If You Didn’t Already Know That I Whaley Like Whales, Here’s The Story

Abby Schindel, Managing Editor, Feature

Any one that knows me or just follows me on Instagram knows that I have a slight obsession. It’s not a slight one, but a huge, constant and slightly insane obsession.

It all started with a pun on the front cover of a book that showed a whale simply saying, “oh, whale.” Something like that would usually make a person let out a small laugh solely because of how cringey it is. Usually I would just roll my eyes, but this time was different. I didn’t smile and roll my eyes; I laughed for at least an hour. It was one of those laughs where you just can’t stop no matter how hard you try.

While the joke itself was hilarious to me and just terrible to the rest of the world, it had a much bigger impact than anyone could have known. That one pun would be the start of the never-ending, always-apparent and very-passionate obsession with whales.

At first, I just collected things that were whale-related. The first thing I got was a shirt with a whale on it and a pair of whale bookends. I then found a cute whale dish, followed by a painting of a very colorful whale.

The collection is as numerous as it is diverse in the types of whales. There are multiple pairs of socks, a whale bank, and various plant holders. I’ve got almost everything, except I am still looking for a whale blanket. I passed sixty whales items at the beginning of 2019, and the list still hasn’t ever stopped growing.

Quite frankly, I take pride in the number of whale things I own. It’s a collection of something I love from around the world.  I got my whale hooks in Cinque Terre, Italy. My ‘lucky little whale’ came from Honolulu, Hawaii, while my stuffed animal whale came from the baby section at my local Target. They are basically souvenirs I get from different places, even if that adventure is just going to Target. Each time I go somewhere new, I try to bring anything that’s a whale back home with me so I can always have a small piece of that place with me. Even If I am going somewhere I have been before, if I find something whale-related, I will most likely buy it on the spot.

As the obsession grew into my senior year of high school, I started to notice that all these fake whales in my life were making me more aware of the living whales on this earth. This animal I was so obsessed with was actually endangered, and that absolutely broke my heart. After doing research on what is causing their decline and looking at how I can help, I adopted a whale. Probably my favorite thing on my list.

Kama’aina is a humpback whale off the coast of Maui. Their name means “child of the land” or “home” in Hawaiian and got their name because Kama’aina always returns to Launiupoko Beach in Maui. I made the donation and adopted them because for me ‘home is where the heart is.’ There are a lot of things that I hold close to my heart, and whales are one of them.

I never thought I would be known as the “girl who really loves whales,” yet here we are almost three years and more than sixty whales later. There’s nothing to blame but a stupid pun. Maybe that’s where that love came from; I may never know. Oh, Whale!