Sand and Iowa

My day was rather interesting. Not interesting in the wow-you-won’t-believe-what-happened-to-me kind of interesting, but in the hmmm-interesting way. After a cloudy few days, it was nice to see the sun shining at us this morning. We spent a morning at the beach. I love the beach in the morning–the birds are so happy, the surfers are catching a few more and there are joggers and bikers everywhere. Beaches are just so great for people watching –especially California beaches–you just see it all (no, I don’t mean in the skin-flesh all, I mean people from different walks of life).

I spent the morning reading a good book while my kids and my husband (or was it my husband mostly?) building some type of sandcastle structure. Then I went for a walk with my almost-2-year-old who was tired of the sand, sun, wind and wanted to fill his tummy and take a nap.

As  I walked by the beach houses, I was fascinated by the varying condition of each house. Some of the houses were just holding on — obvious rentals –the rental signs on the front gave it away. Others were being painted and still others were very nice. It was in front of one of these nice houses where I read the sign —Don’t analyze your pleasures.

The first thought that crossed my mind, I must admit, was Damn, you’re living in this nice beach house –you’d know about pleasures. After trying to control the green ugly monster, I started thinking more about the sign. First, telling me to not analyze something is futile. I’m a super-analyzer. I analyze the the parting of my hair each morning, or the way the toothpaste squirts out the tube. So, after I got over my jealous thoughts, I started analyzing the sign that said  Don’t analyze your pleasures. A man was walking in front of me when I passed the house with the sign and he read it aloud and laughed. I wondered why he laughed. Was it supposed to be a funny sign?

So I spent the next block or so thinking about not analyzing my pleasures and what that meant. After I determined that I needed to just appreciate the pleasure of walking on the beach I came upon a curious-looking bar. It was obviously a man’s bar. It was filled with gray-headed men eating nuts, watching baseball, fishing and bowling on 4 different tv screens and the theme to Cheers quickly came to mind. There was a sign on the door (again with the signs) that said Sorry, we’re open. I’m not sure if the underlying meaning was — sorry, women, we’re open and you’re husband will be here all day. There was another sign that said If you look younger than 30, be prepared to show your id. I was enticed to enter and order a drink just to see if I got carded. Vanity, oh vanity. I decided to keep walking on.

Go forward an hour and I am at the end of the walk this time with my family eating ice cream. I will go into the ice cream ordeal in the next post. (I decided it needed it’s own post. ) Anyway, to rap up a day I thought was interesting, but might be boring you to tears, I have to share a conversation we had with a man taking a nap in the grass at the park. He was watching me explain some ice cream details with my children and started chuckling. He then added a comment about boys and ice cream and following rules –I think he might have been mocking me. He stood up, to get on his bike, and asked if we were from Southern Ca.

I said, “I’m from Northern California.”

He said, “Oh, I’m from Iowa.”

My husband replied, “Oh, I guess this scenery is quite a change for you.”

Then he said some things I couldn’t understand about snobs and money and said that the biggest difference was in the “genetics”.

We must have looked a bit perplexed because he then went on to explain how that in Iowa there were “pure genes” and not a bunch of “muts”. He also said something about if we were in a park like this in Iowa there would be at least three people over 7 foot.

My husband and I were speechless. Maybe it was because we couldn’t believe someone would say something so unpolitically correct or if it was because we were trying to decide if we were supposed to be offended. We were also trying to connect the height comment with the genes comment — I guess because we were mutts we were not 7 ft. tall? My husband is not short — 6 ft. 2. Technically, I was the only one of us from California and therefore the mutt so the only one that should have been personally offended. He left after muttering (now, whose the mutt) something about knowing about genetics because he raised pigs. Now I wasn’t sure if I was being compared to a mutt or a pig. I decided to write him off as an idiot and go back to slopping up my ice cream.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Luisa
    May 04, 2007 @ 03:12:50

    Wow. I’d be speechless, too. Maybe because I also am from Northern California. Huh.

    But the beach sounds lovely! And pleasure analysis can itself be a pleasure, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

  2. Marketing Mommy
    May 04, 2007 @ 07:46:37

    My mom always told me she was sure my sister and I would be more healthy than either her or my dad because we were genetic mutts–part Eastern European Jew, part Scots-Irish, a little bit of German and 1/16 Cherokee.

    I can’t believe there are still pro-Eugenics folks out there, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

  3. tobeme
    May 04, 2007 @ 11:04:45

    Interesting, wonder what that man was really thinking. I am still stuck on the two signs that you saw. I will be thinking about them over the weekend, however I believe that what the first sign was saying, when things are going well, don’t over analize them. Like “Being in Love” is wonderful, analizing it kills the mood.

  4. Jenna
    May 04, 2007 @ 18:37:28

    Loved the flow of this post. Sounds like a (mostly) dreamy kind of day. I’ll be thinking about that sign (analyzing pleasures) and whether I agree or not…

  5. rjlight
    May 04, 2007 @ 19:48:19

    Luisa — guess you’re a mutt like me… 🙂 Afterwards I couldn’t even think of something I would have said — I was just amazed people think that way still.

    Marketing Mommy — yeah, I’m proud of my German-Scottish-English-Native American muttness! It’s amazing in 2007 people still think this way.

    tobeme–Who knows what he was really thinking. It was a strange encounter and one I’m still thinking through.

    Jenna — thanks! It was a great day! Now don’t analyze the non-analyzing sign too much!

  6. Brent
    May 06, 2007 @ 14:06:15

    I don’t know where to begin.

    1. There is nothing like walking next to the pacific to inspire your thinking.

    2. I think your analytical nature is part of what you a good writer. However, learning to let go and just enjoy once in a while will make you happier person. Not all writers succeed at that second part.

    3. As for Mr. Iowa, I doubt that there is anyone with unmixed ancestry at this point, and I look forward to the day when the gene pool is so thoroughly blended that people will have to find something else to fight about.

    Don’t let stupid people ruin your vacation. After all, they are everywhere.


  7. rjlight
    May 07, 2007 @ 06:59:11

    Yes, I was wondering what your good ‘ole Dr. T. would say to Mr. Iowa. Crazy, what people spend their time fighting for/about.
    Thanks for the nice comment about my writing! Yeah, I do have a tendency to not enjoy enough! Ugh, maybe that’s why I was faced with the sign! ” 🙂

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