Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Evolution of the beach.
Have you ever had the luxury-or misfortune, depending on how you look at it-of spending an entire day at the beach? As the sun comes up you will be inundated with buckets, shovels, strollers and plumped out swim diapers. Nothing like the wailing of toddlers and the grit of sand in your hair (no kid can resist throwing a little, much to the horror of their wigged out parents) to bring you through those first few groggy hours. By lunch time these wee ones start to disappear-home for lunch and naps or perhaps to be bound and locked in the closet by their overtired, overwhelmed mommies. Next come a few business people trying to get their daily dose of vitamin d or perhaps just a quick breath of fresh air to go with their cancer stick. In move the relaxed mommies (they have had their coffee and read the newspaper on the porch while their tweenies slept in and fed themselves a bowl of cereal-or perhaps a snickers bar if they thought they weren't being watched). They usually come in groups so that the kids will entertain each other and the mommies can lay back and catch up on each others lives, laugh at or look longingly at other beach goers, read a book or pretend to slather on 50 spf while secretly using 8 so they can get that perfect golden tan. They linger until the last minute when they know they will be just the right amount late for little league or to get dinner on the table. As the early birds are packing up, the high school and college age kids start to take over. You can tell who they are as they approach in tight packs scoping out the scene and trying to be seen with out looking like they are trying to be seen. They move in groups. The girls may stand in the water, but won't get their hair wet unless they came with a group of boys. Those girls will get out there and play physically with the boys-they have already attracted them so now they get to have fun. The late afternoon/early evening brings the after work crowd looking to relax and cool off after a day of breathing frigid recycled air. They don't tend to stay too long and may be seen sneaking a flask out of their small cooler. As the sun goes down the "couples"start to emerge. They start out on a blanket watching the sun set, but end up in the deep waters looking like a single person to the people strolling by. It is these two people who will be back next summer at 8 am toting buckets, balls and babies.