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  • Kristan Higgins

Get outta the water!

Updated: May 3, 2022


I didn’t see this. But I expected to.

McIrish is one of those irritatingly logical people. I’m one of those wonderfully emotional people. It’s the old opposites attract thang.

We were on Cape Cod this past week, as you might know, and here’s the thing. Sharks. Right? The first time we went to the beach, there were many, many seals in the water, and a convenient rip tide, so no one was allowed to swim; not just by my decree, but by the decree of the lifeguards. The second time, I didn’t have a bathing suit (I forgot to pack mine, Dr. Freud.) So whilst the children and husband were in the water, I used my telephoto lens to scan the waters near them in case of a certain terrifying silhouette or gaping mouth. I must’ve looked like the paparazzi when Hugh Jackman goes to Bondi Beach.


Still didn’t see this. But that didn’t mean it was safe! Not when you’re me, nuh-uh.

Everyone made it out alive, thanks to my vigilance. And I bought a bathing suit the next day.

The third time, we went to the bayside, and everyone knows there are no sharks on the bayside. Even so, I would only go out in my inner tube, which I quite enjoyed until the tide started sucking me out to sea and McIrish had to swim out and tow me back in. That’s because I didn’t want to put my feet in the water. It’s the first thing a shark might see. But technically, I did go in, and I got wet and everything. Victory! That night, our last night, we made the kids watch Jaws, and we all quite enjoyed it.


And then, on the last day, I vowed not to let my fears conquer me. Hadn’t I swum at Bondi Beach in Australia, after all? Hadn’t I swum (and nearly drowned) on the Great Barrier Reef? Hadn’t I gone into this very same ocean at this very same beach every year for most of my entire life?

Yes. So McIrish and I went down to the beach. No seals. No shark warnings. No rip tide. Just beautiful, clear water and lovely waves.

I went in.

The water was 56 degrees. Oh, people…that’s so frickin’ cold! And there was McIrish, relentlessly and cheerfully towing me in, and every time a wave came, it threatened to get me wet! (I know, I know…I’m not terribly logical about swimming). So I did what any sane woman would do: I screamed, laughed, I begged him to save me, then climbed onto his head to avoid the frigid North Atlantic (and any sharks that might’ve been swimming in there).


“You were so brave,” my honey said when we got out.

“Thanks, babe,” I answered. Because for me, that was brave. Even if it looked like idiocy to everyone else.

Happy Shark Week, everyone!


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