I'm a smart, well-traveled career woman with a master's degree and three published works on the market. Unfortunately, I'm also fairly awkward. Please enjoy this series chronicling some of the awkward things I've done and the lessons I've learned along the way.
These Awkward Things I've Done, Part 2: The Time I Got Swamped by a Wave
A few years ago, a friend of mine and her family came down from the Midwest for a visit. As with most times that out-of-town guests come to enjoy the sun, Florida decided to be coy. Despite the day being overcast, we pretended that Florida was cooperating and moved forward with our plans to spend the day frolicking at the beach.
And I do mean frolicking.
We attempted some ill-timed jump photos, built sand fortifications, turned cartwheels, chased seagulls, and generally made spectacles of ourselves. Midway through the afternoon, an old lady actually approached my friend to commend us for our eye-catching display of frivolity, saying, "It's so nice to see young people enjoying the beach for once!" She wasn't talking about the children we'd brought along.
Eventually we decided to wade out into the surf and do some actual swimming. Not being from the coast and having learned to swim in swimming pools, my friends obviously needed to be educated about the nature of the ocean. Considering myself the expert of the group, I turned my back to the waves to address everyone.
"You have to be really careful and keep track of the waves while you're wading out," I announced, "because if you don't pay attention, you could get hit by a wave unexpectedly, and you could wind up--"
And that's when I got swamped by a huge wave.
I was knocked off my feet, tumbled in the surf, and came up spitting sand.
Of course, the irony of getting swamped by a wave while explaining how not to get swamped by a wave was lost on no one. I'm actually surprised my entire party didn't drown due to laughing so hard.
My sister, who was along for the day, has never let me forget this embarrassing moment of accidental pompousness. Nor should she. The memory serves as a good reminder that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
An embarrassing, dig-broken-shells-out-of-your-bathing-suit, salt-encrusted fall.