A true story:
“MOM! Come down to the beach! You’re missing the whole day! The waves are really big!”
So far I’d mowed the lawn with Pop-Pop’s ancient, rusty, cantankerous, unpredictable lawn mower. I’d edged the grass so thoroughly I had to use both of the trimmer’s rechargeable batteries. I’d fertilized the grass and garden with a hundred pounds of dehydrated cow manure. I’d sprayed Round Up on the gravel driveway and stone walkway. I’d re-seeded in the dead spots where the neighbor had irresponsibly let his dog pee in Pop-Pop’s yard. I’d re-painted some of the deck furniture ocean blue. All of this I accomplished in the blazing sun, high humidity, and no breeze…basically Hell. It HAD been a long day for me and I WAS wishing I could be down on the beach with my munchkins.
I told Varmint I’d be down as soon as I finished weeding, and was true to my word. I paused only to take off my cut-off jean shorts and paint-splattered t-shirt, and put on my granny dress bathing suit.
Incidentally, I did try to find a non-granny dress bathing suit this year, but nothing hides bacon-doughnut belly rolls like a granny dress. Still, you’d think the R&D guys at L.L. Bean could design swimwear that a 45-year-old chub-a-lub soccer mom could wear without making her look like a dead-ringer for Ethel Merman. They’re missing a bet, I tell you. While I would venture to say that MOST 45-year-old soccer mom’s do NOT have the ability or desire to pull off the cougar-esque styles you see all over the swimwear sections these days, we also don’t like looking like a granny so early in life. There HAS to be some middle ground, I tell you!
Where was I? Right, meeting the kids on the beach after spending the day doing yardwork.
I hoofed it up and over the inferno that was the dunes…the sand was hotter than John Travolta in the ’70’s…and flopped down on the chair Varmint had lovingly put out for me. It felt so good to relax, just reclining and letting my toes sift through the wet sand.
But after a moment or two, I was uncomfortably hot. So I hefted myself up and ambled over to the surf, where Varmint and Critter were boogie-boarding like pros.
What is the difference between amateur and professional grade boogie boarding? The quantity of sand caught in the crotch and pockets of their bathing suits. A Pro doesn’t even notice that they look like they are carrying a load of poo in their suit. They just keep on rolling, man! Amateurs, on the other hand, are constantly trying to get the sand out of their cracks and crevices. Trust me on this. Just leave the load in your shorts when you’re boogie boarding. Otherwise you’ll be deemed an amateur. That’s my advice to you, free of charge. Leave the load where it is.
Where was I? Right, ambling over to the surf.
So I’m standing there, enjoying the cold water on my ankles, the wind in my hair, and the sun on my back, minding my own business. Several beach combers passed me with grins on their faces. I figured they were just being nice. Varmint climbed out of the surf towards me with a confused look on her face. She was staring down at my legs. I followed her gaze.
It was immediately clear to me that I should have, perhaps, paused longer than I did when I changed. Maybe it would have been wiser to clean the dehydrated cow poo off of my calves, and perhaps scrape the blue paint off of my feet. It might have been a good idea to, oh, I don’t know, actually glance in the mirror before I thrust myself upon the innocent public.
I rolled my eyes, dove headfirst into the waves, and scrubbed my body with the sea water.
I didn’t worry about polluting the ocean…after all what better way to clean off the cow poo than to swim in the fish pee?
And I wonder why I swim alone……