I Have a Genetic Condition

I love the ocean.  I’ll always jump at the opportunity to snorkel because of how at home I feel under water.  Just being able to see pretty coral and fish swimming in their natural habitat is always enough to put a big smile on my face.  So when we saw several little sea turtles today on our snorkel in Tobago Cays, it was almost too much and I got a serious case of “the squeezies.”

The squeezies are what you get when you see something so unbelievably adorable it makes you want to squeeze it.  You may notice your hands balling up into tight fists, clenching of your jaw and or buttocks, and ultimately the overwhelming desire to squeeze the living daylights out of it (without actually killing it, of course).   I’m convinced this is a genetic trait and something that definitely runs in my family.  My mom had it as a child and I’ve seen my nephew on multiple occasions get them so badly he will literally try and rip off his dog’s head (out of love of course).

I have a borderline unhealthy obsession with animals and think almost every single one is adorable, so I get the squeezies on a pretty regular basis.   When I saw that little sea turtle, I knew I was doomed for a pretty big episode.   The water was pretty shallow and I was just slowly swimming above the little guy watching him eat.  I loved him so much I started singing Disney songs to him in my head.  Everything from Aladdin’s “I can show you the world,” to the Lion King’s “Can you feel the love tonight,” and the obvious Little Mermaid’s “Under the sea.”  He started to swim up towards me to get some air and I was able to touch his back.  Then, very carefully, I grabbed the sides of his shell and tried to go for a ride.  My excitement was through the roof.  I needed to be medicated.  In that moment I was so sure that he and I would ride off together and be happy forever.  Turns out I was too heavy for him to pull, so I just let go.  He left me behind and I came back to reality.  But I still dream of us.

Gabriel’s Comment: I saw the whole thing. Julia was stalking this turtle, who’d been casually munching stuff from the reefs for the past few minutes, and when he came up for air she reached out excitedly to pet it and grab its shell on either side. Then she suddenly tensed every muscle in her body in giddy excitement, letting go of the turtle in the process. Knowing exactly what was going on, I chuckled into my snorkel. The turtle went back to eating.

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