How to Fall in Love with Nudibranchs in 12 Easy Steps
It is no secret that I love the nudibranch. But it may come as a surprise that not everyone shares my branchophile tendencies. Fortunately, I have devised a twelve-step program to convert even the most reluctant slug-lover into a nudi connoisseur.
Nudibranchs: The Twelve-Step Program for the Budding Slug-Lover
Step 1: Fail to see what the dive guide and the photographer are even looking at when they stop to inspect nudibranchs.
Step 2: Mask your annoyance that the photographer in your group keeps stopping to look at microscopic slugs that you can't even see.
Step 3: When looking over her shoulder as she edits photos during happy hour, acknowledge that "they are colorful at least."
Step 4: Actually notice one of the more common slugs on the reef during your next dive.
Step 5: Frantically wave the photographer over. You have found a slug! You are part of the club!
Step 6: Become dejected when the photographer seems uninterested. She already has a ton of photos of that one.
Step 7: Take an active interest in the happy hour nudi photo edits.
Step 8: Begin anthropomorphizing the nudibranchs in the photos. Remark that one is "cute." Maybe swoon a little.
Step 9: Suddenly realize on a dive that the nudibranchs are everywhere. See 17 species that are new to you on a single dive.
Step 10: Find a nudibranch you haven't seen yet. Consider waving over the photographer, but get gun-shy after your experience in Step 6.
Step 11: Casually mention the nudibranch during happy hour: "Hey, have you seen one that looks like this?" Find validation in the photographer's manic reaction: No, I haven't, and why didn't you show me????
Step 12: Embrace the nudibranch love. Acknowledge that you have experienced something of a spiritual awakening, and begin evangelizing the nudibranch to others.