Thursday, September 8, 2011

Confessions of a Grinch

Last week, my more rabid followers might have noticed that I briefly posted a piece on the state of the reefs out here in the Caribbean.  On reflection, I decided it was far too complainy and took it down again.  That isn’t to say that I’ve changed my position - I maintain that the reefs here, even the pretty ones, are in a shocking state and we should all be ashamed of ourselves.  That is a fact.  But no one comes here for a lecture, and these points have been made more eloquently elsewhere.

The fact remains, however, that, people as a whole kind of suck.  Sailing through twelve solid miles of floating trash in the Gulf of Honduras reminded me of that.  People don’t do well in numbers.  People as a faceless, generalized group, are really kind of (look out, there’s bad language coming, so shield your eyes ye sensitive types)... assholes.

Now.  Legion though my charms may be, I am not precisely famous among my family and friends for being nice.  I heard someone just snort coffee through their nose; go ahead and take a minute to clean your keyboard.  That's okay; I understand where my reputation comes from.  To illustrate, let me tell you a story.  I joined the university gym during grad school, and used to head there before work a few times a week.  Being the new girl, the inevitable happened and a guy wandered over to chat me up during my first week there.  We talked in the casual way people do at the gym, and I tried to politely convey – politely! – that I was unavailable for coffee or similar.  I swear to god, I even smiled.  A few days later, bachelor #2 gave it a shot.  I was similarly friendly-but-unavailable.  But in the two years I worked out there, I never saw either of those guys again.  Ever.  What I thought was a friendly put-off was in fact so off-puting that those men never worked out in the mornings ever again. Thus is the fearful power of the Amy.

So, aside from being a strong example of how what we try to convey doesn't always translate well into how the world sees us, I think I can safely say that my poor reputation on the warm & fuzzy front has some basis in fact.  Which makes it so hard for me to adequately explain to you just how great I think other people can be.  For although people as a group generally suck, people as individuals can be pretty awesome.

We got to know our neighbour ashore in French Harbour, hereafter known as Mr Iguana, pretty well during our six weeks in Roatan.  He arrived at our boat with a freshly-caught snapper one evening, and was a staple of our lives on Roatan from that point on.  He drove us all over the island, both to lend a hand in repairs and to show off his beautiful home.  Erik had free reign on his property to build things for the boat.  And on Monday night... hold on, something I’ve heard of called an e-motion is trying to invade my head... Monday night, Mr Iguana and his family threw us a surprise party

Mr Iguana had discovered out that both Indy and Stylish have birthdays soon, so he invited all of the neighbourhood kids over.  He and his wife and daughter got a piƱata, cooked up a mess of food, made cupcakes, cakes, loot bags, the whole deal. It was fantastic.  And the girls were in heaven.

Moonwalking with excitement

Stylish vs strawberry

Running with balloons
I'm gonna pop these things so fast...
And this is only the most recent example of the astonishing kindness we have experienced on this trip, my friends.  I feel so lucky to have met the people we have every step of the way, from Maryland to Honduras.

So, dear readers, while I will never win the Miss Congeniality prize myself, I do recognise those fine qualities in others.  And I appreciate it.  Thank you, Mr Iguana, for giving my girls a great birthday.


bunny9 said...

Awesome. I loved the pictures & show how much they have grown. They choked me up.

Kate said...

Chocked me up too. I love it when people are great!! Sometime you forget how good people can be. :) Love to the girls we miss you beauties.