Beach Time on The Beach Coast
Does Freud Have the Cooler?
By Wade Rouse
For keen insight into a couple’s relationship, I have urged friends for years to skip therapy and head directly to the beach.
Nothing says more about a couple – their dynamic, their roles, the relationship – than how they prepare for and approach a day at the beach.
I’ve come to this realization after analyzing the insanity surrounding how Gary and I prep for the beach. Truly, I’ve come to learn, “a day at the beach” is really an oxymoron and that one’s beach quirks say a lot about a person.
So, go sit under an umbrella, Freud, and take note:
Martha vs. Al Bundy
When I go to the beach, I can toss some water, soda and beer into a cooler, throw in some grapes, chips, and a sandwich, and call it a day. But Gary treats a day at the beach as if The Food Network is going to show up and analyze his grub. Gary packs multiple jugs and endless coolers filled with tea, lemonade, Arnold Palmer’s, soda, water with lime, water with lemon, water with mint, and plain water (a camel could survive for decades), alongside a smorgasbord of snacks and sandwiches, pitas and hummus, chips and dips, appetizers and desserts. “The Duggars couldn’t eat this much,” I scream. “And who’s going to carry all of this?”
Pack Mule vs. Ankle Twister
The answer, of course, is me. I am the pack mule. I will carry things strapped on my back, pinned to my head, wrapped around my waist, dangling from my shoulders and arms because Gary – Mr. Yoga – has difficulty walking down a boardwalk without stubbing a toe and throwing a cooler, oh, 500 feet. Although I am the klutz, he is the sand stumbler, forcing me to haul all the loot and defeating the fact that …
Runway Ready vs. Beach Bum
I spend an hour getting ready to go to the beach. There, I admit it. Yeah, I know I’m going to get sweaty and sandy and wet, but I feel a pressure to look runway ready when I swagger down that boardwalk (despite the stuff I’m hauling). Gary is a total beach bum: He throws on a hat, a swimsuit and lotion, and he’s good to go. I find this to be an equal split among couples. However, I will always side with a good friend who says that she wonders if God will judge her as much as people do when you walk down a boardwalk. That’s why I take my time getting ready.
Towel vs. Chair
Although I’ve just spent an hour getting ready, I immediately toss an old sheet onto the sand, throw down a towel, and I’m ready for my day. Gary, on the other, is Lawrence of Arabia, what with his giant hat, his Tiki-fringed umbrella, his elevated, cushioned chair with lumbar support and a donut hole for his face to rest comfortably through when he’s on his stomach. I love the feeling of my toes in the sand. Gary likes being the Boy in the Bubble.
Beach time, I’ve learned, is really all about balance: A Sandy Yin vs. A Watery Yang. It takes the perfect combination to work; the right ice cream to fit the right cone.
So, as you head to the beach with your loved ones this month, take note: Which beach personality are you?
And, no matter which you are, own it. And love your beach bum. Remember, no one is perfect. It takes two to tango … and, of course, knock the sand off each other.
Wade Rouse is the acclaimed author of four memoirs, including the bestselling “At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream” and his latest, “It's All Relative.” A new anthology about famous humorists’ dogs, “I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship,” was published September 2011, and proceeds will benefit the Humane Society. Wade has been hailed by NBC's Today Show, USA Today, The Washington Post, Detroit Free-Press and Entertainment Weekly as one of America's wisest, wittiest and most wicked writers, and the worthy successor to David Sedaris. For more, please visit www.waderouse.com or www.wadeswriters.com.