people on beach 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
I am embarrassed to admit this, but I hate the beach.
There are not enough
ice coffees in the world to make the experience a good one for me. I despise the
beach and all things associated it, and that is just how things are going to
stay between me and the sea.
I realize our people are sea-lovers, which
is why I tread cautiously around this subject. From Moses parting the Red Sea to
the settlers drying up the swamps of the Hula Valley, we have established our
power over the waters.
We excel at Olympic sailing events and hold world
championships at beach paddle-ball. The coast is never more than a couple of
hours away. We were made for the sea.
I UNDERSTAND that this is a tough
case to make, so in my defense I call my parents to the stand. My mother would
admit under oath that ever since childhood she has suffered from hydrophobia. As
far as she’s concerned, doing the dishes is more than enough interaction with
water. My father would constantly grumble at any outing that involved the
outdoors. For him, picnics were just “pita on the grass,” and thus beach and
sand was totally out of the question. It has been ingrained in me to love my
land legs – no mermaid dances for me.
I further my case by trying to
prove that the beach experience is more like an onscreen kiss; it looks magical
and romantic, but in reality involves too much technicality. That cute wet dog
rolling around in the sand, or those adorable kids building their castles are
going to be a nightmare to wash at home – or for the more ambitious – attempt to
rinse off under those showers on location. Those sandwiches may look delicious,
but that sand-grinding-between-teeth sensation is undeniable. The water may look
deceptively inviting, but few people dive right in, and most do not look too
happy when they come back out, shaking salty water from their eyes and
My star witness is the wave. The prosecution might point out that
the most popular pool by far at any water park is the wave pool. I submit this
is not because people like the sea, but rather because they appreciate the wave
experience in a sand-less, salt-less environment. In our true life beaches, the
waves will knock you off your feet, tumble you over and take you under. When the
merciless wave coughs you back up, dearest jury, I urge you to find him guilty
on all charges! The problem is, as much as I hate the beach, I love my people.
Inevitably, one of them will excitedly call about a goodbye party at the beach,
lunch on the sand, or an invitation to birthday surfing lessons. I, for my part,
will fish out the bathing suit from the back of the closet, slice up watermelon
into a Tupperware container, grit my teeth (where I can practically already feel
sand grinding), and go to the beach.
I reserve that right.The
writer lives and works in Tel Aviv.