It's been some years now since I determined to adjust to the flatlands and learn to love the sea. As a kid from Appalachia, I never liked the ocean. When you've dipped into a first-rate freshwater swimming hole, the ocean can only be regarded with loathing and hostility.
I've never revised my low opinion of swimming in the Atlantic, but I have found an interest on the shoreline. I collect sea glass. Me, and every other 50-year-old white woman within driving distance of sandy beaches and wave action.
Today New Jersey's public school teachers convened in Atlantic City for our annual self-pity festival. I decided to go, since my bargaining unit didn't tell me not to. Of course, the big draw of the teachers' convention, for me, is that it's a half mile from the sea glass beaches. With an early start, I could spend a couple of productive hours beach combing and still make it to the convention for a workshop.
The weather was miserable, 55 degrees and pouring. To me this seemed like an excellent opportunity to have the sea glass beach to myself. But OH NO. Every single time I go to look for sea glass, there's always some other midlife white woman ahead of me. That beach is picked clean 99 times out of 100.
So there she was, in her rain poncho, with her bag of frosted gems in her hand. In vain did I search for anything worthy of picking up off the sand.
Finally, in frustration, I went to a different beach. And there, King Triton and Queen Oshun (being bored deities that I praise and worship) tossed to me two lovely finds. One is the bottom of a 7-up bottle, a nice old one. The other is a jewelry-grade piece of cobalt blue. So all was not lost!
Then I went to the teacher convention, and it was colossally depressing. Can you keep a secret? There's nothing ... not one thing ... about the teaching profession that appeals to me. At this convention you couldn't even get free candy without forking over your email address. What kind of swag fest is that?
This was my day. All glory, laud, and honor to Triton and Oshun, mighty deities of the briny deep!