Finding the funny in parenthood before somebody loses an eye...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Act of God or Just a Bad Samaritan? I took the kids to the beach.

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.

Now,  I'm a nice person.  A considerate person even.  (Stop laughing, Scott.  You too Laura...I can hear you...). When I go to the beach I make sure to find a little spot that isn't in anyone else's "personal bubble,"  doesn't "trump" someone's view, and isn't too close to anyone who might have a problem with small kids.  I don't even shake my towels out unless I'm far away from other people.  I am truly the picture perfect towel neighbor.

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.


  1. oh yea people more and more love to tell you what they think..without thought and care of how they say it
    .... it's like kindergarten without the teacher

  2. Don't get me wrong I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. But in general it would be best if your umbrella or anything else you own cannot be traced back to you these days. Your 'act of god' claim, though seemingly reasonable will get attacked as a malicious act in court. Ultimately your insurance company will HAVE TO SETTLE the liability claim because no one can afford to fight for 5 years at $300 an hour attorneys on a relatively small claim. Bottom line, glad nobody got hurt. Welcome to the modern world where there ARE NO ACCIDENTS! W.C.C.

  3. Great story! Made me wish I was at the beach. You acted with dignity even if you were cursing on the inside. You need to add one more item to your check list. Check the wind direction before putting up the umbrella. Of course, some days the wind direction changes and you have an impaled raisen. Sharon


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