Tuesday, July 20, 2010

My Day at the Beach

Yesterday we went to the beach. I'm not really a beach person. I hate the feel of sand between my toes. The water is usually too cold and full of things I'd rather not think about. I don't like people. And I try not to be seen without a shirt.

But I figured, how bad could it be? It was a Monday. We were going to a state park. State parks tend to attract a certain clientele, many of whom are overweight, ghostly white, and hairy. I'd fit right in.

No such luck. It was like a convention of skinny, well-tanned people. I've read there's an obesity epidemic in this country. Could have fooled me. Everywhere I looked, gorgeous people frolicked in the surf. A group of buff seventeen-year-old dudes engaged in some horseplay and Frisbee. Wispy blondes strolled along the sand, smiling and checking out the guys playing Frisbee. Old guys with ponytails and smooth chests made out with fit, leather-skinned ladies. It was a nightmare of beauty. All of which is to say I kept my shirt on, as you can see in the pics. This was not a crowd that would have appreciated my fine pelt of lustrous back hair.

Little one had fun, but only because she's too young to know any better. About thirty seconds after entering the water (you'll notice me helicoptering like the over-protective parent I am) a chunky five-year-old swam over and admired my daughter's Ariel toy. She asked to play with it. My daughter handed it over. Big mistake. Because later, this same ragamuffin came strutting over while Little One and her father constructed a badly misshapen sand castle. I had placed Ariel in the moat area and commented that she was swimming in her pool. The fatty corrected me. "That's not a pool. That's a river."

"No," I said, "rivers have sources. Rivers flow downhill. Rivers have a current. That, young lady, is a pool."

She chose to ignore me. Then she plodded over to where we were keeping our other beach toys and hijacked a plastic watering can. She came over and gave Ariel a shower. Little One cried. We took Ariel and went back into the lake, hoping to escape the roly-poly snot. We got away. Ten seconds later, I look back to see The Wife pointing at the watering can floating aimlessly in the lake and telling the little shit to go pick it up. The little shit did not. "It's not mine," she said. Obviously.

The Wife retrieved it. Later, when the whale came paddling toward us yet again, I steered Little One away, and since I was carrying a yellow plastic pail I decided to put it to good use. Nonchalantly, while walking away and not looking at her, I scooped up a bucketful of water and tossed it into the air where it just happened to fall on the head of an impertinent little thief who didn't know how to respect other people's space or privacy.

Yes, I felt kind of bad. Thirty-four-year-old men should not be throwing water on five-year-old girls, no matter how annoying they are. But then again, five-year-old girls should have parents who actually watch them and teach them to not be jerks.


11 comments:

Rena said...

I loved this post. Why is it when you go to the beach people think they have some God-given right to come up to your "space" and mess with your stuff? I hate that.

Joel said...

Would have felt the same way and handled it the same way. The back hair problem...hmmm, I've tried waxing (not at all recommended for pain threshold reasons), shaving from dear spouse (a blog friend of yours) who says a hairy back is like a woman with hairy legs. This summer I've been trying the whole swimshirt thing. The jury is still out.

Lily Cate said...

There are two kinds of parents in this world, I think. Those who bring toys to the beach and/or playground, and those who sit on a bench on the phone while their kid steals my kid's stuff.

Jonathon Arntson said...

Well done. Are you available to baby-sit?

Tracy Edward Wymer said...

That's classic. Bucket of water in the air. Nice visual. You've been using the "S" word a lot lately. As Blondie would say, I'm telling on you.

Anita said...

What a day! Are beers allowed on your beaches? I think you, Little One and The Wife should come to our place for a CO visit next summer. More fun, I think.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Yes, to Anita. Go to the mountains. Way better than the beach I think. More danger, less toys.

Tina Laurel Lee said...

Oh, and I am totally enjoying Joel's presence on the internet!

Heather Kelly said...

I loved how the poor little five year old grew to reflect your annoyance. From chunky to fatty to whale.

Hilarious.

Paul Michael Murphy said...

She may have been poor but there was nothing little about her.

Anita said...

TINA: Joel just can't help himself.