OK, so there are a few things in life that it seems we do because we are supposed to. We don’t completely know how or why these traditions started and frankly we don’t give them any thought. For example, prior to my family starting the tradition of injecting turkeys with wonderful flavors and frying them in a grease-less fryer, I wondered why we had to eat turkey on thanksgiving. I would have much rather had a juicy steak than a giant dry bird that had to cook for 8 hours and be drowned in gravy to have any flavor whatsoever. But, it is tradition right? In November try asking your family to serve steak rather than turkey and watch how they react. *Spoiler alert* you are not going to get the steak. Anyway, I have long wondered this same thing about the beach. What is the source of the allure that draws every vacationing family to the beach? I don’t understand. I mean…It’s pretty. But so is Alaska and nobody in my immediate peer group has ever vacationed there. So, I thought I would compile a list of reasons that the beach is overrated to me.
1. Sand is obnoxious.
I’m going to come out firing. Sand is so annoying! Let’s picture a person sitting in a sand box. They lay back attempting to relax only to find that the lumpy sand is not nearly as comfortable as one might imagine. It gets into literally every nook and cranny of your body and feels really weird. I swear every time I have ever been to a beach I left with sand in the pockets of my swim trucks and somehow inside them! Now, let’s quickly think of one way to make sand more annoying than it already is. Ummmm. I got it! Get wet and then get back in the sand! Now the annoying sand is literally sticking to every part of you that it touches! Why would anyone want sand sticking to everything? It drives me nuts!
You ever go to a mediocre restaurant that everybody somehow loves? You are only going because it is the place that everybody else picked and you want to be with your friends. When you get there you have to wait an hour for a table, endure loud patrons, and you’re rewarded with average food that you probably paid too much for (think Applebee’s at anytime other than Happy hour). I have essentially just described the beach. For crying out loud why are so many people always there? I get it, people want to throw Frisbee, pass a football, read, have a drink etc. But, those are all things you can do just about anywhere. Why does the beach make it more fun?
3. You Have to Actively Prevent Yourself from Cooking.
In general I tend to not have fun in places that require me to apply anti cooking cream (some call this sunscreen) to my skin. Remember all of the activities I described in #2? Why is it fun to do those while trying not to drown in sweat or cook to death? I would much rather enjoy a drink, book, or throwing a football at a comfortable temperature without sand involved in any way whatsoever. What happens if you forget to put on anti-cooking cream or don’t wear enough? You will have cooked skin and spend the rest of your vacation avoiding the sun and in pain. Not interested. Additionally, I won’t even discuss the practice of laying in the sun and sweating your butt off in attempt to be a little more brown and leathery than you were the day before. (OK so everyone does look a little better with their summer glow but making fun of laying out helped my argument.)
4. Where is the Restroom?
I’m just going to come right out and say it. I pee in the ocean. There, it’s off my chest. The last time I went to the beach there was no restroom in sight. So what did I do? I waded into the salty abyss and provided a small contribution to the rising sea levels. I didn’t think twice about it until I looked at the thousands of people I was sharing the ocean with. Was I the only ocean pee-er? I think not. It gets more interesting in the off chance that someone has to do more than pee. Well, I guess you will be hiking to find a restroom.
If you are an ocean pooper you are dead to me.
5. It’s not Relaxing.
All of the aforementioned criteria paint a picture of an experience that is not fun or relaxing! Let’s review. You arrive at your overcrowded, overpriced beach town hotel. Yippee! Time to get in those bathing suits and head to the beach! Wait, let’s apply this anti-cooking cream to our skin so that we feel sticky and palpably saturated when we get there! Also, we don’t want to fry! Alright, we have packed our beach bag and we are ready to go! Halfway between the beach and the hotel you are already sweating. Awesome! Now you have reached the sand. It’s lumpy and you awkwardly walk while trying to keep sand from getting between your foot and your flip flop. You fail. Ultimately, you are forced to take off your flip flops and go barefoot. Hopefully there are no sticks, shells, rocks, glass or anything else waiting to be the demise for your foot-bottom-skin. You sift through the crowd only to find that all of the places you wanted to setup your mini beach camp are taken. You settle on a spot further from the water than you would like and put down your towel.
You sit on it and find that sitting on clumpy sand is less comfortable than you thought it would be. You also wish you were one of the people who brought an umbrella to shield the sun. What is the point of that anyway? Either you want to be in the sun or you don’t? Either you’re inside or out. Make a decision and stick with it. Anyway, you have a drink and read a book until you are sore from your position on the sand. You also find that you are way too hot to be enjoying this experience. So, you walk to the water and hangout. The waves whip you a few times and you suddenly discover that you can only stand in saltwater so long before its time to move on with your life. You walk back to your mini-camp. This time though, every part of you that the sand touches is covered in these grainy little annoying pieces of light brown gravel. You make it to your towel and wipe off the sand and water. Now you have a damp sandy towel to sit on while trying to enjoy your day. Then it hits you. You need to use the restroom. You look around and there is no restroom in sight. Now you are seriously contemplating your options. Ocean pee-er vs. Hike to unknown Restroom, Ocean pee-er vs. Hike to unknown Restroom, Ocean pee-er vs. Hike to unknown Restroom. You’ve made a decision. You walk to the water ashamed of the barbarian that you have somehow become. While walking you are trying not to think about the number of people that have made the exact same decision that you just made. You make it to the water and let yourself go (believe it or not it’s actually quite gratifying). As you make the walk of shame back to your towel you think to yourself. Best. Vacation. Ever!