Pretty much everything has been divided lately into a Republican or Democrat issue. As an independent, I believe I am open to the best solutions on either side (and this just irritates the snot out of the dyed in wool partisans.) I have found an issue, though, that I simply cannot remain staunchly in the middle. I have just come back from a favorite vacation spot of mine and although I had a great week, I find that I must comment on a sad, sad state of affairs -- the compliance of Beach Etiquette.
For the last 45+ years, I have vacationed at Sandbridge Beach, VA. A private community, most of the homes are summer rentals and although we have been "owners" in the past, we currently rent a house for our annual gathering. Whether one owns or rents, there are certain rules of beaching that should be respected and, sadly, they seem to be going by the wayside. This past week I witnessed all of the following faux pas and while I did not openly sneer (it isn't polite), my level of pissed offedness has been churning ever since. So, listen up!
1) If you smoke on the beach, pick up your butts. No one wants to dig in the sand only to find a cache of nasty filters filling up their sand pail.
2) If you eat on the beach, it is NOT funny to feed the sea gulls. They are rats. . .with wings. While they will grab the food from your hand, they will also continue to dive bomb anyone in the vicinity believing everyone is as stupid as you are to offer food.
3) Bringing your baby to the beach may seem like a great idea, for about 3 minutes. Sand irritates the baby's bum. Salt water makes it burn and the crying annoys everyone else.
4) And 15 minutes after you should have left, do not suddenly shake out your beach blanket allowing sand to fly into the eyes of those around you because you realize you need to get the baby back to the house NOW.
5) If you see some child toiling away on a sandcastle, it does not mean he wants help from YOUR child. Don't suggest it because I am not babysitting your kid, too.
6) Finally, and this is the biggy, the one that sends me over the edge every single time. . .
When you bring your family, friends, toys, coolers, surf boards, etc. to the beach DO NOT PARK YOUR STUFF RIGHT NEXT TO SOMEONE ELSE. Seriously. Spread the heck out. There is plenty of room. You do not have to set your chair right next to mine with the arms touching. This isn't New Jersey.
And to the lady who thought trying to fly a kite in the 4 foot spot between my chair and your camp was a good idea. It didn't end well did it.
I love my beach. I covet my space. I do not feel obligated to share it with anyone else. Guess that makes me a republican.