In the things-that-look-super-easy-for-everyone-but-really-aren’t-and-no-one-admits-it category, the approach of summer and its best friend, the beach, always gets me a bit worked up. So many things to prepare, to polish, to be ready for!!!
It’s like all the sudden you have to:
Have a wooohoo body! Beachy! At the first sight of a sun ray.
Everyone’s like yesssssss only a few more weeks and summer will be here, can you believe it? Yessss!!! And I’m sitting there with a big smile and my eyes bulging out behind my XL sunglasses like yeeeessss shit I need a tan, I need to lose those pesky five pounds, I need to buy a swimsuit. So tell me, summer people, how do you do it? How are you ready to show off your pre-beachy body at the slightest appearance of the sun?
I need almost the whole month of July (and like half of August) to free the beach goddess hidden within me, in other words, the girl who is totally over being perfect and just wants to jump around in the waves as she should, with her hair sticking up and a crooked bathing suit, not caring about her appearance at all.
Learn how to eat a popsicle without it dripping all over my cover up. Are you just supposed to eat it all at once when you get to the end?
Nope. No means no. As Anne, who’s been my best friend since I was 14 and saw me grow up and go from
guy to guy, from shaved head to long hair, from beer to vodka, from Doc Martens to Manolos, can attest: I can’t stand roasting in the sun.
Because that’s exactly what it feels like to me: cooking like a churro.
I can’t do it. I put on my SPF 50, I sit under an umbrella and never stay longer than five minutes anyway, and that’s how it’s been since 1990.
Even so, people keep telling me, Anne included: Come sit in the sun!!! You need some color!!! And now I’ve got Chris adding to it: Come sit in the sun!!! You need some vitamin D!!! Mmmhmm.
Learn to get out of the water with a half-shy, half-triumphant attitude. And with a natural slow motion effect. And let my mane glisten in the sun as I shake out my hair.
To reach that level of confidence, I think I’m going to need a therapist.
To reach that level of synchronization, a choreographer.
To reach that length of hair, two more years.
Learn to get out of the water with a half-shy, half-triumphant attitude. And with a natural slow motion effect. And let my mane glisten in the sun as I shake out my hair. ALL WHILE CARRYING A SURFBOARD under my arm like it’s nothing. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m a beginner, but my long board weighs almost 150 pounds. And I drag it behind me like I’m towing a ship.
Get used to putting on self-tanner without getting that marbled look.
No, because I’m a sensitive soul. And influenceable. Since I keep hearing I’m pale, I go too far in the other direction. For example, this morning I was at Pilates admiring my own ankles (that’s one of the side effects of exercise, you start to check yourself out and to be like heeeey you) when suddenly I noticed some orangey marbling on my foot. Yuck. Who’s to blame? My vanity that pushed me to believe I could use a “gradual self-tanner” and get amazing results.
Nope. Four years after my first catastrophe, yeah, I relapsed.
My problem? I have way too much confidence in progress. Every year, I think sunless tanners are going to be on top of the latest beauty technology and I’ll be able to apply them by myself without it having to be a scientific procedure. And every year, I end up with that slightly orangey marbled color on my feet.
What about you? Should I try spray tanning or what?
Learn to take selfies without losing my dignity.
You know how it is at the beach. The sunscreen fumes get to your head, you go swimming, if you’re lucky enough to be in Mexico, you chug a margarita, you roast in the sun, a sensation of well-being comes over you, and so obviously that’s the moment when you say…
You get out your phone, and as you’re all blinded by the sunshine, you start snapping happily until finally you check your photos from under the beach umbrella and things get dramatic. You’ve got a crazy margarita smile, your hair is stuck to your head on the sides, and your lousy sexy poses would make you turn red in shame if you weren’t already scarlet from the sunburn you never felt coming on.
Learn to do something with my hair.
While my curly-haired friends are already on Pinterest learning different braiding techniques to try to keep a tiny shred of countenance at the beach, I’m over here trying to manage my still-growing-out hair with a hair dryer (anyone want to teach me how to do a blow out?) and every possible kind of hair pin (I’ve got them in every one of my pockets, in all my bags, and I even found some in the stairway to my apartment).
When I should be choosing a good scarf, learning how to tie a magnificent knot in my hair or learning how to do a fishtail braid, so I can then do it at the beach with that expression of: “I’ve been doing this all my life”.
Because that’s what the beach is supposed to be, right? The place where we’re happy, free, wild, and we can finally show off our natural grace.