There is something bizarrely unique about coastal living. Twilight Zone almost, like I’ve stepped across an invisible threshold between colonial houses and sand castles. Only this strange casualness goes way beyond the beach.
Maybe it’s due to an overall acceptance of what equates to underwear clad people roaming, wet t-shirted and braless, all along the boardwalk. In my normal life, it is frowned upon to be seen in public without properly styled hair and clothes with suitable undergarments. Flips flops are usually not the shoe of choice, everyday. Bathing suit cover-ups don’t double as a dress. However, all this week I sported a more windblown, just rolled out of bed look. Makeup and flat irons never made it out of my suitcase, and most outfits required no more than a slim fitted camisole. Perhaps what was more amazing were all the people in the restaurants and stores we ventured into, looking the same.
There is a local hangout called Rudee’s On The Inlet. It is a great place to have fresh seafood or a delicious burger and an ice cold beer. But the best part of Rudee’s is not the indoor seating, but the tables built on gliders outside, overlooking the marina. For the past couple of years we have been trying to get a seat out on the coveted deck. The girls have dreamed about eating dinner while swinging back and forth. Unfortuantely, there is always a ridiculously long wait, so we either settle for a window seat inside or eat somewhere else. Today we thought lunch might be a better option, and since it was slightly overcast, we were optimistic that there would not be a large crowd. As we approached the deck seating, our hearts leaped with joy at all the empty seats. The few raindrops catching on our head did not deter us, the seats are all covered. But as soon as we were seated, it started to down pour. Water ran off the canopy and trickled into our seats. Water started seeping in through the canopy, splashing the table, creating puddles. Some of the other patrons grabbed their belongings and ran to the building for indoor seating, but we held our ground.
“I’m sure it is just a passing storm.”
Our waitress frantically let us know that the table we were sitting had an old leaky canopy. Perhaps we should move.
So we did.
To another, newer table, outside.
The rain took a short reprieve, so we ordered food, but as soon as it was served, it started pouring again. The rest of the patrons ran off, and umbrella carrying staff cleared all the tables. But we kept eating. Our butts were soaked from the run-off cascading down the backs of our seats. Our poor waitress could have entered a wet t-shirt contest, but she continued to serve us with a smile. I don’t think we have laughed so hard in a long time. My dad’s smile illuminated his face as he listened to his grandchildren giggle and snort about eating in the rain. It was the best lunch ever.
And I didn’t worry about my hair because I never styled it, nor was I worried about mascara running down my face because I never put it on. My clothes were cotton and having wet feet in flip flops really didn’t matter.
“Well, we finally got to eat on the gliders!” laughed The Hare climbing into the truck.
I will miss this carefree, uncomplicated lifestyle. So if you see me on the street next week, freckle faced, flip flop footed and braless, just blame it on the rain, or the anticipation of it.
Or maybe, still on beach time.