"This I Believe" 2013 Selection
Jacksonville High School
“Wetsuits are the best clothes for picking up chicks!” asserted Ben, the awkward, lanky dive master. After some skeptical scoffs from the assembled scuba divers before him, he proceeded to explain: If you have a body worth showing off, leave the wetsuit unzipped. If not, get a sufficiently thick suit that covers things up nicely, zip it up, and you’ll be looking like a superhero.
This was the bit of wisdom I took away from my instructor on a recent scuba diving trip. All the safe diving tips and gear preparation techniques went in one ear and out the other, but this gem has stayed with me for months. I think it’s worth consideration.
I have been told by some friends that wetsuits are, in fact, not a good way to dress to impress the ladies (apparently tuxedos work much better). Even though I disagree, there are certain disadvantages to wearing a wetsuit. Sure, you look good in the wetsuit, but it’s only for cold water diving. My trip was to Florida, where the waters are nice and warm; no wetsuits needed. Indeed, wearing one in those waters would be far more uncomfortable than going without.
I believe that people choose how they are perceived by others. Our interactions with other people are dictated by our surroundings and our relationship with them. Some people are most comfortable with a persona they adopt to cover their true selves— a wetsuit to insulate them from the cold. Others can bare it all –metaphorically speaking—and show their true selves without a second thought.
Some say that we should discard the facades and show our true selves to everyone; if they don’t like us the way we really are, we shouldn’t be around them. “Be true to yourself” sums it up nicely. It’s a good sentiment, but rarely is it applicable. Should we leap into the water without checking the temperature first, assuming that swimming trunks will be enough? Of course not.
Oftentimes, the water is cold, the people are mean, and we need a layer of protection. We joke our way through an awkward situation or put on a brave face when overcoming our fears. If we take this too far, though, we leap into the water with too much insulation, assuming we will be okay in a thick wetsuit. All of that neoprene might keep us from testing the waters in the first place.
Sometimes we assume a different persona in order to get through the day or to meet that girl. Other times, we find the perfect person who accepts us for who we are. But what if that same perfect person doesn’t like the color of our wetsuit? Knowing when to wear it makes all the difference.
So yes; I believe that wetsuits are the best way to “pick up chicks,” as Ben the dive master so eloquently put it. Just test the waters first.