You may remember me (and how could you possibly forget me, I ask you) from my previous post where I introduced Reel and Erica from Judi Fennell’s debut novel, In Over Her Head, which is soon to hit stores and is available for pre-order with all fine internet vendors.
I’ve been asked (by whom shall remain confidential) to share my tips on Mer dating. Specifically male Mer dating, or as you Humans like to call them: mermen. (Psst! They prefer Mer men. And birds are now asking to be called avians, of all things. Sheesh. Just don’t call me Late For Dinner and I’m a happy swimmer.)
But I digress.
Below I’ve listed my Top 10 Rules for dating. Learn them, live them, love them.
1) Stick to your own species. I’m not saying race, but s-p-e-c-i-e-s. That means, if you’ve got a dorsal fin, she better have a dorsal fin. If she’s got eight tentacles, you should at least be in the ballpark with six. Same thing for a Mer with legs. Being that there aren’t that many of you, go for a Human. Same species, different race, works well together.
2) First dates should NOT consist of life-threatening adventures—unless you’ve got a trident up your sleeve. Problem is, if you’re Mer, you don’t have sleeves. So adventures are a bad idea.
3) Nudity is not optional. It’s flat-out prohibited. All sorts of interesting things can happen if you show up nude. Just ask Erica about her and Reel’s first grown-up meeting.
4) Do not feed your American Human date Ulva lactuca. Sea lettuce may be a delicacy in some Human countries, but the US isn’t one of them. Snails are also an acquired taste.
5) Teach your starfish manners when having a Human guest in your home. Rudeness is not to be tolerated.
6) If you’re going to take your Human home to meet the family, you might want to give everyone a heads-up on acceptable behavior. Badgering the date is never a good idea. Insults aren’t so good either. Shrimp cocktail? Very good idea.
7) Introducing your Human date to a jealous sea monstress is not a good idea. Forget whatever it is anyone tells you about it being a good idea; it’s not. All sorts of things can happen: indecent proposals, jail time, loss of body parts… just ick.
8) Old myths have been around forever for a reason. Remember the old “don’t believe it until you see it”? Sometimes, given the circumstances, you might want to believe it before you see it.
9) Chivalry is not dead. It might cause you to end up dead, but it, itself, is not. Remember that.
10) And, finally, if you find yourself on a deserted island, with the perfect weather, abundant food and all the privacy you want, I say, “Go for it!”
This has been a Public Service Announcement and is intended solely as a dating guide for sea creatures. You Humans have enough issues as it is; I don’t intend to add to them.
Oh, and take a look at In Over Her Head where you’ll see how well Reel followed these rules. (Hint: not very.)