The following is a amalgam of conversations with various friends and family members on the same topic combined into one (hopefully) cohesive conversation. Person #1 (henceforth known as P1)- "so, when we got to that wedding at the beach 4th of July weekend we figured we'd spend the day at the beach" Me-"have fun. I'll see you back at the hotel". P1-"you won't come with us"? Me- "no, I hate the beach, you know this". P1-"it's just for one day. You can cover up. It's so much fun at the beach" Person #2 (henceforth known as P2)- "Yeah, I cover up completely, slather on spf 72, wear a floppy hat and sit under an umbrella". Me-" I cover up with a roof over my head and air conditioning". P1- "you're a party pooper". Me- "so let me get this straight. I hate the heat, I'm fat and ghastly pale, I burn under a fluorescent bulb, am not particular to crowds, and the thought of laying in the sun basting for hours is so foreign to me I can't even visualize it...but I should suck it up for a day"? P1-"Exactly"
So, you may have gathered I'm not particular to the beach nor sunbathing in general. I'm just not. I may have liked it once but as I've gotten older I've become more and more susceptible to sun poisoning. The last time I can recall spending time on the beach I got burned under my eyes so bad I bear the scars to this day. So no matter your argument, I'm not likely to EVER go to the beach (during the summer, during the day at least). I'm not likely to EVER spend my vacation in some Tropical Paradise sitting poolside or beach side sipping rum drinks. It's not how I want to spend my time or my vacation
One of the big "arguments" I get is being out in the sun give you a "healthy" tan. Well, who decided "tan" is healthy? I'm literally the palest person I know. When I was in Ireland even the locals pointed out how pale I am (that's scary). I didn't ask to be pale, I was born that way. Who am I to decide my skin needs to be a shade, or several shades, darker? Last I heard, particularly for those of us of paler complexion, overexposure to sunlight is in fact, NOT healthy. I'm on the cusp of 45 and while my hair is prematurely white I've yet to find a wrinkle, crows foot or other sign of aging closely associated with, among many other factors, exposure to sunlight. Oh, and the amount of time devoted to this "healthy tan"? I simply can't be bothered
Now I don't begrudge you sun worshipers and beach bums your passion for lounging, swimming, tanning and reading in the warm sunshine. It's just not for me. My idea of a perfect summer day has little to do with waves and sunblock. My ideal vacation has nothing to do with all inclusive, poolside bars, and private beaches. What do I like to do? Meet people, go hiking, explore, eat at restaurants and roadside stands, hit a few bars, try to cram as much into the time I have off as I possibly can. Give me the mountains over the shore, Europe over the Caribbean, historical sites over white sand and blue water, and an exhausted feeling of a full day over a "healthy" tan and sand in my butt crack.
Happy Independence Day weekend! See you at the beach. Well, at the bar at the beach