Der Eric Ducharme, Merman,
I believe that when you find the thing you love, you should hang on and never let go. In your case, the thing you love is being a Merman — that’s a male mermaid for non-merman enthusiasts — and bless you for it. At just 16, you donned your first merman costume, swimming as the the mermaid prince in the Weeki Wachee Springs Little Mermaid show. “It’s a lifestyle. It’s a path in life that I have chosen,” you told producers of TLC’s “My Crazy Obsession,” on which you’ll be featured later this season. Yes, yes it is. And that path means you spend quite a lot of time in the water, flicking your bright tail about, and fending off ever-encroaching prune fingers.
Thankfully your boyfriend and your parents are a zillion percent supportive. Your mom admitted that mermaids have been a longtime fascination, and is philosophical about your obsession. “We have our own passions,” she said. “That’s Eric’s life.” Indeed!
And, you’ve managed to parlay your passion into a lucrative business selling mermaid tails to others.
“Sometimes we have to ask people what’s with the scolding looks because they’re just like, why is there a guy in a tail? It’s supposed to be a girl,” your boyfriend Matthew Quijano said. “Haters gonna hate.”
Well, Eric, I’m not hating.