Thursday, August 12, 2010
Act of God or Just a Bad Samaritan?
I got the twins dressed, slathered in sunscreen (a big feat for me - I HATE the slathering process...), and headed for Cupsogue beach (or as I now call it "Coxsackie" beach).
I've been going to this beach for almost 20 years. It's always been worth the drive because it was big, wide, clean and almost deserted. Just the way I like my beaches.
Until a few years ago. Now it's packed snack bar to water's edge with people...angry people. Bitter people who think "public" means "mine." Or worse, they think it means you don't have to give a crap. Leave wrappers, smoke, play lacrosse over the heads of 50 other people. People like that.
So today, after I parked our tiny troupe on a small patch near the lifeguard station (Single mom trick...I figure it's almost as good as having another grown-up with me) I laid down a couple of towels, smiled at everyone around me and set up our umbrella.
I really put my back into it too. I dug a deep, deep, deep, deep hole. I had both arms going. Sand under my nail beds, sand on my elbows and my knees, sand flying through the opening between my pale thighs. I was fastidious.
I put my umbrella in the hole, filled up the extra space with sand and stomped all around it. You would have thought I was doing a rain dance with all my stomping. The kids got in on it and we all stomped around and packed the sand. Then I tested the umbrella. Solid. All good.
So I took Ben and Livi to the water - finding room amongst the throngs - and we jumped around in the waves.
Then I turned around.
My umbrella was flying across the beach. I went flying after it.
I recovered my umbrella and was bringing it back to my little patch when an incredibly over-tanned, wrinkled, nasty looking shrew said to me "Sombowdy was awlmost stAY-Yabbed by yewur umbrellla!" (for those not familiar with the NY dialect that's "somebody was almost stabbed by your umbrella you negligent tart).
What a wench! She scowled at me with her raisin face, shook her finger, and tried to make it like I had personally targeted her by my negligence.
Well you know what? I didn't feel badly. First of all, NO one was hurt! Secondly, even if someone had been hit, my umbrella was as blunt as she was. And third? I had done everything in my power to secure that umbrella!
So here's what I'm thinking. This was an Act of God. You read about these things. Someone gets hit by a falling branch, someone falls in a sinkhole, someone gets struck by lightening. Well if God wanted to use my beach umbrella to take someone out, I certainly have no control. It was out of my hands.
And if she doesn't think so, she can just "suck it."
Okay...maybe I'm not the nicest person after all.