I need the summer off

June 22, 2010

Something about the water is so attractive to me. I’m at the beach right now staring at it, at the glorious expansion of water that is before me leading all the way to England, or New Jersey, I’m not sure which.

I am cooled off now from having just been in the water which Ran wouldn’t go in with me, and I was kinda disappointed at first, but then I decided to go anyway, and just enjoy the fact that I didn’t have to be anywhere, do anything, talk to anyone, or cross anything off a to-do list for the rest of the day.

I need the summer off, I really do. I don’t want to go rehearsal, learn lines, worry about how to fit in dinner, I don’t want to. Please don’t make me!

Don’t get me wrong I have LOVED the last show, Fiorello!, more than anything. I loved having rehearsal to go to, I loved learning lines, I loved figuring out how to squeeze in dinner! It was all so glorious, the costumes, the dancing, the music, the amazing song I got to sing every night, my amazing scene partner who humored me and basically did anything I asked including: staying late and trying each scene 32 different ways. (Just to make sure we tried every possible way to do the scene and got it right – of course!) But now, its all over, the show went on, and ended and that’s the bad part of doing theater, it always comes to end eventually, and this one did too.

It’s Friday, and I got out of work at 1 courtesy of summer Fridays. I got on the express bus, something I have never done, and enjoyed a slow journey from 57th and Madison, to Cropsey Avenue in Brooklyn. It was delightful, the bus was empty when I got on, and as it began to fill up, I kept alerting my friend Shireen, 3 people, 4 people, now 10, 13!! I had my Kindle on my lap and a Weight Watchers yogurt for snacking, plus, a copy of the Daily news the bus driver gave me for entertainment on the ride out. I read the paper a bit, then dug into some samples of books I downloaded for the Kindle. Now I’m up to Eat Pray Love.

Ellen, my Weight Watchers leader emailed me last week, the email was titled “MIA” and the body of the email said, “where have you been?”
Ok, I ain’t gonna lie to you; I took springtime off from Weight Watchers, from counting points, from the whole damn thing. Fortuitously, my scaled broke somewhere around April, and I haven’t weighed myself in months. I’m free!!

Free and still trapped, because I have no idea what’s going on with me, I can only tell by how I feel and how my clothes fit which, used to scare the shit out of me. I was always fearful that I’d never be able to make it alone, so I clung to Weight Watchers and I admit, I need to go back, because I know on some level that I need that accountability back. As I reached the two year mark, I was tired, and I just couldn’t do it anymore. So I stopped going.

So back to my summer off, I’ve got to go to work, ok that’s a non-negotiable, and I suppose I still have to fulfill some obligations like going to family parties and laundry, but other than that, please don’t expect much from me.

This summer you can find me at the beach club, the Seagate beach club that is, where I mis-spent much of my youth as my dad and step-mother dragged me there summer after summer, to languish in guido-ville. (Which, by the way, is nothing like Margarita-ville.)

I used to hate days at the beach club. It was so boring to me as a teenager, there with nothing to do, but lay by the beach and eat olive loaf sandwiches with tomato. I hate tomato on sandwiches, ugh.

No doubt, no doubt, I also hated having to be in a bathing suit next to my stepmother who was always slim in a two piece. And I wasn’t fat, it was just about being uncomfortable in my own skin, feeling left out, out of place, and uneasy. I hated the sand, I hated the water, I hated everything about it. I hated it, and made everyone else know that I hated it.

Now that I am older and perhaps a little bit more in tune with who I am, I have decided, against all odds, to join the beach club of my own accord. I even tried to convince my dad that he should join (again) but he was uninterested. Now it could be my thing, and luckily for me, I have the most wonderful husband who has proven yet again that he loves me to death, by joining the beach club to prove his devotion to me and all things that make me happy, gotta love that.

So here we sit, at the beach club, happily ensconced in Coney Island just watching boats go by, slathering on sunscreen, eating olive loaf sandwiches (no tomato).

Eventually summer will end, and so will my self-imposed sabbatical at Coney Island. Until then I can decide to throw all caution to the wind, and not even answer Ellen’s email, or I can choose to get back on the path.

For now, I don’t know which course I will take.

I do know that I really enjoyed my time in the water. Nobody else around, just me, and the calmness of the water, the smell of salt, the wind. It was just me and the open seas, nothing between us. This is what having the summer off feels like, I am sure.

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