When you live by the sea, or at the very least travel there, you want to do what the locals do. Things like shelling and crabbing. You read about crabbing adventures and decide it would be great fun and you totally need to try it on your seaside vacation.
Despite taking a little (a lot of) flack from your (male) fellow travelers, you drag them all to the bait shop and gather up crabbing lines, nets, buckets, and raw chicken necks. Yes, chicken necks.
The kids are of course giddy with excitement the (male) adults are still doubting your inner motherly wisdom for making memories and you snap pictures of clean children with nets and lines ready to catch themselves some crabs.
Because it was your idea and the others are apprehensive about handling raw chicken necks, you grab one of those suckers and hook it on the crab line. Being the adventurous soul that you are pretending to be, you confidently throw that line in the water while the others watch. When you feel that tug on the line you immediately know your inner mothering wisdom was right…this is gonna be fun.
When within ten minutes and your bucket is holding a half a dozen crabs, you smile smugly at your fedora-donning husband and give him the Itoldyaso look. He is stubborn and says, “I just knew this was going to be fun.” Then you accidentally trip him and make him fall into the crab infested sound.
Just kidding on that last sentence…but it did cross my mind, not gonna lie.
You watch with a happy heart as your people catch their fill of crabs (over 30 to be semi-exact). You feel like a local when other tourists (too scared to try crabbing) gather around you and start asking you questions about bait and such. You answer back in your best North Carolinian accent and nod like you have degree in Blue Crab Catching.
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(If Don Draper went crabbing. In gas station sunglasses.)
You smile to yourself with pride as your daughter, the youngest of the bunch, sits patiently with her line tied to her finger and catches roughly 15 crabs. You ask her how many she’s caught and she shrugs like she doesn’t care…you know she cares and you know she knows how many, because she’s competitive like you. She makes you smile.
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You feel blessed to be traveling with friends
that do fun things with you…like catch crabs. You’re thankful they’re sweet and get along so well with your kids and braid their hair and share their things. You love these friends like they’re stand-in family and you’re thankful you have them.
As you watch this process you realize why God said to steer clear of eating things like crabs because they are very gross in fact…crawling around on the bottom of the sound eating other dead fish and fish poop. You look closely at their googly eyes and watch them pull off each others legs in the bucket. You listen to the others talk about boiling them and eating them and you’re looking into their sick eyes and wonder if you can stomach it. You hide your contorted face behind your camera and keep snapping or puke and snapping pictures sounds more fun.
As you drive back to your beach house with a bucket of crabs on the floor by your feet you thank God that it worked…we caught crabs. We made a memory and it was one of the highlights of the trip. You also smile inside that you now have a argument you can use for quite some time…”Hey, Mr. Doubtface, remember crabbing?? Ya, thought so.” Thank you.
Epilogue: We did eat those crabs. Jarrod turned out to be quite the crab cleaner. He gutted 30 crabs and we cleaned them out. We made a crab dip that was very good, but made me slightly nervous. I’m not sure what I think about eating something that was alive an hour previous. I think I’m better as a vegetarian. Anyway, rest in peace, crabs.