I've been spending more time with my Auntie Wolf recently. The circumstances aren't ideal, but it's been really nice to get to see more of her.
Auntie Wolf has taught me many things over the years, and two things float to the top of my memory. The first is the importance of financial independence. The second is about sharks.
I was *maybe* six years old, and I had seen the first few minutes of JAWS on our 10" television. Those few, sharkless minutes, were all I needed to know that I was TERRIFIED of sharks, and that sharks will get you and you'll never see them coming. For six months, I refused to use the toilet unsupervised because I was *utterly convinced* that a shark was going to swim up the pipes and that would be the end of me.
[For the record, I know for a FACT that this wasn't just my unique issue. I know someone who has a similar story, but it was the shower that he was afraid of, not the toilet.]
Try as they might, my parents could do *nothing* to convince me that I was safe, that sharks (no matter how clever) couldn't fit through pipes, and that JAWS was just make-believe.
I was a very trusting child, but I was pretty sure that my parents were just saying that in order to serve me up to a shark as a curly-headed hors d'œuvre on a porcelain seat. So, for six months, I required supervision, for my own safety.
I got to spend a few days with my Auntie Wolf two or three times a year, and I LOVED it. Auntie Wolf never had children of her own, and she loved me like you wouldn't believe, in the Auntie way. She fed me whatever I wanted to eat, taught me important life lessons, but most importantly, I got to spend time with my super-cool Auntie Wolf. [I sincerely hope that I am even a *fraction* as awesome an Auntie as she is.]
When I arrived at Auntie Wolf's house, and informed her of the Shark Situation, Auntie Wolf reacted the way *any* childless adult would.
"Why would a shark want to swim all this way just to bite your stinky ass?" she asked, frankly.
The logic was impenetrable. I was no longer afraid of toilet sharks, and all thanks to Auntie Wolf.