Whenever I tell someone I don’t like the beach, it’s always met with this look of horror like, how could you? For some reason not liking the beach is associated with not liking fun. It’s assumed that anyone at the beach is having the best time ever, so clearly not too many people have ever gone to the beach with someone who hates the beach, because the latter usually wises up and manages to bypass the outing by saying they’re getting their teeth whitened.
My feelings about the beach have nothing to do with wearing a bathing suit. My feelings about the beach can eloquently be summed up by the late Darth Vader (née, Anakin Skywalker): “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse, it’s rough, it’s irritating, and it gets everywhere.” If beaches were devoid of sand, I’d be all about the beach. However, in the very definition of the word beach, it is described as a pebbly sandy area between the land and the shore, so I’ll just stay inside where I don’t have to worry about sand in strange nooks of my body, thanks.
As a child I know I liked the beach, because being at the beach meant being able to swim in the ocean. As I grew older, and I realized that the water off of Cape Cod was freezing, I no longer wanted to go swimming. Instead, I’d spend my beach days sitting on a chair underneath an umbrella, wearing pants and a t-shirt, trying to avoid the sun, continuing to lather on sunscreen because a strain of melanoma runs in my family and getting suspicious looking freckles removed from my body is not one of my favorite pastimes.
So, no, I never felt the need to try and even out my tan because my skin has two shades: pale, and burnt. I’d much rather take a daily Vitamin D supplement than sit on a towel at the beach trying to fend off seagulls eying my potato chips. Also, seagulls. What’s the deal with them? Why are they so ballsy? I wish it were cool for me to run at unassuming bystanders and squawk until I got something to eat. Seagulls are to us, what we are to a breakfast buffet with a waffle maker; we’ll hover around that thing until someone throws food our way.
So fine, let’s hypothetically say that I’ve bathed myself in SPF 90+ and through some miraculous measure, I end up at the beach. Now what? I see people at the beach reading magazines and books and listening to music, but I can do all of those things from the comfort of my living room, in air conditioning, and I know for a fact my couch does not contain any sand. Those few rare times I’ve found myself at the beach for the day, I’m always the first one to ask, “Hey, who brought the shovel and pail to build sandcastles?” I’ve learned the hard way twenty-somethings don’t usually travel with toys in the trunk of their car. Considering I can sometimes barely handle a three minute commercial break during Castle, how could I ever handle 4+ hours at the beach without any buckets to at least do arts and crafts in the uggghhhh sand?
My dislike of the beach is completely separate from my love of the ocean. I love the ocean. So yes, lets go visit every aquarium in the United States, but please don’t make me go and visit the beach. Bring me to the rocky coast of Maine and let me sit there for hours because I want to be where the ocean meets the shore. Or, if someone wants to Kickstarter some sort of tent and PROMISE ME it it is 100% sand-proof, I’d be willing to talk. I’m open to sand-free suggestions.
Image via here.