Sunday, May 30, 2010

Miami Bound Machine - Part 3

My experience at the beach can pretty much be summed up by an experience from my college years.

I was home on Long Island, back from my first year at ASU. One weekend my buddy Mike, his friend Jen, and I all went to the beach. We parked the car, grabbed our stuff, and headed out to the sand.

After finding a spot and dropping our things Jen and Mike stripped down to their bathing suits and jogged merrily down to the water.

I on the other hand, took off my shirt and immediately got a nosebleed.

It wasn’t like a little one either; it was like what happens when one catches a football with their face.

I started to panic. I’m not sure if you’ve ever tried to track down a tissue at the beach, but trust me, they are in short supply.

The awkward thing about getting a nosebleed at the beach is there is just nothing to stop it. What are you going to use… sand?

Mike: Hey Rich why are you laying face down in the sand?
Rich: Oh nothing, just a nose bleed, I think this is how they stop oil spills. I’ll be fine.

No, you can’t do that. And of course there is nobody around, I am bleeding all over my hand and the only thing I have to stop the bleeding is the shirt I just took off.

It was either use my shirt or just go bleed in the ocean. So naturally I chose to use the shirt.

Imagine my friends’ confusion when they came back from the ocean to find me with a tank top in my nose and blood on my hands.

It doesn’t get more embarrassing than that. I mean I hadn’t even been there 10 minutes! And I had JUST gotten my shirt off, which is quite the event itself. My body being so pale and reflective it requires sunglasses just to witness.

Much later on, Mike told me about a conversation he had with his friend Jen and my name came up.

Mike: Do you remember my friend Richy?
Jen: Is that the kid who almost died when we went to the beach.

Pretty much. I mean I might as well title my memoir that

The Kid Who Almost Died When We Went to the Beach: The Rich Boehmcke Story.

And even though I sometimes spontaneously bleed there, I do love the beach. But for many reasons, the beach doesn’t so much love me. Typically a lot of awful things aside from nosebleeds have happened to me at the beach. Granted this is because I have done a fair bit of travelling by myself. So I am usually at the beach on my own with nobody to look out for me.

Going in the water by yourself is a stressful situation. I remember my time in Australia when I finally got up the courage to leave my stuff on the beach and just go swimming by myself, only to see this sign when I emerged from the ocean:


My body was built for many things: sitting on a couch, reaching for high up objects, making really dramatic awkward movements, but the beach? No, this vessel I have is not necessarily beach ready.

Those of you who have seen me in person (and once again, my apologies) know that my skin is not really a durable looking kind of skin. I am pale. While my mother is of Italian decent, my father’s Irish German lineage beat out my mother’s genes when it came to whose skin I would get.

While “lily white” is a beautiful color, it isn’t exactly a good color for skin. And it certainly isn’t a sun proof kind of color. It is the main reason that from the ages of 6 up until recently I always wore SPF 45 when I went to the beach. And not just SPF 45, a very specific brand called Water Babies.

It is a fine product that works well but you just get to a certain age and you just look to avoid using products that have pictures of half naked children on them.

So if I am going to go to the beach I need to make sure I have plenty of sun block on hand. I reapply many times, and make sure to hit all exposed areas.

Though if I am by myself, the issue usually arises about what to do about my back. If I apply it to myself, I usually miss a rather large spot in the middle of my back, which I don’t know about until somebody points it out to me later on.

This became very obvious to me in Chile last year.

It would be beneficial if somebody could invent some sort of back scratcher/sun tan lotion applier. This way I could go to the beach alone and actually enjoy myself. Half the time I am just standing 2 feet into the ocean praying I don’t get burnt and staring at my blanket hoping somebody doesn’t steal my stuff.

But Miami should be different because I will be there with friends.

Well, not really friends, more like 100 strangers I have JUST met, but hey, same thing.

This fancy hotel I am staying at will perhaps have some sort of sun block applier. I sure hope so anyway because my goal to show up tan has failed.

In fact at this point I have really lowered my hopes for all the things I wanted to be before I showed up in Miami. I realize I won’t be buff. There is a good chance I will be ostracized for my clothes. And as for tan? Like I said, I’ve given up any hope of that.

Now my goal for when I show up to the beach is just not to look like Gollum.

Stranger: Hey Rich why is your nose bleeding?

But that all remains to be seen when I finally put my feet in that Miami sand, which hopefully, I will not need to use as clotting material.

The End.  (Kind of, I’m sure there will be a recap.)


Hannah said...

you know, you could go for the completely crazy way out...tanning bed before you hit the beach. Build up that sunburn BEFORE you get to Miami. At least people won't need sunglasses to protect their eyes from the white. Instead, they'll be thinking of tomatoes and lobsters for their entire vacations. On second thought...maybe you should just put the half-naked children sunscreen in another bottle and use it on the beach anyway.

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

You know... as weird as this may sound I've always sort of envied people that don't tan easily. Only because I DO but that means I don't sunburn much - so when I DO burn (which seems to happen more the older I get) I become a crying heap of red lobster. The smallest burn will turn me into a total baby and no one (not even my husband, who married me and is stuck with me) wants to deal with me. It's all very sad.

And this was me trying to make you feel better. Not sure that it worked but hey, I gave it the old college try, right?

