My wife and I enjoy going to the beach. We make a point of going before the summer season is in full swing. Early June is perfect because everything is open and there are no crowds. It’s very easy to make last minute reservations at some very fine restaurants with no hassle.
A few years ago, we rented a beach house in Cape May Point, New Jersey. It was a short walk to a beautiful beach. On Monday, we trekked over to the beach, set up our chairs and watched dolphins swim up and down the coastline. It was so peaceful, so quiet, so relaxing. The beach was nearly deserted, a few folks here and there, no closer than one hundred yards apart as the seagull flies. The quiet was not meant to be. A large family showed up and set up shop about 20 feet away from us. Mind you, the beach was nearly deserted. Out came all the beach toys, fishing rods and buggy boards. The music was cranked up and the beach olympics began. Frisbees went flying, paddle balls took flight and foot races to and from the water ensued. We mustn’t forget a good game of beach football thrown in for good measure. These folks were very athletic and very annoying.
After about fifteen minutes of these hi-jinx, I motioned to my wife that we should move. She mentioned that it would appear to be rude for us to get up and leave. I told her that was utter poppycock and so we packed up and moved far, far away. The rationale for these athletes to camp right next to us escapes me, but I won’t give it much thought.
I’m thinking about publishing a beach etiquette book in the near future. It should make for good reading on the beach. Some other points to be covered:
- Using the beach as an ashtray.
- Changing your baby in full view of everyone.
- Breast feeding your baby in full view of everyone.
- Robust folks wearing inappropriate swimwear.
- Attracting flocks of seagulls with your leftover food.
Don’t forget your suntan lotion!