It’s summer. I usually declare it over by now but this one hasn’t really started yet. I’m taking a leap and saying there’ll be good weather from here on in. Good weather, good times. Good opportunity to stay on this side of the bridges.
I republish a couple of columns every year because I’m lazy. In this case, it’s for the public good and I have an obligation. This 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 necessary to basically reprint the column 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. Rockaway 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. There’s the Big Three plus May and September. The other seven months we endure. It’s the price of paradise. Those who don’t live here just don’t appreciate how those five months are ours. We do not want to leave. Even when we vacation during those five 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.
You vacation in the summer and 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 seethe and ask yourself, how could they not know? You will think they invited you just to aggravate you.
You utter The Rockaway Groan: I gotta leave Rockaway for this? I gotta leave Rockaway to sit in someone’s backyard?
So, a word to the wise, careful with your invitations. And here’s hoping this column travels -- so you don't have to.BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS