A trip to the beach! I thought. All by myself. No kids, no husband, just a fond (distant) memory of their sweet faces. A glorious day of Self Appreciation.
What could go wrong?
Leaving at the appropriate time to miss the bulk of traffic, I hit traffic. No problem! I’m listening to a fantastic book on tape. Nothing can bring me down!
Arrive at the beach. Cold and windy. A little wind never hurt anyone!
Spread out towel and chair. Sand whipping at the back of my legs at 70mph. I can fix this, I’ll just turn my chair! Glorious ocean!
Umbrella uprooted out of sand from nearby beach-goers. Intense brush with death as it hurls past my face. Son of a…Onward! I’ll just scoot this chair back. There we are…where was I?
Soaking in scant rays of sun as the clouds pass over. I open my eyes to see a pigeon perched a foot away from my chair. I have nothing to offer you pigeon, be gone! The pigeon begins to squawk and hops away on one leg. Because the other, is clearly broken and seems to have some sort of plastic wrapped around it. Damnit, Pigeon. I can’t save you. Don’t look at me like that!
Close my eyes and inhale the salty sea breeze. Cigarette smoke fills my mouth. Gasping for air I politely smile at the culprit. I’ll just put this shirt over my face, better for my skin anyway!
1 hour of peaceful relaxation.
Large family with small children set up next to my chair. Children begin feeding pigeons. They flank us and prepare to attack. Please don’t feed them, I ask, they will never ever leave if you do. Youngest child walks over to me holding a cheeseburger and apologizes, but not before dripping some lettuce and ketchup next to my chair. Don’t panic, just cover it with sand. What a polite young man.
Close my eyes.
One-legged pigeon is back. Briefly consider how it would go down if I tried to hold him and unwrap the plastic. Calculate scenario and determine the loss of digits probable. Opt to stare into his desperate, beady eyes and begin to tear up.
Feeling claustrophobic with shame I decide to head up to the hotel to check in.
As I leave I see the children begin to throw potato chips to the pigeons again. One of them will lose a hand over this, mark my words.
Check into hotel after waiting for an elderly couple to collect several maps, coupon books, and instructions regarding continental breakfast. Its cool, I’ve got the time.
Room is nice. Wait.
Bathroom. Hair. Is that hair? All over the sink? And Toilet. *gagging* Look over at bed. Looks like it was haphazardly made. Pull back sheets. More hair. Don’t cry.
Back down to lobby to request different room.
Much cleaner, aside from the cigarette ash in the toilet. But look at this view!
Take a nap on top of towels.
Walk to dinner on the boardwalk. Get cat-called by a group of teenagers. Still got it.
Nearly get hit by a car because I’m texting. Stupid millennial.
Sit on balcony and eat delicious chocolate until I’m joined by several middle-aged men on the nearby balcony asking whether or not I’m vacationing alone. This is the night I am murdered in my sleep.
Wake up at 7. Go back to sleep until 10. Pick up a dozen donuts for the road. Take one bite of each donut.
Have a moment of silence for the handicapped pigeon. I’ll live with this guilt for the rest of my days.
Arrive home. Kids ecstatic to see me for at least 3 1/2 minutes.
Return to life. What a lovely vacation. Until next time, sweet alone-time. I’ll think of you fondly.