At what point do you become so uncool that you can claim you were doing it ironically?
We are at the beach this week. Being the tourist that I am, I tried to remain outside in the sun as long as I could. I really did try to apply sunscreen, but I have the telltale sporadic red splotches to prove I failed.
Around 3 p.m., I decided to head back out to the beach for a walk. I knew I'd had enough sun for the day and looked for a T-shirt to cover my chest and shoulders. It seems I packed only V-necks and tank tops. Dad saved the day by handing me the free T-shirt provided by the vacation rental company. Nothing says local like wearing a billboard for a Florida beach rental company on the Florida beach. It was that, stay indoors, or risk vacation-ruining sunburn, so I happily donned the free T-shirt. Because it hung below my swim shorts, I even added a bit of flair by cinching it at my waist..
My footwear--two baby blue band-aids--complemented the advertisement I wore on my back. As if the giant red splotch on the side of my neck didn't already announce to the world that I was a northerner on my first day of a winter beach vacation, my flip-flops had rubbed the tops of both feet raw. I ditched the shoes but kept the band-aids.
As soon as I reached the water's edge, the wind took my sun hat. Grudgingly, I cinched the chin strap I never use. I looked like a doofus, but my hat stayed on and my face remained sun-free.
I assessed my ensemble and realized that there may have been a reason my children didn't want to join me on my beach walk. Sunburn, kiddie band-aids, oversized cheesy T-shirt, and hat cinched under my chin. Everything about me was uncool. Everything about me said Just Arrived Tourist.
I'd like to say I was being ironic, but I'm forty-something, not twenty-something. And I am a gleeful northerner granted a reprieve from a long, cold, gray winter. All those things that made me look so stupid arose from the fact that I was so happy--happy to shed the wool socks for flip-flops, happy to feel the sun on my skin, happy to have gotten sunburned while building a sand volcano with my son.
I may not be hip, but I'm happy.