to grab our camera. When it wriggled in my hand, I dropped it AGAIN. As I’m digging in the sand and water to find it again, I use our sand pail and shovel (yes, I brought a sand pail to the beach. I’m five) to pick it up and walk to the shore. The whole time I was making my way to shore I hopped to and fro while yelling omigodomigodomigodhurryupbeforeittouchesmeagain.
Keep in mind that until then, we were on what was probably the quietest part of the beach.
My antics caught the attention of an older woman and her husband, who had a blanket near ours. She came over and explained that what we’d found was a Florida Fighting Conch, and the “toe” that touched me was what it used to pull itself across the sand on the ocean floor. She said that putting it on the sand would kill it and we really shouldn’t attempt to take it home. Home?!?! Like we’d found a new pet or mascot and wanted to keep it?!?! Puh-lease. We took pictures and released the conch back into the wild.
Seriously, though. Doesn’t “Florida Fighting Conch” sound kinda like a slightly lame college mascot?
For the rest of the weekend, I couldn’t look at the BFE without thinking of him screaming like a little girl and tossing this tiny little three-inch shelled creature away from him because it “looked” at him and tried to touch him.
When we got home, I told his parents, and it became the running joke for the rest of the night. The next day I called my mom while she and my dad were driving back to Georgia from a family visit in Illinois, and she laughed so hard and so long that she woke my dad and eventually had to pull over to the side of the road so she could recover her composure.
The BFE is still the best, he just lost a few man points, although he did gain points for humor and scream creativity. I know I shouldn’t have laughed so much, and I probably shouldn’t have told both sets of parents and written a blog about it, but honestly, what would you have done???
Go TEAM FIGHTING CONCHS!!!!!