Well, I really should be working on something productive right now, like book keeping, or designing the new sign for outside the dive shop, but I don’t find myself motivated at all for those two activities, so instead, I thought I would waste your time by writing a blog (which you are obviously now reading!)
I went diving this morning with a guy called Hercule, he is French from St. Martin and I dove with him last year as well. Thing is, last year AND this year, I called him Hercule, but it turns out his name is really Daniel. I discovered this when we were diving at Turtle Reef. You see, there is this large piece of board on the reef that used to be part of a boat. I believe that the captain of said boat wasn’t checking his charts very well, so he accidentally crashed into Turtle Reef (which is only about 6 feet deep at it’s shallowest) and kindly left a large portion of his hull on the reef. Over time it develops this light cream colored coating on top of the black material of the hull. It is really satisfying to write things on it with your finger and it comes out really clearly. Then, about 3 weeks later, the growth comes back and it is an empty canvas once again. I like to write silly things on it. (“No, really? You? Do something silly underwater?” I hear you saying.) Sometimes I write “Croton Rules!” This is the small town I grew up in in the suburbs of New York. This makes me laugh.
One time when I was snorkeling with my mom I free dived down and wrote “I love my Mom” while she wasn’t looking. In my mind she was going to swim over the top of it, see how I had publicly pronounced my love for her and be forever grateful. However, the blind woman didn’t even see it, I had to point it out myself. Sorry, Mom, you know I love you.
Or, if it’s someone’s anniversary I like to write their names with a big heart around them and a “4 ever” in the middle.
So, I’m diving with Hercule this morning and I go to this large piece of hull where I had written “Sally was here” earlier in the week. I see that someone else (Stuart… it was Stuart, I know this for a fact) had written “and smells!” This meant that it read “Sally was here and smells.” So I quickly added the word “great” underneath. I don’t want the fish to get any wrong ideas, do I? Then I look over at Hercule and he is writing “Daniel was here.” I’m thinking, who is Daniel? And where is he? He isn’t here. Then (only a millisecond later) I realize that Hercule is actually Daniel, Daniel is Hercule, and I had been calling him the wrong name for two years! Chris will roll his eyes at this and say “no surprise there.” But c’mon, he could’ve said something, right?
I have to say I’m not the greatest at remembering names. It’s nothing personal, it in no way reflects my feelings, it is just that I’m not great with names. Ok, it’s not just that I’m not great with names, I tend to re-name people. Chris will say “What was the name of that diver this morning? The one from New Jersey that met us at Beneath the Sea?” And I will reply with all the confidence in the world “Bob. His name is Bob.” When in fact his name is most likely something entirely different, like Jason, or Lucas. For some reason I am convinced his name is Bob. You can imagine how this winds Chris up! I can tell you, however, that I am great at remembering people’s equipment. “Bob wears a Medium BCD with a Large wetsuit, he likes the Mares fins with the size 10 boots and the Frameless mask. Oh, and he dives with 12 pounds.” Except it isn’t Bob who wears it, it is someone else entirely whose name I can’t remember.
My favorite is when people come back to the dive shop and they say, “I had a great time diving with Steve this week. He is a fantastic instructor!” And I’m thinking… who’s Steve? Then I say “The tall English guy? The one that that thinks he’s super funny and likes to make fun of small, innocent American girls from New York (that’s me, by the way!)?” And they say, “Yeah, Steve.” Then I try and break it to them gently that Steve is actually Stuart and they have been calling him by the wrong name for the whole week. They then sort of slump over and drag a $20 note of of their wallet and say “Can you please give this to Steve.” Later I will ask Stuart about it and he will tell me “Well, the first time I just let it go, and then I felt bad correcting her. I don’t care anyway, I’ll answer to anything.”
Chris, though, he is different. It isn’t that he is great with names, but he never guesses. If he doesn’t know it, he won’t say it. He has also learned not to ask me. He thinks it is really embarrassing when I call people the wrong name. He says it is rude, “but I don’t do it on purpose.” I say. Picture me shrugging and pouting slightly when I say this.
Oh well, it is almost 4 pm now, I’ve got a meeting at 6 PM with the owner of Destination Magazine (we advertize with them every year, look for our article in the Destination Magazine on all the American Airline flights). I had two awesome dives this morning with Daniel at Turtle Reef and then with Petri and Titta at Creole Rock. (And Yes, I did just look up Petri and Titta to get their names correct from when they signed in. They are from Finland, so there was no way I was getting it correct first time!) So, I better do something constructive right now, and so should you!
I hope one day that you all come to Saint Martin so that I can forget your name too. Or perhaps I already have forgotten your name. If I ever do get it wrong, just say “Sarah, my name’s not Bob.”
(Sally wrote this blog 🙂 )