I've snuck away from the job and family for a few days for some rest and relaxation at The Shore!
And yesterday, while at the shore, I even went to the beach.
That's right. . . A Mom on Spin donned her old lady bathing suit, picked up a beach chair, walked the 50-or-so yards from her parents' summer house to the beach, stuck her toes in the sand and the rest of her Jersey body in the Atlantic Ocean!
After which I was bored. And that is why, an hour later, you could find me back home under the awning on the deck with my nose in a book. And even though you haven't asked me to, I somehow feel compelled to justify my dislike of the beach for you. So here goes. A Mom on Spin's Complete List of Things She Doesn't Like about the Beach.
- The sand. It's hot. And on a scorcher of a day like we've had this week, the sand can be hot enough to burn right through your flip-flips. (No, I didn't say "thongs". . . .) Wasn't there a form of medieval torture whereby the penitent was forced to walk through hot coals? And we Jerseyites voluntarily subject ourselves to that punishment time and time again. . . most of us even gladly paying for the privilege????
- The heat. Where else would you let a ball of flaming gas beat down on you without the benefit of shelter or shade until a big old cloud comes along to block the sun at which point you hear a collective sigh of relief from all beachgoers washing down the shoreline like the "wave" at a Giant's game??? That is, of course, unless you choose to bring the next item on the list to the beach with you. . .
- The beach umbrella. Now umbrellas are invariably brought onto the beach by non-professional beachgoers. . . shoobies if you will (neophytes who wear actual street shoes to the beach instead of thongs.) And if shoobies don't know enough about beach etiquette to wear proper footwear, you can bet your bottom dollar that they don't know how to install an umbrella in the sand - leaving all of their fellow sun worshipers prone to attacks from a shoobie harpoon each time a strong wind picks up.
- "Cousins". You all know who I'm talking about here. . . . the folks who - even though there may be miles and miles of unclaimed beach up and down the water's edge - decide to plop themselves and their mountains of beach-going paraphernalia smack dab next to you. . .like they're family or something!
- The ice cream man. Who, without fail, arrives at the bulkhead just as you're about to drift off into sleep. . . ringing his bell and yelling Ice Cream! Get your ice cream here! If that man thinks that the likes of this lady is making the long trek back over that burning sand to pay an outrageous sum for an item that is guaranteed to make me look even worse in this bathing suit, he must be nuts. Much better to hire a kid from the nearby cousins' camp to run and get one for you and use the dripping remains to cool down your feet upon his return.
- The loudmouths. Did you ever notice that the mere sound of waves breaking in the distance causes certain folks to raise their voice so that - even though they may be sitting way on the other side of the cousins - you can hear every word of their conversation as if they're sitting in your lap? And it's not like the conversation is something you want to listen to. . . for their talk invariably centers around how much (now I believe that this may be another Jersey thing here) salt water taffy they're going to bring home to the neighbors who have been kind enough to bring in (and read, no doubt) the newspaper for them while they've been on vacation.
- The ocean. Now I'll admit that this item on the list stems only from A Mom on Spin's deep-seated-and-somewhat-irrational fear of being present when someone drowns so I don't really need to elaborate here. Suffice it to say that I tend to play the part of a backseat lifeguard. . . diligently watching all those in the water. . . waiting for the worst to happen. . . ever-ready to spring into action and save a life like I am wont to do. If they'd give me a whistle, some zinc-oxide, and a high wooden chair (with a lift, of course, to get me up there) I could actually get paid for my time at the beach!
Perhaps in a future post I can list for you all of the things that I love about The Shore, but I certainly don't have time for that now!