It’s officially summer —thirteen days until I declare it over.
With warm and sunny days ahead, there is the need for the annual Public Service Announcement. This is a social advisory. Put up your personal red flag. Like a good stretch of beach, you are closed. Your summer days are like piping plovers: endangered.
This is the annual Please Don’t Invite Us To Anything Over The Summer announcement that you hope friends and family who live off the peninsula will read.
It’s basically necessary to reprint this advisory each year because you don’t want mainlanders thinking maybe we’re cracking, giving in to the idea that we’d be okay with leaving Rockaway for a day trip. And for those who live here, it’s a reminder to be careful with invitations. If you invite family and friends down during the off-season you can bet they’ll reciprocate in the summer, the worst time of the year to leave the beach.
If you want to celebrate your kid’s birthday who happened to be born in January, celebrate it in July. Keep the January date classified. If a nephew or niece was born in the summer and the family lives on the Island, New Jersey or Connecticut, get out in front and suggest a beach day. Tell them to come here.
They will see through your blatant, outrageous attempt to avoid leaving Rockaway. They may hate you for it. But there’s a good chance they’ll accept, so do it.
Couples marry for love in Rockaway but if it’s a mixed marriage (one family in Rockaway and the other anywhere else) there’s gotta be a pre-nup. Marriage pre-nups are written not over finances but over leaving the beach during June, July, and August. “Honey, I love you and your family but there’s no way we’re visiting them in the summer. And we have to put that in writing.”
We live and enjoy Rockaway for five months a year. At best. There’s the big three, June, July, and August. You can’t even count May. You hope for a warm September and pleasant October. The other seven months we endure.
It’s the price of paradise. Those who don’t live here just don’t appreciate how those few months are ours. We do not want to leave. Even when we vacation during those few good months, we are happy to get back. If you vacation during the summer you cannot impress anyone here, no matter how spectacular your trip was. You vacation somewhere warm in the winter and people here have extreme envy. They want you to tell them more so they might feel a wave of vicarious warmth.
But you vacation in the summer? No one cares. You might have gone somewhere amazing but you missed Rockaway. Your amazing trip gets stuck with an asterisk. You can’t brag. No one cares.
We are protective of our five measly months. We do not want anything intruding on summer glory.
You might be invited to a party or barbecue at a Hamptons mansion but you will not be happy. You will be stuck in traffic both ways. You will wonder what you’re missing back in Rockaway. You will utter The Rockaway Groan: I had to leave Rockaway for this? I had to leave Rockaway to sit in someone’s backyard?
The underground economy has noticed this community-wide dread. I hear some guys are selling fake neck and back braces. And you can get counterfeit Prescriptions with doctor’s orders: Full beach rest.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS