It seems this summer a lot of my dilemmas and drama stems from trips to the beach. My most recent visit had me asking…is chivalry dead? Here’s the story…For some of us, putting up a beach umbrella is not easy. If you think it is, then good for you. Add a pregnant belly and a rambuncious almost two year-old child and it doesn’t get any easier. During a visit to my local beach, my 16-year-old niece and I fought to get the umbrella in the sand. We dug and dug using our plastic shovels and tried to get it to stay. When that didn’t work we got pails of water to make a “sand cement”. We thought that was the key. And it was….for all of 5 minutes. The umbrella blew away. We ran after it. While this whole scenario was playing out, one guy in his twenties was sitting a few feet away witnessing the whole thing while tanning in his chair. Do you think he got up to help? Nope. There was another older man sitting on the other side. Surely he must have heard me cursing the sand. Do you think he got up to help? Nope. So, we decided not to try again and just surrender to the sun. I slopped on another layer of sunscreen on myself and my daughter. I was more concerned about the sun exposure to my daughter seeing that she already has a better tan than me this summer. Definitely not my genes. Nonetheless, it appeared as though we would never got our umbrella up, so extra sunscreen it was.
After looking around and noticing I was getting no love while the sun was beating on my daughter, I looked in the horizon. At last…my savior was riding in on an ATV. No, it wasn’t David Hasselhoff from “Baywatch”, but two local cops on the beach patrol beat. They must be itching for something to do seeing that patrolling the beach in an ATV can’t be that hard. Although they didn’t see all the trouble we went through, I thought maybe they would help if they saw the umbrella lying in the sand. Silly me. They were talking to one another, totally engrossed in their conversation when they shifted the ATV in park and crossed the street to get something to eat before I could get my pregnant butt off the sand chair to ask for help.
I told my niece I would ask them when they got back, as the umbrella continued to protect the sand from the beating sun. But, to be honest, by the time I turned around, they were already revving their engine, still engrossed in their conversation. I felt defeated, but too annoyed to try to rush to stop them and ask for help. So, I did what anyone else would do. I went on Facebook and complained about it. I got some funny responses. All the while, my daughter didn’t seem to mind the sun, but it bothered me that she was there without shade. Then I noticed a guy who drove up to the shore on his jet ski. He was talking to some women who had kids ( minus an umbrella I may add, maybe they just didn’t even bother with the aggravation). I scoped him out to make sure he wasn’t a wack-a-do. My nutso sensor didn’t ring, so I got up and approached him. I said, “Excuse me, do you think you can help us get our beach umbrella up so my daughter can play in the shade? It’s kinda hard when it’s hot out and you’re pregnant.” Yeah, I played the pregnant card, so sue me. He said sure and came right over.
I started telling him about my whole ordeal. He agreed that some people are really rude. He also admitted that he had trouble last week getting his umbrella to stay in the sand. He dug and dug, spending quite awhile to get it all ready…(and even used our sand cement idea). Then wa-la…our umbrella was up, there was shade, I was happy! I thanked him over and over again as he hopped on his jet ski into the sound, only to come ashore some other day to help a pregnant damsel in distress.(ok, maybe a little dramatic there) I’ll have you know, while this was going on, the other guy sitting around, the Jersey Shore wanna-be, was still sitting there working on his tan. The older guy had left at this point. Word to the wise…chivalry goes a long way, a tan fades in weeks.
Sometimes it really amazes me how nervy strangers can be at times. Here’s the story that got me all fired up…We were on vacation last week and my daughter was playing on the beach. She went over to a little girl around her age and started picking up some of her toys. After telling her to stop, the little girl’s mother invited my daughter to go over and play. Since my daughter is so friendly, (she can become BFF’s with a rock, I think she definitely gets that from her father) we walked over.
I love timeouts. Not for my daughter, but for me, and not in the context of getting punished or anything like that. Just a good old time out for relaxing. Which, by the way, needs to happen more often I’ve decided. Easy you say. Wrong I say. But that’s what weekends are for, you say. Not always, I say. That’s what extra days off are for, I say. I finally had one that wasn’t taken over by a “to do” list. The only thing “to do” was to go to the beach. Mission Accomplished.