Reflections on art, fitness, family, politics and literature that hit me like bricks as I chauffeur my children from place to place...
A pink taxi
April 8, 2011
Scuba lessons, Against My Wishes
The gift came in an unrecognizable blue binder. My sister-in-law and brother were gleaming with the excitement of gifting. But I didn't hide my amazement. Scuba lessons?
I have always been luke-warm to marine biology. I owned an aquarium in graduate school and the fish I called Depeche Mode ate the fish I called P.M.Dawn. On my first trip to the Maldives, I just swam recreational and on the second trip, I snorkeled with friends because they encouraged me.
This was more encouragement than I ever needed. A course in scuba diving, with its mandatory theory. It was gifted with a persuasive label: "quality time with your younger brother". I am a sucker for the marketing tool "quality time" and a total adept of "package paid, classes attended." Didn't I buy the all you can bikram introductory package of 10 classes in 10 days in a row and attended 8 of them?
But yesterday, I was thinking of my friend who, in search of quality time with me, bought a package of 8 golf classes and only attended one. I thought of barging out of the class where they were teaching us, weird calculator in hand, how much dive time, we had at what depth. They had scared me enough with all the risks and dangers of diving. If someone is negligent, it is me. If someone needs repetitive instructions, it is me. Why am I doing this? Walk out and the only danger is being branded as a "spoiled brat who couldn't appreciate her gift."
Besides I looked at the diving crew, their equipment and wondered: do I want to belong to this world? It is analogous to the equestrian world: people who live with horses day in and out, in their jodhpurs, carrying saddles and grooming their horses.
I got into my wet suit, thinking of all the 007 girls who had worn them, lifted the equipment, dove into the pool, got very confused with all the tubes hanging from the BCD. I watched as the instructors made sign language, got my mask fogged up and refused to take it off lest they fail me.
I remembered the ballet classes my mom forced me to attend, the physics labs I day dreamed through, the Islamic history seminar I took with a professor I disliked and I realized then that I was here against my will!
The pink taxi runs from 7 am to 7pm. It picks and drops off my 3 kids at school, ballet,judo, aikido, violin, climbing, riding, squash, basketball, skiing, skating, swim team, friends, grandparents and teachers. The car, not pink, but a black SUV, drives to Carrefour and Coop. To Club stretch for pilates and Aviation club for weekly workouts. It is driven by a woman who navigates on the radio, gets DJed by her 4 year old or sometimes quietly reflects. The thoughts are about politics, family, humor, literature, art or fitness. Sometimes they are excruciatingly longwinded, other times they are gossipy and hot.
I hope you will all enjoy!