Summer's bummers: beach bummers

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By The Staff

While Mike and I were sitting on our balcony at Virginia Beach last week, watching the breakers and some really poorly-played volleyball, it occurred to me that time spent at the ocean brings a bumper crop o’ bummers. Since Mike was all sad about the less-than-impressive response to my plea for guest writers, once again, I am rescuing him (and me) from the resultant bad mood. Please, PLEASE help me!

1. After spending many, many hours on the treadmill at the Bedford Y, I realized shortly after our arrival that all was for naught. Between the plethora of muffin tops, piercings, and dear Lord, the tattoos, no one gave a darn what an unmarked 40-something looked like. If you are worried about how you will compare at the beach in your bathing suit, you can stop!

2. I learned that at the beach “JF” does not stand for Jeff Forest. Hearing the shouts in our immediate vicinity while body surfing, my dear husband assured me that the jellyfish were all dead. What he did not “get” was that, while I love swimming in the ocean, in order to do so, I have to pretend that fish do not live there and that small kids do not do unmentionable things there. Having a bunch of hypervigilant little boys yelling, “JELLYFISH” all afternoon did not help my denial!

3. Considering myself an environmentally conscious kind of gal (and known also for my frugality), I opened the window and sliders in our room, in order to utilize nature’s (free) ventilation. Unfortunately, by the end of the week, this resulted in my having to spray harsh chemicals all over, in order to kill all the gnats I’d let in. Natch, I had to endure an eyeball-rolling lecture from the desk clerk as well. I bet Al Gore would understand.

4. I watched my hubby’s decrepit footwear FINALLY fall apart, before my very eyes. As any wife can attest, when this happens after you’ve been trying to get him to part with them, and you haven’t even had to “intervene”, this should be a moment of great joy! Nope, not this time, Sisters; I was unable to revel in the slightest bit of smugness, since he was totally shoeless in front of a 1/4 mile stretch of hot sand. YOWZA!! I haven’t seen moves like that since 1979!

5. Guys, your comb-overs might be fooling all the chicks at the beach bars. They do not, however, fool Mister Sun. I don't care to recall the number of men I saw with the tops of their heads aglow.

6. After courteously stopping for a pedestrian crossing the bike path on the Boardwalk, I narrowly avoided getting creamed by the non-law-abiding teen on the bike behind me. Giving him “the look” seemed not to help one bit. You know, it rarely works at home, either....

7. Inevitably, my husband chose to wait until I’d scarfed down my entire portion of french fries (waste not, want not) to declare, “Hey, Baby, tonight we’re going out for frozen custard!” As is my wifely duty, I went along with his plan. Yup, I did so all three times he pulled this little stunt... Come to think of it, this is not a bummer at all!! The bummer was how I felt after my first day back at the Y!!!

8. We were surprised at how pervasive the smoke was from the North Carolina fire, which still smolders today, only 90% controlled. Having spent 30 years working in hospitals and therefore being quite tolerant of foul odors, and only being in the area for a week, this was hardly a bummer for me. However, it HAS to be for those who live there, especially those without A/C or with lung troubles.

9. Finally, as anyone who has ever taken a vacation knows, the biggest bummer of all was packing to come home!