Monday, July 27, 2009

A very merry un-birthday to me

I have the good fortune of having married in to a family that has an annual trip the week of my birthday. They have done their trip on this week since the beginning of time, and it will be this way until the Earth ceases to exist.

My double good fortune is that my sweet sister-in-law Megan, has a birthday the day before mine. Poor Megan...until I came in to the family this day was all about her. Now I get to glom on to her celebration, and steal her spot light.

It's always kind of "Happy Birthday dear Megan!...ohh, and Ashley....happy birthday to you!" Again, if we were at home, I would prefer to skip the day all together...or do what the Chinese do, where your birthday is the day that YOU thank everyone for making your life so great. But a whole day, and all the hoopla...It just isn't my favorite thing. I do really feel blessed to share the day with some one who is so selfless.

Today we did the beach for most of the day.

Shelby was a bit of a sour puss for most of it.

Gavin took me to breakfast at this little shack on the beach. He was in heaven because every dish came with salsa and beans...definitely more his type of breakfast food. I think that a breakfast out should always involve baked goods, thick french toast, home made maple syrup, pretty plates, and a good savory side a quiche. Oh well.

The beach was niceish.

I don't know...I mean who ever said that the beach is relaxing has not been to Pacific Beach. There is nothing relaxing about it...and this even after they outlawed alcohol on the beach. You are lucky to have enough room to lay down your towel. There are people yelling, and talking, and screaming on their cell phones. There are kids running all over the place, screaming their guts out. There is a lot of energy there...and it's good energy...but there is nothing relaxing about it.

So, I caught up on my trash magazines, and worshipped the sun on my belly, so those blasted varicose veins will kindly blend back in to my legs instead of continuing to look like giant squid swimming up the backs of my thighs (I am so getting those putrid things zapped one day soon).

Morgan and Gavin did a great job of being the "fun" beach adults- burying the kids in the sand, looking for shells, digging for sand crabs, body surfing, etc...

And I was fine with this arrangement. I am fine to pay our sitter to be the fun one, while I sit and be the beached one. But then my cute teenage nieces come sauntering over, in their cute little suits with their athletic little bodies. I must have felt guilty because when they asked if I was going to go in to the ocean, I blurted "Oh, yeah, I am going to go bogey boarding in ten minutes if you girls want to come with me." They looked at me like I had just told them that I was leaving them a million dollars as their inheritance. "Really?" they said, "Yeah, we totally want to go with you!"


There was a time in my life that I enjoyed bogey boarding. I think that would have been the year that I wasn't pregnant (that takes away three years) or nursing (another three) or fat from having had a baby (another three) or chasing I basically have not been in to that type of thing for the last ten years.

But to them that is no excuse. You see, they have these super-moms who jump out in to the freezing, sea-weed-infested, jellyfish filled waters regardless of whether or not they delivered a baby the day before, and hop on those bogey boards like they are in some cool-mama-contest. I have never seen so many tankinis hit those bogey boards all at once. Just for "fun" they go swimming out to the buoys, that look like they are clear the crap in Mexico's waters...just to say "We can swim out to those buoys that look like they are in Mexico's waters". Even the old grandmas are out for the ride.

So, ten minutes later the nieces come running up, "Ashley, are you coming?" Gavin practically pushes me off my towel, he is so amused at the thought of me in my pink Juicy two piece suit out in the ocean. "Are you sure that suit can get wet?" he asks. I look at him, like he is an idiot. But then I look down at my suit, and wonder the same thing. I mean, I have worn it in hot tubs, and at the JCC, but never in waves. It does hang on me a little precariously. But, I can't let my two cool nieces down...a promise made in hasty guilt is a promise none-the-less. So, I double-knot the front of my top, with the hopes that it will somehow stay on my body, and grab a board. Raquel informs me, on our way out, that I am holding the board upside down. I see the waves and prepare to turn and ride one in, just like Shelby and Dalton, but the girls keep on going...and going...and going. "Where are you going?" I ask, "To the waves way out there" they say as they point to waves that I can barely see.

So, we continue...and with each wave we pass I get pelted in the face with a mouthful of sea water and a nice saline wash of the eyeballs. I also get to hang on to one part of my suit, as the other part gets ripped from my body. With each wave, the girls, and all those around me get a flash of my front or my back. the time the fifth wave has pummelled me, I am sick of it. By the time the tenth wave has pummelled me, I have thrown in the towel. I had caught a half of a wave...and that was good enough for me. Besides, Gavin's dad was behind me...and I was sick of worrying about pulling up my britches after each wave so that he wouldn't see his daughter-in-law's butt crack.

You can only be so close to your in-laws...and we are not THAT close. I was done. The girls looked at me like I was a looser. But with a half a belly of sea water, and the sound of waves still ringing in my ears, I headed toward the sand like a cat escaping a bath. I was practically holding my swimsuit together as I walked on to the beach. Gavin was laughing. I grabbed a towel and fell down on it.

It was a good lesson learned: Never make a promise out of guilt, and never go in to the ocean if you know from the outset that you really don't want to. I am sure that I am now far LESS cool in the eyes of my cute nieces...but right about now, I could care less.

The only thing that I currently care about is being able to see out of my eyes again, and draining the cup of water from my ears. Next year I am totally volunteering my sitter for bogey boarding. She is still up for that kind of crap.

1 comment:

annie said...

Ashley you do tell a very good story. You should be a novel writer.

Happy birthday, I'm glad that I got to rub shoulders with you in Boston. You are such a creative and fun person to hang out with. I'm sure your nieces were bummed that you were heading back because they look up to you and just wanted to have a fabulous experience with you.

But I'm with you I'd rather see other people risk their lives than me. I'll just keep my two feet on the ground.. thank you very much! Hey I wouldn't want to be lunch for some sharks who might be lurking nearby.