Friday, September 16, 2011

Summer Memories - An Illustrated Post About Beach Etiquette

Paul and I went to Cape Cod this summer.  We went to Hyannis and stayed right across the street from the harbor where the ferries go to Nantucket.  There was so much activity going on around there and it was great.

On a couple of the days, we road our bikes to Nauset Beach in Orleans.  Ok, first we drove to Orleans and then biked about 3 miles to the beach.  So we wouldn't have to pay the $15 parking fee!  

Commence illustrated anecdote:
On one of the days, we found a great little spot on the beach with a nice view of the water.  Not too close to anyone else (can you see where this  might be going), but nearby to a lady with spiky hair, and a shiny gold bathing suit and jewelry and her husband:

As were were sitting there, enjoying the view of the water and the cute harbor seal that kept popping his head up (no, that is not the loch ness monster.  It's a seal.),  this group of three men came up and plopped their chairs (and their wives chairs) right in front of us - about 6 feet away.  There was a bunch of space to the right of us.  Paul and I gave each other the "Really?????" look and waited to see if they realized what they had done.  Mind you, Paul and I were sitting on towels and they had huge, high-backed chairs.  We could see nothing but the chairs.  And while some of them had crammed into the space in front of us, there wasn't enough room for them all, so one husband put their chairs further to the right of us. 

When they kept setting up camp, Paul and I moved our towels slightly to the left so we could still see the water.  We were a little closer to spiky-haired lady and her husband, but not too close.  She was watching what was happening and was shaking her head.  AND, they were a little too close the her and her husband too, because he moved his chair. 

 As we were settling the towels back down, one of the older men turns and looks at us and says, "Oh, I guess we blocked your view." (Duh.) and I said, "Yup.  Ya did."  The kept setting up camp.

A few minutes later, here come the wives.  The wife of the older man says, "Why did you sit here?  Look at all this room?",  waving to the area we had just vacated and the area next to it.  I couldn't help but tell her we had just moved from there but she didn't seem to hear me.   She turns to us and says, "I don't know why he insists on seeing the water, he reads his book the whole time and doesn't even look at the view."   Thanks.  Makes us feel A LOT better about him stealing our view.  She proceeded to go ahead and sit in the chair he had set up for her right in front of us.

All settled now, Paul and I decided to go put our feet in the water, look for sea shells and the seal.  While we were gone?....
TWO FEET in front of us.  High backed chairs.  Spiky-haired lady was having a quiet fit, shaking her head, looking at us sympathetically.  Her husband was reading and didn't seem to care.  Paul and I again gave each other the "REALLY?????" look (this look was in capital letters though, because it was so much worse of a beach etiquette  infraction).    I think we stood there stunned for a minute, just looking at each other and having a silent conversation with our eyes about whether we should say something.  We're both a tiny bit non-confrontational, so we did some under-the-breath-but-we-hope-you-hear-us mumbling, while we again moved our towels. 
 If they heard us, they didn't care. Didn't even look our way.   We were then in a fairly "safe" spot, close to the lifeguard borders where no one can sit, and were able to enjoy ourselves.  

Then, get this.... the spiky-haired lady got up from her towel and walked toward us.  She bent down as she went by and said, "I'm going to the snack bar.  Can I get you anything?  A soda?  A burger?  A FENCE?????"  So funny.

I couldn't help but think if the women were with the men when the setting-up-of-the-camp happened, we would have all had a nice non-towel-moving day at the beach.  Even spiky-haired lady.  We were grateful for her quiet support.

[Oh, and if you ever go to Nauset Beach in Orleans, you have, Have, HAVE to get the onion rings from Liam's snack bar.  They are the best ever and have been for as long as I've been going there (since 1980-ish). Love. Them. ]

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