Life’s a beach…if you follow a few rules

A few simple rules to make that day down the shore more enjoyable

By Kelly Hockenberry, Columnist, The Times

My latest list…because, you know how much I LOVE making a list…


  • NO SMOKING!  I understand that technically the beach is “outside” (whatever) but what inevitably happens is that some large, hairy man decides to plop down his chair and light a cigar directly downwind of where we have set up camp.  Gone is the beautiful salt air smell.  Thanks, dude.  SUPER annoying.  In addition, I thoroughly enjoy watching women with a cigarette dangling precariously out of their mouth screaming for Johnny to “come over and get sprayed with sunscreen!!”  Never mind the second hand smoke, lady!  Slather poor Johnny up.
  • Wearing sneakers on the beach = yucky.  I’m not referring to those individuals who choose to jog, I’m talking about people who wear them in lieu of flip-flops.  It literally makes me clench my teeth.  The thought of putting wet, sandy feet into sneakers is unfathomable.  I would rather risk a third degree burn from the scorching sand than wear sneakers.  (Not to mention that Old Navy sells flip-flops for 99 cents.)
  • Feeding the Seagulls.  People who do this purposefully should be strung up and publicly flogged, in my opinion.  Seagulls are essentially dirty flying rats.  Gross.  And, getting a picture of your child feeding them popcorn stops being cute when they peck their eyes out.  So, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
  • Frolicking in the Surf.  One of my favorite pastimes is to sit on the beach and read a magazine.  And, if it is blazing hot, I will (occasionally) saunter down to the surf to feel the water.  If I am TOTALLY crazy and the temperature is hovering around 105 degrees, I may even venture out to ankle depth.  What I do not appreciate is when children come charging into the freezing cold ocean spraying up water in their wake.  Ummmm, I have trouble enough trying to keep my hair from frizzing with the humidity.  Jeez.  You have to walk at the pool!  Can’t the same rules apply?
  •  Shaking the sand from a towel.  This is a tricky one, I know.  It is nearly impossible not to kick up a small amount of sand when you go to retrieve your towel.  However, it is common courtesy not to snap it like a matador waving a red flag at a bull.  I swear, people wait until right as you are biting into a sandwich to do it, too.
  • Location, location, location.  Obviously, the prime spot if you have children is to sit close to the lifeguard.  But, how irritating is it when the beach is WIDE OPEN and deserted, yet, people plop down eight inches away with their 14 kids, pop-up tent (that will blow over at least 10 times) and carry-on luggage.  It’s a big beach, people.  Let’s respect the concept of “personal space”.


WHEW! I feel better!

Who’s picking me up for a day at the beach?

Anyone?  Anyone?

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  1. Kelly says:

    A private beach! Why didn’t I think of that? 🙂

  2. Really? says:

    While your personal comfort and concerns are noted, many of us bring our kids to the beach to actually FROLIC in the water, run on the sand and kick up their heels and have fun. Happiness is forgetting to worry about your hair and splashing gleefully in the water with your kids! So don’t feed the seagulls and have fun!

  3. Berta Rains says:

    Sounds to me that you either need a private beach or you should avoid “down the shore” completely.

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