Hey, It’s Summer

Jul 26

Time for a quick, refreshing, lightly-edited rerun.

It’s called “Life’s A Beach” and you’re seeing it again because I’m up to my eyeballs in page proofs, putting the finishing touches on my new book, I Can’t Believe I’m Not Bitter. (Summer is such a good excuse, though.)

QuietBeachOGMeanwhile, read this and see if you can’t feel the sun on your face and the sand beneath your toes, or vice versa, if that works for you. . .

Life’s a Beach

I love the beach, really I do.
But even I, sun worshipper that I am, and isn’t it good to have faith, admit that there are a few not-so-perfect aspects of sitting on the sand and swimming in the sea.

For one thing, there’s the sand.

So nice to look at. So nasty when it sticks to the sunscreen and gets in parts of your anatomy where it was never meant to be. So soft and warm and fun to curl your toes in. So hot “you wish your tired feet were fireproof.” You could go Under The Boardwalk, as the Drifters and Bette Midler have suggested, but then you wouldn’t get a tan.And don’t ever forget: you may not be a perfect ten, but tanned flab looks better than white flab. Trust me.

And then there’s the sea.

I used to love the surf, the old “over and under and then up for air” routine. These days, I can barely put my toes in without being nearly swept away. I remember how it feels to get hit by a humongous wave and be dragged back to shore, bathing suit practically to my knees and sand up to my you know what. Dive right in? I think not.

Boardwalks are pretty wonderful, though.

Except, of course, for the splinters. . . .

Back on the beach . . . getting a tan makes you feel healthy, even if the experts, like the adorable yet authoritative Dr. Oz say it’s doing just the opposite. Oh dear. Maybe I should stay Under the Umbrella. Safe and shaded, reading my book, minding my own business. Until a strong wind comes along and blows the lovely striped thing away and I have to run after it like a maniac before it does real damage to those two teenagers in a hammerlock on the next blanket. It would serve them right for being so cute. And young.

FattyWHatOnBeachAnd that’s another problem with the beach.
The people. Some of whom are not all that great-looking. . .

Like that woman over there wearing a bathing suit that creates more spillage than the Gulf Oil Disaster. Okay, it looks cute in the illustration, but in real life, wear a one-piece like the rest of us, lady. How about that man who thinks he should be wearing a Speedo. Like anybody should be wearing a Speedo?


The Jersey Shore

VictorianHousesOGWhich reminds me: All of the Jersey Shore is not The Jersey Shore, if you get my drift. That show gives New Jersey, Italians, and human beings a bad rap. Where we go in the summer, Ocean Grove, is on the Jersey Shore, but not of it. It’s full of old Victorian Houses, known as the Painted Ladies, and a Great Hall where they have religious services for those so inclined and nostalgia shows on Saturday night (Neil Sedaka, The Abba Tour, Smokey Robinson) for the rest of us.

The beach is lovely and pretty quiet: no boom boxes aloud (sic) and less rowdy than other places on the shore: no booze either. We go to Asbury Park for that. As often as we can.

But under the umbrella ice cold water tastes great and is so much healthier. We drink lots of it, then negate all the benefits by eating countless ice cream sandwiches that I tramp across the hot sand to get, feeling like Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia, although in reality, I am much shorter. And have brown eyes.

I’d walk a mile, with or without a Camel, for a good ice cream sandwich. 
So creamy. So messy. So delicious. So sinful. So necessary.

So very like life itself.


PostcardBeachOGAnd now I’m going to put on my cover-up, straw hat, and sunglasses and stroll down the boardwalk to Asbury Park, where I can get a Bloody Mary and look at the beach scene. The umbrellas make a great picture: all the greens and oranges, pastel patterns and crisp blue and white stripes. One of them is rolling across the beach, but that’s not my problem. The sea is as beautiful as it always is, and all the people look good — from a distance.

A day at the beach. Life is good.

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