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11:17 a.m. - 2010-07-01
Linky Squee From The Sea

Mick and I ran away from home yesterday and it was GREAT!

Wolf was with his father. Down in the city at Coney Island, no less. Going on the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone and eating hot dogs at the original Nathan's. So it's hardly like the poor kid was suffering in our absence. (Hot dogs at Nathan's aren't a nickel anymore, in case you were wondering.)

With the entire world at our disposal (or at least the bits reachable during a day trip) those kwazy kids Mick and LA went to the shore. As always. Not bitching here, it was my choice. I needed a day at the beach. And since 'the beach' means Seaside that's where we went. We threw our new Sportbrella in the car along with our suits, towels, and enough SPF products to blot out the Sun over the entire northern hemisphere and off we went. When we got to Tom's River (last town before crossing the bridge onto the Jersey Shore peninsula) we stopped at a big box store and bought beach chairs. We are now official beach bums and/or yuppie scum because we own our beach stuff instead of renting. After a small delay at Mr Breakfast for sustenance, we crossed the bridge, parked the car, changed into our suits (yes in the car, feh, like anyone was watching) and were on the beach in no time. As we settled into our new chairs in the mega-shade of our spiffy umbrella Mick marveled at how easy it had all been. Hey, despite the addition of our new portable living room, I am strictly low maintenance at the beach. Get up, pack a minimum of stuff and GO. Even when traveling with the kids I'm that way. A small cooler with juice boxes and a couple of sand toys and we're good. I'm always amused and bit stunned by those folks who require enough tents, supplies, clothing, coolers, toys, and assorted crappola that they look like they're traveling the Silk Road to Mongolia, not spending a few hours on a beach. I see them staggering across the sand freighted down with their boxcars of stuff, all that's missing are the camels, and I laugh and laugh.

Though I did see a Bedouin-esque thing in the form of a gang of Muslim women in billowing abaya and full-head hijab playing in the water. But I'm getting ahead of myself, the Muslim women come in much later in the story.

The beach was lightly populated when we first got there. With no kids to keep an eye on there was no need to settle right on the water's edge so we parked it several yards back. A little ways off were a trio of middle-aged women all with the brick-brown tans of the fulltime beach dwellers. I didn't take much notice of them at first, too delighted with our quick clean getaway from home with its endless To-Do list and more than endless Momming. But one of the trio had a loud bray of a voice, her speech syllabant from missing teeth and she held forth with the slaughtered grammar and gossipy nonsense of the boastfully uneducated. The braying went on and on and on and on and on. I swear this woman must have been into circular breathing like saxophone players because she never paused for a breath, her braying never stopped for a second. I knew I'd go nuts if I had to listen to that loud (and foul) mouthed ignoranty all day. So we hauled up stakes and moved a hundred yards thataway. The braying woman also conducted with her hands as she spoke and while we were now blissfully out of earshot every time I looked over that direction I could see her still leading her atonal symphony of one. I swear, she hadn't shut up once even three hours later. I had to assume the two women with her were either being held captive somehow or were stone deaf. Or maybe even dead. I'm sure Ms Donkey Mouth wouldn't notice (or care) if they were.

Our new neighbors were a pair of young lovers so goonily intent on each other you could actually see the little dancing hearts and tweeting birds circling around their heads. Too sweet. Also nearby was a cluster of young adults (?)- a pair of girls and three guys. The guys shaved bald and one covered in a mess of aggressive and hateful tattoos. They kept to themselves for the most part, the girls sunning and grooming (put hair up, take back down, smooth, re-twist, put back up, take down, brush, apply lip gloss, check in mirror, confer with other girl, repeat ad nauseum, etc, etc) and the three guys strode around posturing and flexing. They'd stump off down the strand for a while, pecs twitching, arms held out from their sides, fists clenched, sneers firmly in place on their mugs, then come back to do more posing in front of the girls. Toward the latter part of the afternoon one of the guys snatched a bucket of french fries away from the girls and began tossing the fries up to the seagulls. Of course every gull in Ocean County appeared almost immediately and the squawking was immense. Now that he'd started a re-enactment of The Birds Fry Guy got goofy and just held a french fry up over his head daring the gulls to take it from him. Which they did, no prob. However not satisfied with causing the bird ruckus and disturbing everyone within 4 blocks, Mean Tats had to get into the act and instead of french fries he held up lit cigarettes. Classy. When a bird snatched a smoldering butt from his hand Mean Tats would laugh like a loon and light another one. Then I guess he got tired of that bit of 'fun' and started snapping his towel at the circling birds. When he made contact he'd laugh again and yell, "Gotcha, you fucking rat with wings!"

I was furious. Mick was furious. But I knew if I said something that Mean Tats would mouth off with something nasty and then it'd all be over. Mick would kill the little creep. For real. He'd pull that shithead apart like monkey bread. Not wanting to spend the next 25 years visiting Mick in the NJ State Penitentiary I held my tongue, but just barely. Eventually those cruddy lunkheads tired of their 'sport' and they all packed up and left.

However, Donkey Mouth and the thugs were small ugly blips on an otherwise delightful and relaxing day. Well-coated with SPF 1,000,000 I stretched out in the sun for a little while and had a wonderful drifty nap. On one level I was still aware of the breeze and the swoosh of the waves and the warm sun on my back, but I was also asleep enough to dream (happy things for once!) and catch up on a bit of badly needed rest. Heaven, pure heaven. This early in the season the water was bitchin' cold and there was an ugly cross-rip to boot, so we didn't do much in the water but cool off occasionally before going back to our comfy chairs. That's all we needed. Just chilling on the beach, talking some, being quiet, reading our books, people watching and enjoying a knockout of a beautiful day.

Later on from our perch upstairs at a snazzy Mexican restaurant on the boardwalk we had a delish dinner and watched the beach and boardwalk folks. That's when I spotted the Muslim women in their ridiculous and voluminous bathing burquas. This slotted off into a discussion of religious absurdities in general, and why the Amish and the Hassidim don't irk me like the Muslims do, the men in those tribes have to wear goofy clothes too. They have required hairdos and specific facial hair and funny hats and difficult clothing. The Muslim guys, on the other hand, take their ease in t-shirts and shorts, dressing any old way they want to for their comfort and convenience while requiring their women to swaddle and encumber themselves in sweltering circus tents. Makes me quite grumpy, that does. Either everybody has to dress up for God or no one should. Fair's fair.

Though speaking of grooming I got an amusing lesson yesterday. I keep forgetting how long my hair is these days and didn't think to bring a comb or a hairbrush. Duh. Hey, it's been years and years since I've needed such things, my hair's been strictly no maintenance buzz cut since 2003. Yesterday with no comb, after several dunks in the sea and a steady ocean breeze all day my longish mop stuck up all over my head like crazy hair. Like THIS only platinum blonde. Mick was amazed (and amused) that when I realized my lack while changing for dinner I marched over to a couple of young women a few cars over from ours in the parking lot and asked to borrow a comb or brush from them. The young ladies laughed and apologized, they'd just discovered they were comb-less too and we all cracked up over our beach sculpted wacky 'dos. Mick couldn't believe I'd asked to borrow a comb from total strangers. I flapped a hand at him and said it was a girl thing. No woman in grooming or menstrual distress would ever be denied aid from another woman if she can provide. We willingly hand over cosmetics, hairspray, toilet paper, safety pins, tampons, and such without batting an eye. Women help other women, even strangers. It's a rule.


Right, ladies? ~LA

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