I went to the beach today for the last time in my life. I’ve given beaches plenty of chances not to suck and they always fail. After 5 minutes, I’m sweaty, salty, and stingy. That’s not even remotely tolerable when you’re alone, but when you also have 2 genetically unprepared children with you complaining about heat exhaustion and butts full of moist sand, it can result in a psychotic break. You ever try to get wet sand out of a 2 year-old’s ass crack? You have to do it GRAIN BY GRAIN.
Honestly, I’m pissed off because the beach is something I want to like. That’s why I’ve tried so many times. I see people there enjoying it so much and feel like I’m missing out on something great, and become convinced that I must just be a depressed prick. I’m jealous of the people lying there sleeping. How can you sleep when you’re sweating and cooking? I haven’t felt relaxed for even one minute at the beach. I go from “Oh my god, that wave is too big” to “Did I put sunscreen on my neck?” to “I think there’s sand in my dick” to “I wanna go home.” None of the time am I on my back staring up into the sky peacefully as the sun slowly roasts my skin into the color of a perfectly cooked tater tot. No matter what I do, my skin is always somewhere in the spectrum of whoopie cushion pink.
I’m thinking it’s genetic. It’s my brain and body telling me to leave a hostile environment immediately. This DNA has been passed down by generations of Germans and English blooded folk. My genome should be called “70% chance of precipitation.” I’ve passed that along to my kids. They’re always sweaty and pink when in the heat. You get them somewhere that’s 68 degrees and low humidity, and they can dunk a basketball. Anything over 80 degrees and we’re all inside watching cartoons and panting.
My wife is slowly starting to get on board and I have mixed feelings about it. I’m pretty sure she liked the beach before we formed our brood. It’s like I’ve successfully convinced a good person that something awesome sucks. I’ve taken a positive soul with hope and wonder and turned her into a goth teenager, just so I don’t have to suffer through an afternoon trying to get everyone to appreciate watching salt water turn dirt into mud.
I have to be honest here, I guess. There is ONE beach I’ve liked. It’s at Meghan’s Bay in St. Thomas. The water is warm and waveless, the sand is white, and there’s a bar. It’s as close to a pool as you can get and that’s what I like about it. Here are my guidelines if I’m ever to go to the beach again:
- No more than 75 feet away from air conditioning.
- A 5 foot radius from anything wet.
- A VERY comfortable lounge chair visited by a person who offers me drinks of various kinds.
- At least 7 sets of dry clothes for each family member.
- A giant umbrella that can block all the sun from my giant body.
- Never out of eyesight from our deluxe hotel room.
- We have to be alone. I think it has to be a private beach. I don’t want to be surrounded by people having more fun than me.
- Only beautiful and colorful fish in the water. Nothing bigger than my arm.
So, something like Club Med could work, I guess. But never again am I driving 2 hours to a public beach in New Jersey. I know there’s some middle ground there, but I’m no longer willing to investigate it for fear of more misery.