We had this date night idea: go eat somewhere, then have some alone time on the beach.
We threw a few things in the back of the car and off we went.
Dinner first: honestly, I don’t remember where we ate. Eating was a non-event. We were hungry, we ate food somewhere, it was adequate, and none of that matters. All of that was just prelude for the event.
The event, of course, being sex. On the beach.
We’re having a great time, teasing and anticipating, as we reach the beach parking lot.
But Joe doesn’t park. Instead, he starts driving down the trail.
Also, this brings up some questions I have about sex on the beach social etiquette:
What if you get there and the secluded sex beach is already occupied? Do you just quietly retreat? Is there a standard time limit? What if you show up at the same time as another couple? Who wins the beach rights? Do you… fight it out?
Anyway, Joe starts driving down the trail which is kind of a road and I’m thinking: Okay, weird choice, but whatever.
Our life has been full of weird choices, both mine and his. This is nothing new. But then he gets to the end of the trail, to the line where the trail stops and the beach clearly — clearly— begins.
I’m not bitter, understand. I’m just here telling this story. This story about this night which was supposed to be a night of sex on the beach.
So Joe stops at the line which clearly — (clearly) — designates where the trail ends and the beach — which is sand, nothing but sand — begins.
You know about sand, right? It’s not historically known as a good driving surface.
He stops at the line. And I’m thinking: Ok, we’re going to park here. Cool. Less walking.
That is not what he is thinking.
He starts inching forward and I realize what this bastard is thinking and how he is about to ruin our perfect sex-on-the-beach date night.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I say. “Don’t do it.”
He pauses. Glances at me.
Then he drives the Trooper forward, right off the trail and into the beach, and it promptly — promptly — sinks into the beach.
Because the beach is made of sand, and sand is not good for driving.
And I’m thinking: Okay, we’ve been stuck before. No big deal. He’ll get us unstuck in a few minutes.
That is precisely what did not happen.
There were attempts made. There was cursing. There was laughter. Mostly me laughing at Joe, which may or may not have been helpful.
I didn’t drive us into the fucking sand. I was still hoping for that whole sex on the beach thing to work out.
Anyway, it became clear that there was no way we were getting unstuck at that point, not without help.
Here is the pivotal point where what we did diverges from what we could have done.
So many points like that, in life. Endless points.
- What we could have done: Shrug, figure we’d get unstuck later at some point, grab our stuff and head off to secluded sex beach for sex. On the beach.
- What we did: Argue and then walk to higher ground to get a cell signal so we could see who might be available at 10pm to help us get out of the sand.
All I’m saying is that there are times you can still get what you want, but you might have to ignore some unimportant shit to get it.
We were not ignoring the unimportant shit.
We had switched from being focused on the fun stuff, the whole point of the night, to solving this problem.
Yeah, yeah, I know: it’s easy to see the problem as important. It needs to be solved. How are we going to get home with our car stuck in the sand? If we don’t get help now, when it’s already late, then we probably won’t be able to get help when it’s even later. Etc.
That’s the problem with unimportant shit. It always has so many important-sounding reasons why you should pay attention to it.
So many that you start believing it’s important shit. But the unimportant shit is always unimportant.
What happened next?
Well, we went to higher ground to get a cell signal. We found a friend who was gracious enough to agree to get out of bed and come help us.
So we waited.
While we were waiting, we realized: Well, it’s not the beach, per say, but it’s quiet. Empty. Beautiful. We have nothing else to do right now… Might as well make use of the time we have….
And that’s what we did.
All I’m saying is that there are times you can still get what you want, but you might have to be okay with things not looking exactly like you expected to get it.
And you might have to ignore the cost, known or unknown.
How can you really know the cost beforehand, anyway?
Because while we were busy keeping ourselves busy, waiting for a tow out of the sand, our friend came and went. He didn’t see us, couldn’t find us, didn’t see our car, couldn’t get us on the phone.
So he headed back home (rightly so) and soon enough, we started wondering what was up and …
There we were. Still stuck on the beach.
So late at night, by now. Didn’t want to ask our friend to come out again. Our fault that we missed him the first time. Didn’t want to wake anyone up.
We issued a “if you’re around, we could use a ride” call on a group thread.
We started walking.
That’s when I got mad. It seemed like a good time. We didn’t have a lot else going on at the moment, just a long walk on a dark night.
The night was not what I had hoped for.
I’d been a good sport, I thought. But now it was late, late, late. The morning would come early, early, early and all the responsibilities would be waiting.
The relaxing, connecting, quiet, together time I wanted? Long gone. Joe felt bad about it and I was ready and willing to make him feel much, much worse.
All I’m saying is that there are times you can still get what you want, but you might have to be willing to deal with the shit it stirs up.
I was walking about 20 meters ahead of Joe (it was safer that way for both of us) when a friend came cruising up, pulled over, rolled down the window: “Hey, you guys want a ride?”
Just like that, we were in a car, being chauffeured home, and the stars were gleaming, and we were both still emotional and angry but that would wash away, like sand washing off skin.
We remember all of it, that night.
But the parts that stand out, like light against shadow, with clear lines and color, are the good parts. The laughter. The stupid hilarious situation. The sex… not quite on the beach, but close enough. The being together. The friendship. The stupid hilarious anger that was 99% resolved by a hot shower and a cool bed. (The remaining 1% was resolved by strong coffee in the morning.)
Conflict, mistakes, anger, hurt, unmet expectations, disappointment: none of it has to mean anything, much.
They don’t have to mean something fundamental is wrong. They don’t have to mean anything is broken.
They can mean that we are human and we do stupid shit and we react to unimportant shit as if it is important. We get tired and frustrated and we like sex and adventure but we also like comfort and safety, and sometimes all our wants and fears don’t play nice together.
And that’s okay.
All I’m saying is that there are times you can still get what you want, but you might have to get a little dirty or sandy or uncomfortably honest to get it.
You might have to deal with anger or disappointment or reactions and chaos.
You might have to be okay with it not working out as smoothly as you’d like, not looking as clean and pretty as you’d prefer.
You might make a mess of it. You might have to get your hands messy and your panties in a twist and you might even have to call on a few friends to help you out.
And that’s okay, too.