Bummed at the beach because I take too much stuff
Install kiosks on beaches. Have four-wheelers available and offer optional trailers. Then sit back and watch the bucks roll in as one frustrated husband after another eagerly shells out a few bucks to avoid being a pack mule at the mercy of his overpacking wife.
Dad would have gone for it Saturday, when a leisurely trip to the beach started out as a three-bag excursion that ballooned to wagon-train proportions by the end.
"Why on Earth are we taking rain coats?" Dad asked as we packed Saturday morning.
"Because the guys want to. And because Big Guy accidentally threw away his jacket when he threw away his old backpack," I said.
"Why do we have a bag full of food and a cooler?"
"So the snacks won't get wet."
"Do we really need this many towels?"
"Only if people plan on getting wet. Did you pack your glasses case and get some extra clothes?"
I got waved off with a grunt and a growl. It was an hour past the agreed departure time - a delay due solely to my over packing, of course, and not because anyone had slept late.
It wasn't so bad toting in the gear - three bags plus a blanket added up to two per adult. The guys graciously agreed to carry their own towels. It was a manageable load.
But what we hadn't counted on was two clothing changes per kid - they had to charge into the surf the second we arrived without waiting to put on their swim suits. And, of course, Dad charged in after them, forgetting that he didn't have any extra clothes. A shopping trip to the pier netted a T-shirt and shorts he'll never wear again for a cool $36.
Ten minutes later, I was back at the pier when the guys remembered we'd forgotten all the sand toys at the old house. "Mom! You promised we could build sand castles!"
Damn it. I had.
I came back $20 lighter, just in time to see Dad decide that since he already was soaked he might as well dive completely in. With his glasses on.
By then, the guys were shivering, which called for yet another trek to the pier for them to change. An hour later, they were ready for the water again so we repeated the trip. The pile of wet clothing and towels grew, until fog rolled in and we finally convinced them that it really was too cold to stay in the water.
We packed the bags but gave up when it came to the towels and sand toys. We wrapped those in the blanket, and I lugged the lump across the beach Santa-style while Dad carried all three bags. It was a long, painful trip punctuated with mutters of "why do we bring so much stuff?" countered with "maybe next time you'll remember your glasses case."
The guys did leave wearing the rain coats, though.
As for the glasses, there's a tuna somewhere off the coast of Hawaii now who's grateful for the gift of better vision.
Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.