*INSERT SUMMMMMMMMMMER VIBES.*
This blog is probably and literally something I've been writing and working on my entire life. Each summer another chapter, another addition, another eye roll under my sunglasses, another irritating one hit wonder of a neighbor, more jaw dropping stories I probably wouldn't tell to my diary, more horrendous tattoos and ample distractions. Were you sent here to entertain me? Do you know you're in public? Does anyone else see this shit?
All of these question only beg a response to one question...
WHERE IS YOUR BEACH ETIQUETTE?????
Now, in all fairness I just had to Google the correct spelling of the word 'etiquette' so I'm not sure if that means I shouldn't be teaching a course on it or just that I'm bad at spelling. I'm going with the latter.
Tbh, I suppose if you don't live within a days driving distance of the shore, a beach, a coast, this blog may be completely irrelevant to you. I also suppose you should keep reading because this will be entertaining.
SIDEBAR: I just learned the word "land locked" this week. Initially in the convo, I didn't think it would bother me but now that it's mentioned again, it makes me feel claustrophobic.
However, growing up in New Jersey, I have been, at minimum, an hour drive from the beach at all stages of my life. Many fortunate summers, a 2-10 minute walk.
With countless summer memories and 25+ years of people watching experience under my belt, I am certainly entitled to the following opinions.
Which brings me to my TOP 5 RULES IN LAZY BEACH DAY ETIQUETTE:
(Note: A lazy beach day doesn't include dranks. Some of those rules are totally different.)
1. Don't park like a dickhead.
Now, this rule can really be used any time of the year / in any geographic location / in every state / even in Zimbabwe. I just think it feels extra douchey during the summer and at the beach. Look, we're all here to do one thing: RELAX. Enjoy some Vit D, read a book or cruise a gossip mag, work on our tanlines, eat a peach or some frozen grapes and give ourselves an ocean front exfoliation session... why must you take up the space of an 18wheeler for your measly Honda Civic? It just isn't practical. Not only do I know you know you're in the way, you're selfishness is cutting into my UV exposure. If this applies to you, I hate to tell you what to do (no I don't) but what you should be doing is practicing courteousness. One can only assume in all areas of your life. But especially from your car and at the beach. Just be mindful. Park in peace, god speed...
2. Respect my plop location.
This is a big one. HUGE. Unless you are at Tiki on July 4th Weekend... MOVE. OVER. There is no reason on this planet our blankets should be able to make a fort. No reason I should be able to smell your fabric softener or lack there of. For no reason ever should I be sitting under your umbrella shadow and have to relocate MY CHAIR for sun. This is my prime real estate. I woke up early. I got the waterfront view. I found the good parking spot. I came prepared. I am the rightful owner this area. There is more than enough land to go around and with your closeness come a lot of other problems down the road for us. I am the queen of this 10x10 quadrant of sand and I would appreciate it greatly if you found your own dictatorship. Thank you.
3. Mind your children.
This one could be a touchy subject but you know Imma say it anyway. I would gather it's hard enough to manage a kid anywhere. At home, in the car, in Shop Rite, in life in general.
SIDEBAR: *INSERT SEMI COMPASSIONATE FACE BC THAT'S YOUR PROBLEM.* *INSERT ME LOLING FROM MY 10X10 QUADRANT OF SAND*
So one can only expect some misbehaving in a space as open as the beach. With that said, I do realize kids are kids and I was once a sand kicking jerkoff myself. (Ask my sister) But all I'm asking is for you to insert your parenting game where it's needed. Little Jeremy shouldn't be running amuck because you're too busy talking to Brenda about carbs. He should be in a hat, spf'd up, quietly making a sand castle. And lastly, under no circumstances should he EVER BE feeding his lunch or Goldfish to the seagulls (that's a whole other topic). If you have any job today as a parent, you need to watch that kid and react with more quickness than said seagull. If you came here to relax, you should have stayed home.
SIDEBAR: I literally always get shit on at the beach. Legend has it, being shit on by a bird is good luck but I just think that's something people made up to make you feel better about being covered in animal shit. The less you feed those sky rats next to me, the smaller the chances of them shitting on me are.
SIDEBAR: That .gif right there is a cinematic masterpiece. Thank you @ebaumsworld.
4. This is not a Vegas buffet.
Acceptable lunches for the beach are as followed... a sandwich, already premade, from a personal sized cooler, with no more than 3 ingredients on it. Anything outside of this direct description just seems utterly embarrassing. However, if you're not into sandwiches I would say a general rule is anything with the least amount of dairy: a fruit salad, ricecakes and peanut butter, SMALL container of tuna sal with some cut up veg, or just simply anything SMALL, not messy and you should be able to eat it with your hands. Under no circumstances should you have any form of cutlery with you. A kitchen knife? Murderer. Last nights leftovers? Cringe. A burrito? In a bathing suit? A double NO.
SIDEBAR: I once witnessed a man pull out from a lifesize cooler an entire line up of equipment one would need to assemble a sub. I'm talking paper plate, kitchen knife, loaf of bread, cold cuts, lettuce, cutting the tomato, scraping the mayo from the jar, I mean THE WORKS. He didn't miss a beat. This same man also showed up past noon to the beach, which in my mind is just a waste of time. While I admittedly was in awe of his work ethic, where were you at 9am that you refused to take the 5 minutes in the privacy of your own home to assemble this sandwich reminiscent of a hot, wilted, day old $5 foot long? Get it together chief. The more accoutrements you have, the more the birds will be on your back as well as mine. And why would you want to lug that cooler all the way from your 5 block away spot (since you got here too late to matter in the parking world), down the sand and under your family tent. I just wasted energy typing that route out.
5. Turn down your volume. This is not your Oscar winning speech.
Tbh, this is kind of a double edged sword for me. I truly don't think there are many things I enjoy in life more than people watching. You can't say it isn't a thrill. And if you could, you need to people watch more. Having said that, it's meant to be done from afar... which means, I don't really want to hear you. Check out your horrendous 90s tramp stamp? Sure. Watch that wave knock you over? Absolutely. But I should never know the intimate details and inner workings of your reproductively challenged sister in law. Or why you like your left knee better than your right one. Or about that bitch Sharon in HR who is a lying sack of shit and makes you want to throw hot coffee on her every morning. (Well, maybe I care about Sharon).
But my point being, these mentioned, vocal behaviors constantly invoke the same questions... Do you know you're in public? Do you know I can hear you? Did you know your phone comes with the opposite version of speakerphone? That option that makes the conversation with you and the person on the other end private?
While we're on the subject of volume... your radio, neighbor. While I appreciate the hypeman in you, you gotta know your crowd. There's no harm in a little music to keep the blood flowin... but there is harm in Migos at 10am when me and the 78 year old grandmother 10ft in the other direction are trying to bask in the morning freshness. (There's actually harm in Migos most of the time but that's another story too.)
For the record, there's absolutely NO WAY this isn't going to turn into at least a 3 part series. I think it may even be a good idea to print and leave as reading material on the beach? Whatta ya say, Belmar?
SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY.
Love you more than pizza and quiet beach days.