**DISCLAIMER!**
Let me say this first. I am well aware that the vast majority of visitors or tourists are NOT “bennies”. I appreciate your patronage to our local establishments and am thrilled to meet visiting families that love our Shore Community just as much as we do. When I make jokes or poke fun at the bane of us shore living families summer, I am directing it at a SMALL portion of the folks that visit our area. You know, just as I do, what I am talking about. I see plenty of “tourists” with the same look if shock and horror on their faces as I have on mine.
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Ahhh… whatta day last Friday was… nothing says welcome to the Jersey Shore like a beach full of cigarette butts and inappropriately dressed tourists! Nothing says tourist like a family, so pale, I felt compelled to call the Red Cross for an emergency blood transfusion. Nothing says BENNIE like a pale tourist family that uses Hefty garbage bags as beach bags for their belongings. But hey.. gotta give em credit, they were the new Hefty Tri-flex bags with cinch straps! The surely did not cheap out on the sunscreen OR the garbage bags. But the best thing of the day was not the pod of dolphins that gracefully cruised past us like Neptunes’ star ballerinas, or the amazing display of army helicopters that made me feel not only safe and sound, proud to be an American. No, what made today amazing was the gentleman behind us who lie on his blanket for HOURS, yes, HOURS, playing his recorder. No. Seriously. I don’t even exaggerate. I wish it was a big fat hairy lie just to get a few laughs. But… like the rest of my stories…this shameful site was true. Long gone are the days when families went to the beach with sand toys, a beach ball, an umbrella, and a cooler full of sandwiches. Today, the lifeguards WILL have you shackled and removed from the beach for bringing a beach ball, and if its windy and you have an umbrella.. you WILL be presented with a Class Action Lawsuit by all the beach goers in a 100 ft radius. All those gale force winds and umbrella impalements really put a damper on the whole shade thing… We slather out kids in sunscreen that is so thick it’s just project paste with a different label, then tell them to stand and let it dry so that the sand doesn’t stick to them and coat them like a breaded chicken nugget. Lunches no longer brought in a cooler (well, ours are, but we like to go against the grain) but are now overpriced, saturated in saturated fat, sodium enriched, boardwalk food that makes your butt grow just smelling it. Then there are the families that just grab a stack of pies (pizza pies) and sit on the beach eating burning hot, cheesy, tomato-y eventually sandy pizza in their jeans and sneakers. A perfect segue into my next diatribe. Really.. you go to the BEACH… yet you arrive in jeans and sneakers with NO BATHING SUIT! ??What the hell is THAT all about? Please.. Ladies… promise you… you DO NOT LOOK HOT swimming in some dudes tighty whities and a sports bra. Ack.. not even close. Nor to you look attractive when you stuff 15 pounds of sausage in a 5 pound casing. And men… please.. men… speedos are so… European. And being from Newark doesn’t make you European. It just makes you a bennie in a dumbass bathing suit. Please people. I don’t take my kids to the beach for impromptu anatomy lessons. Pretty bad when even your teenage BOY is grossed out by what he sees walking the boards. Nothing is left to the imagination anymore.. Girls wear anything that shows everything, and the lack of clothes they wear actually even proclaim just how easy they are! (as if the style itself doesn’t say that enough!)
Our next beach day did not fare much better…we lug all our crapola just far enough down that we aren’t shouting over the sounds and screams coming from the pier, then trudge towards the water’s edge.. we go just to the point where the tide, when it comes in, may or may not soak a few towels..and we set up our “perimeter”.. now.. its painfully obvious we are chock full of kids, unless you really think that Joe and I, by ourselves, need 8 towels, each hand stitched with a child’s nickname, draped out on the sand, a near audience of chairs, and more sand toys then Toys R Us. And as I have grown up on the shore, the typical “beach etiquette” as my friend Laura likes to call it, is, one does NOT plop down in front of a “family campus” that is obviously on the water’s edge to afford one a safe, clear view of their children. Well..Let me tell you…the trio we encountered failed to notice all the above.. But no one in a 10 blanket radius failed to notice this near translucent fella who dropped his cargos only to reveal his grey pinstriped Jockey bikini undies… yep.. dude stripped to his skivvies.. At least the chicks had bikinis.. but when this guy took nearly 20 mins to oil up one of the girls, I sent my kids to the water to look for sand sharks before my tremendously observant children started to ask me questions that even I don’t have the guts to answer! I’m assuming they were either deaf, or foreign because I was not so subtle in my horror and was quite vocal with neighboring parents at the dilemma we were facing.. Literally facing… when he started to pop the pimples on his hairy milk white legs, I nearly lost my lunch… I was ready to bribe Charlie and Ryan to collect jellyfish in a bucket and “accidentally” drop it on his well oiled neither regions. But, the fates saw the potential for disaster and sent a huge wave onto their blanket, so they moved up and to the right a little bit… where I was entertained to see a not so thrilled family make a HUGE issue about his undies… Oh well.. not my problem anymore…. Gotta love summer.. I’m telin ya..

Yesterday’s beach day was tremendous…gorgeous…perfect…we had a great wave pool form in front of us… Laura and I relaxed while the kids scooped up shells by the handful and presented them to us like stocking stuffers…then… again… the ENTIRE beach to choose from (and we were at a relatively un-packed beach) and a pair of women and their children set up their blanket and THREE umbrellas in front of us… So… I relocate all our stuff and make it abundantly clear that rude people never cease to amaze me and its no wonder there is a website called http://www.bennygohome.com/. The day continued to be great.. kids swam, Laura and I chit chatted….Charlie ate.. kids made sand castles, Charlie ate some more, kids swam some more… Charlie ate….ha…then, as the day was drawing to a close, the seagulls decided it was time to see whats for lunch. About 20 birds were stationed between our blanket and a neighbors as all the kids were tossing snacks. Think Nemo and the “mine, mine, mine, mine” scene… Then from behind us, a very unusually dressed (barely is more like it) woman, who I had been observing talking to her invisible friends most of the afternoon, starts shouting something about not wanting to watch Alfred Hitchcock movies and some other crazy stuff… So, eventually she calms down and stands behind us in some Ti Chi stance, smoking her cigarettes and gently rocking back and forth……. Today’s lesson kids… this is what happens when you miss your lithium dose. All in all the day was perfect. The typical “OMG she shouldn’t be wearing that” sightings were abundant, then the token “DID YOU SEE THAT?”s were fairly numerous. But, there were honestly more “Your friends and family must not really love you if they let you go out looking like that today” then normal. Im all for self confidence… and individuality….but… shoot… Some people need to start suing the companys that make mirrors for false advertising… I swear.. I am by no means judgmental, or uppity. I am definitely not perfect..but, hey.. I AM in shape.. round is a shape too yanno!!.. ha… I am however, respectful … of my body and other peoples sanity…”Unleashing the fury” upon society is no way, shape or form, confidence.. just ignorance. And in most cases.. just plain rude. So… yeah.. If you come to the beach looking like an idiot or inappropriate.. I am gonna laugh. And if you look at me and laugh, that’s ok too… it’s what I’m here for…I know, that my life makes other people feel better about theirs! And I’m cool with that! So.. Please… Best way to know if you’re ready to go to the beach? Ask a kid.. they are honest.. painfully honest.. I know.. mine are honest with me .. ALL THE TIME! LOL…
Take care! Enjoy the summer and the beach! Just COVER UP! lol

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