Over the Fourth of July Holiday weekend that lasts for three full days, I am invited to four barbecues, and for all of us who didn’t do so well in Professor Chang’s Math 16A (Math for Musicians), that means two of the barbecues are on the same day!
Work-related functions never count as fun, so that first beach barbecue was a no-go from the get-go. The last thing I want to “do for fun” is to hang out with the same people I hang out with for at least eight hours a day, five days a week. This time with their dogs - which I do already and love (we get to bring dogs to the office); and their kids – which is questionably “fun,” at best. But HR tried to seduce with “beach.” Ha. It doesn’t matter if the barbecue is on the beach. I hate the beach.
I just re-read that paragraph and boy, do I sound like a bitter, cranky, grouchy old woman.
Hey, I’m not old, okay?!?!
So “beach” gets me in a bitter mood, but it’s because I have had to answer the same question 47 million times in the five days prior to the date about why I can’t make it to the barbecue at the beach, and then subsequent questions about why I have such distaste for the beach. It all boils down to one thing: sand. The only thing sand is good for is as an exfoliator at the day spa (overnight only if it’s La Costa). Otherwise, I hate it that sand blows everywhere, up my nose, in my eyes, and three days later, I can hear it rattling around in my ears. One light breeze, or someone decides to “dust off” their sandy towel, and I’ve become Sarah Parmigianna, dipped in an eggwash aka sunscreen, and breaded head to toe with sand. Ugh.
But all of that pales in comparison to the wearing down of the enamel on the tops of my molars with beach picnic food that’s been heavily dusted with germ-infested sand. Nasty. No matter how hard you try, how tightly your Tupperware lids fit, how well you wrap those sandwiches in wax paper and Saran wrap and aluminum foil, no matter if you try to eat “dry” foods that sand won’t stick to or even haul a table and chairs and a bamboo mat to sit above the sand, inevitably, you will ingest that which is indigestible. That’s what birds have to do to digest their food. Not me.
I’m just not a beach girl, which doesn’t make sense. Why do I put up with what I put up with in LA if I’m not even a beach girl? For fox ache, I could live in a mansion in Minnesota without the beach. Right, and I’d also have to actually wear Uggs for function over fashion. Yikes. Besides, I may hate the beach, but I love the ocean. That’s right, I love the ocean from about 100 yards away, sitting in a very padded chaise lounge on the veranda. :)
Even if not for the sand issue, well, the beaches, especially in southern California, especially in Los Angeles, are pretty much...how can I say this politely? I can’t. The beaches here are pretty much repulsive. They are crowded with people who don’t pick up after themselves, leaving the beaches not only littered with paper trash, but truly grimy garbage. The water is a beautiful blue from a distance because it’s reflecting the sky, but when you get up close, it’s a sickly green, topped with a filthy festering foam that continues to lap up against that tar-stained three feet of limbo where sand meets sea. Gross. I hate the beach.
So, no, I didn’t make it to the grilled-rubber-chicken-with-bottled-barbecue-sauce and mostly mayonnaise potato and macaroni salads beach barbecue picnic with my company. I ate Nepalese food and worked instead.