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I'm sorry about your beach difficulties, but your description of them made me laugh out loud. (Hope I don't sound unsympathetic; remember that I'm laughing WITH you, not AT you.)
I avoid the beach because I can't wear my contacts when I swim. And if I go to the beach by myself, I'm afraid that I might never get back to my towel and will just walk around blindly with my arms sticking out for balance, kind of like Frankenstein's monster.

Iqbal Ismail said...

Hahaha.. Why did you put it under 'Embarassment' topic? Are you embarassed that your body are not capable of holding too much dead skin, hence lowing your risk of a skin cancer? You should be proud, and make a topic called 'Brag'.

Anyway, I think the better way to handle this is to either A) get a tan before the sun gets you, B) Enjoy the beach at night. Heck, or even C) Just USE your sunscreen!

TbR said...

I feel your pain - I lived in Sardinia for a year where everyone is bronzed up. Except me. I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb and the beaches, though beautiful, were quite stressful experiences.

Once I fell asleep, thinking I was covered by a towel. Turns out the towel only covered my front and my sides had tanned. It was a humiliating walk back to the car.

Abbi said...

Your nosebleed story is classic! The image of you facedown in the sand to stop your nose from bleeding made me laugh out loud. But the teacher in me noticed that you used "jeans" for "genes" and I'm surprised that a wordsman like yourself could make such a mistake! Maybe it was intentional...anyway, have a blast in Miami! And I think you should go to a tanning bed this week, so that you don't completely fry!

Caroline B said...

You made me laugh out loud with the nosebleed story, poor you, forever in that girl's memory as the boy who haemmorhaged at the sight of the beach....
I'm sure once you and your travel mates reach Miami and down a few of those free beverages, no-one is going to care what colour you are or what sunscreen you use - just make sure you have a pocket full of tissues!

Pat said...

If you're looking like Gollum, I'd recommend a hair cut...just saying...

Kari said...

New to your blog, and I must say that I love it! I might visit New York just to meet you! :) Have fun on the beach!

Stephanie Ann said...

I must say that you really made me feel better about my paleness at the beach. As well as the fact that if I am there for more than an hour or two, I will go through a whole bottle of Coppertone Sport... and still get burnt. I would say that we could go to the beach together sometime so that perhaps you would feel slightly better about your paleness but that much light reflecting off our skin might cause some kind of atmospheric heat change and then we would be the reason that the polar bears and penguins don't have enough ice to live on.

Laury Ann said...

Awwww, so sorry about your beach issues :(

I am sorry to say you made me chuckle a lil bit though...thanks for sharing your embarrassments to entertain us readers ;-) very cute stuff.

Go get a spray tan, lather up on beach baby block, and opt for an umbrella, let people know you have "had enough" sun from the looks of your deep, airbrushed on tan (no one has to know)

sarah :: this is jackson riley said...

i never thought it was strange that i should use Water Babies as a full blown adult. i guess the naked little kid is a bit creepy. thanks for ruining my favorite sunblock ;-)

Annah said...

Direct all Miami questions to me :) I live there!

The Girl said...

Maybe the spontaneous nosebleed happened because you got yourself worked up into a frenzy about going to the beach - you know like a stress nosebleed? Does anyone else get those or just me? I had one in the hospital just after they told me about the embolism, I was sat there going "Surely this proves I don't have blood clots?! Look at me bleeding! Let me go home please."

I can't believe no-one's come up with a solution to the lone application of suncream yet. It's possibly the most awkward thing ever to have to ask a relative stranger to rub something sticky all over your naked skin. I didn't even want to ask Sophie to do it when we went to Vegas, but then again that's because I was worried she'd do something inappropriate to me.

How very DARE someone steal my name. Should I put a note at the end of each comment like "I'M THE ENGLISH ONE"? Unless the other one's English. Dilemma.

PrettyPrincessXo said...

Who cares if you look like a pervo with a half naked child in your bag ;-) Luckily I inherited good skin from my little bit of Italian family and I tan b-e-a-utifuly! Not to rub it in or anything :)

Although you may be really pale, I am still jealous of you because you actually get to go on vacation!

& Yes, I agree, Gym is a jerk :)

Los Schoenys said...

how bout investing in a rash guard? those are generally like 30+ proof. believe me, i know the woes of being scorched. well, okay, i lied. not really. i'm hawaiian. i'm naturally tan and golden. but i do have second hand experience. i married myself a tall, skinny, white boy. and by white i mean WHITE! he's either iridescent or burnt crispy. there's really no in between for him. so we've have to experiment a lot with different sun blocking techniques.

Sweta said...

The beach doesn't like me either...everytime I end up spending time ate the beach...I burn..I kid you not,not a DARK tan but I burn.And I'm catching the sun all year in a Tropical country,and now?not even three weeks into summer,my forehead is darker than the rest of my face.Not something I'd recommend. Sniff.Has anobdy heard of the word MODERATE?grr.

Enjoy your vacay though!ha!I hope you come back all Adnostically[I'm quiet sure thats not a word] gorgeous and bronze. :)

Sweta said...

I really don't *ate* beach.I'm mostly at 'em.typos.Sorry for the mess!

Deanna - The Unnatural Mother said...

I knew I liked you for some other reasons.... STRONG ISLAND IN 'DA which beach... Robert Moses, Jones, Gilgo hmmmm....

RedWriter said...

Your bizarre little conversational snippets that often appear in your blogs... Priceless! xx