Remember back in B309 when we used to joke about the kinds of girls that squealed at every little thing? Because we were not those kinds of girls. We were too level headed for that. But we also secretly admitted to each other that every now and then, we enjoyed a good squealing over something exciting. So we've been that kind of friend for each other, offering the Squeal-On-Demand, when it's needed, but not because we're actual squealers.
Turns out that is not entirely true of me anymore. This week, I realized, I too can be a squealer.
We headed to the beach with friends this week. We set up our blankets and headed into the tide pools to ease into the water. As the kids splashed and played, my friend and I admired the scenery, the cool air after a muggy summer, the life that was teaming at our feet. But even as I was calling the kids' attention to the tons of hermit crabs below the surface, I screeched and jumped as both my feet were suddenly caressed by tiny little crab arms. I was instantly embarrassed that it made me yelp and had a good laugh at myself. Silly squealer.
We continued to explore, enjoy the waves, discover some much bigger crabs (as in there were crowds of people hunting for their dinner among the rocks where we were wading), and eventually the kids got hungry enough to want to head back to our blanket for some lunch. We snuggled together in our towels and settled into our food, still facing the shore and enjoying all the vista had to offer. "Look at the clouds! Watch the seagulls soaring! Is that an airplane contrail in the sky?" The kids were apparently hungry enough to be quiet and even allow my friend and I to enjoy some adult conversation, which never happens.
So there I sat, in this idyllic Maine landscape, with my babies on a gorgeous cool day, pouring out some story to my dear friend, fully engrossed in that moment, when all of the sudden I was shocked with all my senses except sight. Unexplainable rough noises, a rush of horrid stench, and a knock to my body and sharp pain on my hand. I squealed and I screeched and I full our screamed, over and over. I was under sudden attack.
My whole body spasmed in response. I flailed my arms. I jumped to my feet. I shook my head and shoulders. I probably did a little dance with my toes. And I squealed some more.
I had been attacked by not one, but about five seagulls. It took me a minute to collect my thoughts and realize what had happened. First, one came in and bit my hand, compelling me to throw the sandwich I was holding up into the air. A few more came in and started flapping and jumping all around my head to keep me confused, while a last one swooped in to collect the relinquished prize of deli sliced turkey on twelve grain bread slathered with homemade pesto mayo made with homegrown basil. I can not entirely blame this gang of thugs. It was a good sandwich. I was really mad to lose it. Punks!
Once I gathered my wits and got over the shock, I looked around me to see a beach full of people just staring almost blankly at the show I'd just put on for them. It was thoroughly embarrassing.
We went back to our lunch, now hiding our food under a make-shift-hood of towels, only sneaking bites after doing a careful scan of our surroundings, quick to screech at any more seagulls that got anywhere close. But those that did just gave us empty, bored stare-downs, like they knew we were helpless against the strength of their numbers and the know how they had gathered from interacting with unsuspecting beach-go-ers every single day. It was only a matter of time before they'd get their dessert.
And that my friend is my confession. As cool as I'd like to believe I am, as proud as we were of ourselves back in the day, I am a bonafide involuntary squealer, just like a little pig, not the kind with the "Y." I hope you are not too ashamed to maintain our friendship. At least we have a country between us to protect you from the echoing of my squeals.