Saturday, April 12, 2008

Are We There Yet?

Today is my birthday.

Don’t even think about asking how old I am. I’m seriously considering hiring some computer genius-geek to hack into the system at the DMV and wipe that date right outta there…or, at least have him Photoshop my image so I look ten years younger. I don’t feel my age, so how hard can it be? If anyone else wants a piece of this, let me know.

So, maybe it’s a day for reflection. For doing a “life-scan” if you will…like a “system scan” when you check your hard drive for errors…only it’s not as easy as a mouse-click to erase all the “errors” in one’s life.

Or maybe…it’s a day for shopping, chocolates, family and Cloudy Bay.

Hmmm…tough choice.

I’d read somewhere that “Life is too short to drink cheap wine.” So, I’m on my second glass of Cloudy. Don’t judge me…it’s my “special day” and I’ll drink if I want to. I will say this: New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are an excellent choice for “life-scans”. Of course, my memories only go back as far as the summer of 2007…for even then it felt like it was a simpler time…don’t you think?

I’m remembering Cape Cod in August…me, the boys, my siblings and all their kids/mates/significant others in tow…what a loud, hilarious bunch of people we are. Put us in close proximity of the ocean and supply us with a week’s worth of alcohol and we’re golden. Because as everybody knows, cocktail time at the Cape starts at noon. You did know this, right?

Seriously. It’s in the Massachusetts travel brochure…I’m sure of it. Right there on the cover: A group of half-in-the-bag adults grinning like idiots at the camera…eyes glassy…shoulders already pink from the sun exposure…ice bucket and Coronas/Tequila/Whatever prominently displayed in an obviously well-thought-out hole in the sand…just deep enough to keep ‘em somewhat cold….”C’mon down! The water’s FRIGGIN’ GREAT!” reads the caption, although it’s obvious that none of the beach-goers on the cover have dunked as much as a toe in the surf. Hell, they probably couldn't find their way to the ocean if their life depended on it…and why would they want to, when they have everything they need RIGHT THERE??

Anyway, that brochure was US. Or, some semblance thereof. We made sand sculptures (this is the grownups, not the kids). Here’s Cathy’s:


Obviously, being French puts her at a distinct advantage over the rest of us. Everyone knows the French are very…créatif. It’s a little scary-looking too…but it’s hard to be afraid when you’re laughing like a hyena and trying hard not to pee. Personally, I think she’s got a real future. Every one she made was a little better than the one before it, but that might be because we were getting more and more pickled.

Ah, the Cape. The warm sand…the gentle waves….the really bad hair days. I’ll leave you with a mental snapshot (you’ll soon learn that I’m big on these):

All of us on the beach…having lugged practically everything we own, (including all the beach gear, food, drinks and various small children) down the one hundred and fourteen steps (with three built-in landings complete with benches, a feature I’m convinced was created for the sole purpose of offering a rest stop) to the BEST beach on all of the Cape. Exhausted but happy, we set up camp…knowing smiles crossing our lips as we gaze at the nearly-empty beach that is our playground for the day and then at the crowded public beach half a mile away. Children of all ages scatter and pair off, as hermit crabs are discovered and my sister asks if anyone’s thought to bring a church key. If you close your eyes, you can hear the “sssst” sound of a bottle being opened, mixed with the sound of children’s laughter, mingling with the rhythmic modulation of the waves.

Then I hear the words I knew I would eventually hear:
“Crap. Now I have to pee.”

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