Bad Californian

I’m just not a beach person. I’ve always hated the way that the sand finds its way into everything. The wind is never nice to my hair and my lipstick gets crusty after only five minutes. My skin is sooo pale and I’m too fidgety to just “lay out”. It’s crowded, it’s hard to park and don’t even get me started on those bathrooms …

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But late in the afternoon today, the beach sounded right. My daughter was restless, I was on edge, and my husband has been dying to be outdoors after being cooped up in office for almost 14 days straight. Today, parking was actually easy and my lipstick was long gone, so I figured — what the heck? We headed toward the sand, each of us eager to get our feet wet.

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These two twirled and waded and jumped and laughed, and pretty soon, I just sat down to watch. I started thinking to myself, Why do I never come to the beach? The mood instantly changed the moment we felt the ocean tickle our toes.

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I stopped caring about my hair, and I just started thinking about all I had to be grateful for. Yes — right then and there, I turned into a living, breathing Hallmark card. I was sentimental, I was emotional, and I definitely was feeling cheesy. My heart started feeling just as warm as that sand under my butt did, and I was temped to lie down, put the iPhone away and maybe even camp out there for the rest of the evening.

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I suppose there’s a reason that artists can’t stop painting the shoreline and collectors traipse for miles across the sand in search of that perfect shell. I know that countless surfers find their escape in the tumbling waves and love songs and the ocean go hand in hand. I can’t say that I’ve ever had a meaningful relationship with the beach or the ocean, but I will say that today, I caught a glimpse of what it could be like to enjoy it. I’m inspired to stop being a bad Californian. I want to buy a sunhat and I don’t care how white my legs are — I think I just might get to know the beach a little better this summer after all.