Beach Etiquette (3 Eyebrows)

Is there anything better than a beach vacation? And probably the best version of the sun soaked sand oasis is at an island resort. Private getaways provide opportunity to overlook the ocean blue and bask in the sunshine under cotton candy skies, with no unwanted intrusion.

But what if this picturesque retreat with all inclusive amenities isn’t quite in your budget? Instead, your rest and relaxation will hopefully be achieved on the coastline of a heavily populated shore community. Fancy drinks out of coconut shells, surrounded by palm trees, are replaced by soda cups and wall to wall rainbow umbrellas.

Even still, you’re not at the office or on a sweaty construction site. It’s one week of a much needed and well deserved hiatus. And you’re going to do your damnedest to rejuvenate your mental and physical health, even if it kills you.

So you gather the wife and kids, overpack the gas guzzling suv, and head 70 miles to your curiously smelling rental, five blocks from the overcrowded beach.

And still again, you are optimistic. You are determined to have a great time and create everlasting memories with your family.

But first, there is a looming obstacle, a potential Callemonit situation, that might hinder your plans.

Specifically, what is the protocol for establishing at least some semblance of privacy on a public beach where virtually every square inch of sand is occupied? And, are there any legitimate guarantees of achieving a safe haven?

You and your wife anticipate the mass exodus to the shoreline, and you’ve come up with a resolution. You and the kids scarf down breakfast, squeeze on the swimsuits, lather up with sunscreen, and hit the beach bright and early.

You have it all mapped out. You will pick a spot close to the water, but not so close as to possibly get wet by the tide. And your section has to be near enough to the lifeguard stand to have a clear sight of the kids, especially when they get a little overconfident with their swimming ability. And let’s not leave out, you’ll have to secure a perfectly unobstructed view of the horizon, rolling waves, and seagulls.

Everything is going as planned, but just to be sure of your claim, you stake your land with a perimeter of beach chairs, umbrellas, towels, floats, toys, and anything else that says, “This is our space…at least for the next six hours.”

Unfortunately, after just 30 minutes of peace, things go sideways. With plenty of room behind you, another family decides to set up camp between you and the ocean. It’s a tribe of 12 and they’re practically in the water and on top of you. If they reach back, they could hand you a ham sandwich from your cooler. And they somehow manage to erect a combination canopy/tent that not only blocks your view of nature, but basically extinguishes the sun.

And to make matters worse, the nomads have an old boombox with a hitlist that doesn’t include Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville or something from The Beach Boys. Instead it blares a mix tape of classic rock and 80’s boy bands.

Also in their bag of tricks is a carton of cigarettes, on a smokeless beach mind you, and obnoxiously loud conversations about everyone who ventures to cross their sight line. “That bikini is too small.” “He looks like a lobster.” “How old do you think they are?” “Is that a boy or a girl?” And couple the commentary with a very interesting usage of the English language.

As mentioned, this has all the makings of a Callemonit, not just as a vacationer, but as a husband and a father who cares about what his family is subjected to.

After a long hour of suffering, you leave your chair and approach the ringleader. You figure him as the boss, mostly from his enormous stature, tattoos, and gruff voice.

You express your concerns and politely ask if he and his group could make some concessions about the music volume, smoking, and word choice.

And do you know how the giant replies? “Absolutely! And I’ll do you one better. I invite your family to pull your chairs closer and join us.”

What just happened? Your head is dizzy with confusion. You answer in return, “I’ll have to ask my wife.”

You go back and stand before her, baffled. You tell her their proposition, and can you believe what she says? “Let’s do it.”

At that point, you are speechless. You pick up your chairs and join the fun…no, not sarcastically…literally, join the fun.

The people, who just 5 minutes ago were the mortal enemy, end up being friendly and hilarious and down to earth. Your kids immediately start playing with theirs, you agree to meet up later that night on the boardwalk, and everyone has a blast.

Of course, there were still moments when a cuss word slipped out, or someone temporarily forgot to excuse themselves before smoking, but both cases were immediately followed by, “Sorry…” This was a Callemonit success! Goodbye stress!

Have you ever wanted to address the behavior of complete strangers while on vacation? Did you Callemonit or find ways to avoid them?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *