I had plans to live at the beach after high school. I announced these plans to my parents, and my father told me I could move down as long as it was after Senior Week, which is still flawed logic if you ask me, although then, no one did. Everything was in place until I had a little mishap with alcohol at our post-graduation dance and I was grounded for life, as I wouldn’t turn 18 until college started. Legally and financially, I had no leg to stand on.
I moped up and down the 83 corridor in my Cabrio, listlessly waiting tables, lounging by my parents pool, and taking long, sullen dirt bike rides in our corn field hoping that by over-selling my malaise, someone might take pity on me. When you are 1/9th of a family, the fractions are not in your favor that a person higher up the food chain will notice you are being a sad brat, so away from the beach I remained.
A few weeks into my one-woman performace-slash-audience, I went to one of my dad’s baseball games. I got there early and played catch with him while still keeping up my act, which proves I can, despite being told otherwise my whole life, do two things at once.
My father is not a man to put up with shit. He had mostly ignored my pathetic retribution but was either feeling generous or fed up when he grabbed a bat and told me I had one pitch to hit a line drive into his glove. Hitting the glove meant I could move to the beach, missing meant I had to shutthefuckup and accept my summer at home. If you are wondering how hitting a baseball relates to living at the beach, stop. Because it doesn’t. This is just how things worked.
My decade of softball hadn’t been for exercise or learning to be a team player or building a foundation for me to become a lesbian: It had been for this moment. I accepted the challenge, took a swing, cracked the ball right at him, turned on my heel, and drove to the beach.
Actually I first drove into DC because I had never driven to the beach on my own. Siri hadn’t sprung from Steve Jobs’ loins yet so I had to eat crow and call my father for help, mere hours after my triumph on the field. He barked into his Nextel that I needed to find route 50 and drive east until I hit water.
I eventually found the Atlantic and shacked up in my friend’s parent’s guest house in Rehoboth. We worked in a gay deli and lived on Queen Beach and I spent my first summer of freedom finding out that being good at softball had not made me a lesbian, but in fact had given me the tools to hit the line drive that would send me to Rehoboth where I would discover, accept, and embrace my fate as a faghag.
We’d sneak into the gay bars, take Virginia Slims siestas with our boss in the afternoons, trip over Vespas as we stumbled home from parties in Dewey. It was a dreamy summer.
Since I can’t just repost pictures I didn’t take without leading you through the banality of my white girl adolescence, all of this is leading up to pictures of a gorgeous beach house. Rob sent this to me because we like to torture ourselves with beach real estate and design, although he bemoans the “shabby chic” decor of most ocean-side respites and wishes they skewed more modern.
My summer in Rehoboth also taught me to marry a man who rejects “shabby chic” as a school of design.