When New England is mentioned in a conversation to non-New England residents, the same few words pop up as being well-known up here: seafood, Boston, seasons, and the beach. Beaches are depicted in movies as these gorgeous places that are seemingly void of people, where the sky is clear, there is no wind, and the day spent there is perfect. If only that was true when you went there. Spending a day at the beach is not my idea of a picnic. Even though i have lived in New England for all of my life, I am one of the rare few who do not have love for the beach. Maybe it was my childhood where I never went to the beach or took vacations to glorious white sand beaches and tropical oases, or maybe it was the ultimate fear of sharks and the unknown of the ocean. The idea of spending a day or more at a sand filled pit is just not appealing to me.
Ever since I can remember, I never liked the beach. Maybe it was my parents or the crowds or possibly the high heat that typically surrounds a day at the ocean. No matter what age I am (or was) I always ending up with a bad sunburn, sand in my swimsuit, and, inevitably, eating some sand while enjoying my peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Let me tell you, after one too many sand-filled sandwiches, you learn to leave the food in the car and eat once you've dried off. Beaches around here, whether Salisbury or Hampton, are bound to be crowded and filled with tiny children. I don't mind the children, except when they pour sand on your blanket.
I have tried in the past few years, especially in high school, to change my mind on how I feel about the ocean and beach in general. I can say that I have become a little more inclined to go, but I'm not gonna be the one to suggest it. One summer after freshman year of high school, I spent a whole week in Maine with my friend and her family. It was awesome and we only went to the beach twice, given I just burned. No matter how much sunscreen, how often I apply, or the strength, the burn is unavoidable. This past summer I spent a few days on vacation with my family in Maine. W only spent one day at the beach but I looked like a lobster at the end of it. The worst part was I was driving back home for an EMT class, a three hour drive plus a three hour class. I was glad when that day was over.
Even without including the sand and crowds, the idea of swimming in a giant pool of water that has unknown things under the surface, riptides that can pull you out to sea, and a bottom that cannot be felt, and that alone will keep me away. The salt water does do wonders on my skin, but my hair turns sticky and unmanageable and my eyes hurt from rubbing the water out of them all day. Regardless of the sand, crowds, or ocean, I am not a fan of the beach and that's okay. I fill my free time with other activities. So while hundreds of people flock to the beach of excruciatingly hot days, I'll be chilling in an air-conditioned room, staying as white as a ghost.