Friday, March 29, 2013

The Magic of Sea Foam, and Why I Won't Eat Sea Food

I am going to give this a try, so let's hope that I don't muck it up. (Because I muck a lot of things up.) Anyways, this is my first post that is connected with the League of Extraordinary Bloggers. Each week a topic is posted on Cool & Collected, and if you choose to take on the latest mission, you post it and share it. I am of course making it sound very vague and mysterious, but this is my first time.

Anyways, the topic for the week was originally about a favorite movie from your childhood, but then it became a more open ended topic with the simple sentence of- When I was a kid my favorite __________ was _________.

So stuff like that requires some time to marinate, because at the end of the day everything was my favorite something or another as a kid. But I have always had this one favorite thing as a kid and it is tied to everything. (It is actually not She-Ra. I know. Stop the presses.) When I was a kid, my favorite story was The Mermaid (or The Little Mermaid) by Hans Christian Andersen.

Granted the Disney movie would definitely become my favorite movie, but there was something just magical and utterly heartbreaking about the original Little Mermaid. I think part of it had to do with my grandfather. I never got the chance to meet him, as he had passed away a few years before I was born. However my mom always had stories to tell about him. He had been an important presence in her life and upon hearing so many stories about him, I found myself feeling honored to hear the stories yet sad that we were never fated to meet.

One such story my mom would tell me involved my grandfather and his time spent fishing. He was a war veteran so fishing was one of the few hobbies that was not stressful for him. He couldn't handle hunting or anything with sudden loud noises. So as the story goes, when he would go fishing he'd come up against a dry patch where the fish just weren't biting. In those moments he'd beg for some help and low and behold there would be mermaids in the water to either keep him company with a funny joke or song, or to coax some fish into taking the bait.

I would always respond to this story with, "Mom, is that true? Did Grand Daddy Mark talk to the mermaids?" And my mom would say, "Of course he would. They'd help him with fishing and make sure he came back home safely." I couldn't help but believe. So from then on mermaids were my favorite. I believed that they existed and I wanted so badly to be one myself. Even now as I navigate through my thirties, I kinda like to think I come from a long line of mermaids. This is one reason why I refuse to eat seafood. The other reason is that I find seafood to be disgusting. However it irks me when people groan, "Why won't you eat seafood? You are so picky!" Simply responding with, "I don't eat seafood because I refuse to eat folks from my kingdom," really works to get people off my back. I digress.

Anyways, one day when I was about 3 or 4, my mom bought me The Little Mermaid on account that I was mermaid obsessed. (It was an adapted version of the Hans Christian Andersen tale, but very faithful to the original.) I made her, or my dad, read that story to me every night, and every night I'd hope that the mermaid's fate would turn out differently. I hoped that she'd fall in love with her prince and finally get her soul. And when she wouldn't, when she would sacrifice her life for the prince, when her body would become sea foam, I would just cry. It just seemed like such an unfortunate fate.

It was an important story that has been by far my favorite, as a child and as an adult. Being a child of the 80's was also the perfect time to be a fan of mermaids too. Not only was there the Disney Little Mermaid movie (I fondly recall being highly stressed at how Disney was going to handle the ending) there was also Mermista from She-Ra. And with so many toy lines with fantasy inspired characters, a dorkette like myself had plenty of mermaid items to collect at that time. Now I can only hope that mermaids have a much needed resurgence in pop culture. (Fingers crossed for that Mermista in Masters of the Universe Classics.) So I'm just about done rambling, enjoy some images of my Mermaid favorites from my own collection:

My favorite story as a kid.
Kenner's sequel to SeeWees: Shimmers! A mer-mother/daughter duo that was a favorite.
The most bad ass mermaiden this side of Crystal Falls: Mermista!
Be sure to check out these other bloggers and their favorites from more youthful times, Calvin's Canadian Cave of Cool is always full of informative topics and his favorite childhood topic is very interesting.

Rich discusses various topics full of Fortune and Glory, but his favorite childhood topic is chock full of fun photos and other fun stuff.

I've only just recently been checking out all the geeky goodness at Goodwill Hunting 4 Geeks, but Maine talks about a favorite childhood topic that is super fun. Plus check out that collection!

Finally for a look at some major Masters of the Universe love, check out Chris Lockhart's Random Nerdness for a fun look at his favorite childhood topic.

I am very thrilled to be a part of the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, and I really hope I didn't muck this up. I hope everyone is doing well, and get ready folks! She-Ra Saturday is just around the corner!!!


  1. I have issues with Hans Christian Anderson - that little match girl story was the saddest one they ever made us read. It still haunts me today and I remember how freezing to death made her feel warm and happy - she just had to die for something good to happen to the urchin and it wasn't even real. That man was an evil writer. But I like what Disney did with his Little Mermaid movie. I can still sing the songs

    1. Oh goodness I can't even handle the Little Match Girl. That is the most depressing story ever. I know what you mean about having issues with HCA, I have some issues too with his work. I am not super thrilled with his original version of the Little Mermaid, but the adapted story was a big favorite and of course the Disney movie was just the best. From the songs to the whole concept of changing an ending up to something else entirely, I really liked that. It was nice to see a twist to the story with a happy ending.

  2. When the Disney movie came my middle Cousin was just so in love with it and as a small child would watch it everyday. One day me, her mom and her oldest brother were out at a video store and the movie was playing as we were all walking around the isles looking at movies and as me and my aunt were talking about what movie we should rent we heard someone singing one of the songs. It turned out to be the oldest brother....We just laughed so hard and he didn't even realize he was singing the song! It just had heard it so much at home it was a natural thing to him lol.

    1. Oh I love that JB! Those songs are really infectious! I loved singing them. My brother did too, but not as much. He wasn't a big Little Mermaid fan. But I love that your cousins brother was just singing along at the rental store. That is so cool.

  3. Did you ever see the Toei Animation version of the Little Mermaid from 1975? I think it's a must-see for mermaid fans. They have it on amazon for $5 (but with a cover that is totally misrepresentative of the film - look at the additional photos for a real look) -

    I'm a big fan of Mermaid lore and one of my favorite mer-things is The Mermaid Saga manga by Rumiko Takahashi. It's a little creepy at times but I love it.

    1. I did see the Toei Animation version of the Little Mermaid. I want to say I even had it on vhs. I had forgotten about that version, or rather the details of who was behind it. I now need to go see if it is still at my parents, because I do recall really enjoying it before the Disney version came out and then everything got clouded. lol

      I will also look into The Mermaid Saga. I have never heard of that before, it sounds interesting. Really cool site btw!

  4. I like the original and tragic Little Mermaid story than the version from Disney.
    On the other hand, once I read another version of this tale: at the end the Little Mermaid recovers her mermaid body, but loses the prince's love. Then she spends the rest of her live waiting to see the prince on any ship her glance can reach.
    Pretty sad and hopeless.

    1. Yeah it is a very sad and tragic story. I like this other version you mentioned, I've never heard of that twist, but I like it. Thank you for the comment. I hope you are doing well.