Patty Unleashed

Patty Unleashed: 2.26.20

As I’ve mentioned, I recently turned 60 and celebrated by going to Harbour Island in the Bahamas with a group of my girlfriends. If I were giving the trip a review, it would get an ‘exceeded expectations’ followed by ‘!!!!!!!!******!!!!!!!!’ We had fun. The weather was amazing except for a little rain and wind, the house was perfect, and everyone got along, even those meeting for the first time.

I didn’t have very many ‘must-dos’ on this trip because, if you remember, I was rather certain I wouldn’t make it to 60. I did want to do two things, however: snorkel and swim with the feral pigs. The snorkeling was beautiful and different than it is in the Florida Keys. But the pigs were not quite what I expected. You see, my expectations came from the snippets I saw in commercials promoting the Bahamas. A bunch of perfectly styled women and men, all appropriately tan, were on a boat. Beside the boat, in shallow water, were the other fit, happy people splashing with the perfectly pink, mini pigs, each about the size of an Easter ham.

As we pulled up to Pig Island, I realized, like so many things I see on TV (the Ab Roller, 90-Day Bikini Body, spray-on hair), reality didn’t live up to the hype. What I saw were big, hairy, scary-looking pigs. Oh sure, there were some piglets and a couple of chickens and turkeys running around, but the feral pigs clearly looked as if they would have no problem eating me as a snack. The largest one, named Big Red, swam out to the boat, and our guide, Kilbey, instructed us to pet him on top of his head, not too close to his snout. He didn’t want us taking a chance on Big Red mistaking our hand for food. Then it was time to disembark, swim to the little island, and meet the other pigs and piglets. Hesitation. Only five out of the eight women decided to visit the island. Once we were in the water, Kilbey yelled at us to try and dodge the ‘corn pops’ (think about it). We made it to the island, looked at the cute piglets, realized large pigs are unattractive, and decided never to eat pork again.

Once we got back on the boat, the three women who had not shared in the experience refused to let the rest of us sit by or touch them. This just encouraged me to keep trying to slowly move my foot and touch them with my big toe, which I started calling my pig toe. It was what a 5-year-old would do to their older siblings.

After leaving the Bahamas, I met my husband in Islamorada and noticed that my big toe hurt. After my usual Google search, I determined it was likely an ingrown toenail and prepared to do the necessary surgery to fix it on my own. Let’s just say it didn’t go well. The next day, I sought the help of a podiatrist who had much better success. That’s when I realized it was my pig toe that was wounded. Karma. It really is a bitch.

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