When I was 16, my family drove from Connecticut to Florida in a GMC Jimmy. It was spring break. We brought Granny, who was a cranky SOB, and my friend Holly, who was able to tan. My eight-year-old brother, Ted, was along for the ride; between his armpit farts and Granny’s loose butt cheeks, I wanted to disappear into a Delaware truck stop and never look back.
We drove to Coral Springs, a town my mother had promised was a mecca of hot young surfers—surfers who were just waiting for two chicks from Connecticut to arrive. Bullshit! The only locals waiting for us were 85 year olds. I needed a prom date. But not that desperately.
Florida was not my friend. I tried to tan alongside Holly, but I burnt so badly my nightly routine consisted of slugging Benadryl and coating myself in Noxzema. By day two, I was ready to go home.
When the week was finally over, I did a dance of joy. I was tired and fried to a crisp. When everyone awoke I was already sitting by the Jimmy. Had I only known what awaited…
Holly had bought a poufy prom dress and the store had packaged it in a long box that resembled a coffin. The “way back” of the Jimmy, where Holly and I sat, was covered in beach sand, which stuck to my Noxzema-coated limbs. And Granny, who’d complained that her walker pushed against her fragile legs on the ride down, insisted we put the walker elsewhere. Mmmmhmmm.
For 24 hours, I shared this space with Holly:
Sunburned. Covered in sand. Suffocating under a walker and a prom dress. I didn’t think it could get worse. Alas, still on the itinerary: 12 hours (okay, one) sitting at a Georgia rest area waiting for my brother—who’d lived on ice cream and macaroni and cheese all week—as he tried to, you know, go.
Granny was pissed. She didn’t say it, but I know she was thinking, “I can’t believe we’re sitting here waiting for that asshole to pinch a loaf.” We all were.
So, 18 years later—EIGHTEEN YEARS?????—the sunburn has faded (mostly) and the sand has washed away. I’m still scarred, but I want you to have some fun in the sand. Please, someone should.
I’m giving away one Naturally Playful sandbox. The item is provided by AllChildrensFurniture.com, which has a wide selection of kids furniture (seriously, they have race car beds, toy chests and cute little tables).
All you have to do is leave me a comment (if you're just leaving a comment to leave me a comment let me know, okay?).
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About me: I'm a 40-something mother to a pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our tween Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler Cam, and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). I'm a freelance graphic designer and writer.