Going to the beach is not for everyone. The debate between what kind of water is best – lake, beach, or pool – has raged on for centuries and I’m not going to debate the merits of each with you here today. In my humble opinion, there is room for all three on this gorgeous green Earth of ours and I’ll leave it at that.
Going to the beach is a little bit of a process, though. When you’re at a lake, it’s usually because you’re staying at a cabin in a remote area for a long weekend of rest and relaxation. When you’re at a pool, it’s either because you own one or you got invited to come swimming at someone’s home or apartment complex. Going to the beach is entirely different.
The decision to head to a beach is yours and yours alone, and it requires planning. You need a cooler for obvious reasons. You need a large beach towel and things to munch on throughout the course of the day. When you’re on a beach the sun just feels a little bit hotter than it does on a lake or at the pool.
Every crevice of your body will be inhabited by sand at the end of the day and so will most of your belongings. For beach lovers like myself, this is to be expected. It’s part of the agreement we make with sand: you let us play games and build castles all over you, we’ll allow you back into our homes as guests when the day is done.
I hit the beach last Saturday to play Spikeball and take a friend from out of town to witness the shit show that is the beach on North Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. I had a blast and I even got into Lake Michigan for a dip because I’m fairly certain the temperature was hovering around 93 degrees most of the day. That’s almost unheard of this time of year because Lake Michigan is notoriously cold before mid-July.
When I returned home, I was covered in sand from head to toe. I had plans for later that evening to meet up with several friends, all of whom were prepared to get absolutely annihilated.
Exhausted from the heat but still ready to drink vodka-waters until I couldn’t stand up, I wiped myself down with a towel on my back porch and got dressed for the night out. As I walked from my room to the kitchen and grabbed a beer, one of my friends said bluntly from the corner of the room, “So you’re just not going to shower? You stink.”
I stood there aghast. Perplexed and offended by the question which had just been posed to me. A shower? I was just swimming in Lake Michigan, I explained. My body smells like a beach. Why would I ruin that with a shower? I smell goddamn amazing right now.
Now, I’ve known that there are people out there who do not like the smell of the beach. I call those people idiots. The episode of Seinfeld where Kramer makes a cologne which bottles up the essence of the beach is one of the best episodes ever. But when the executive at Calvin Klein tells Kramer that the beachy smell he’s concocted is “an offensive odor,” I always shake my head in disagreement. And guess what happens? Kramer gets his idea stolen because the beach smells fucking great.
Part of the reason I go to the beach is for the after-beach smell that lingers on my body. It’s anything but offensive. It’s pungent and masculine and I’d be lying to you if I said that I didn’t slightly enjoy it when a dash of sand lingers in my hair for a few hours after I’ve left.
Showering after the beach ruins all of the good vibes you’ve just partaken in on the sand and in the water. Is the smell a little bit different from your prototypical cologne or perfume? Sure it is, but that’s what makes it good. That smell of the beach will separate you from all of the idiots who weren’t at the beach or even worse – who were at the beach and decided they should take a shower before hitting the bar. The Beach will get you laid.
The smell from a beach that stays on your body is poetic. It’s briny, fresh, and most importantly? It’s fucking real, man. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want that sea-breezy, sandy, slightly funky odor on their body. Going to the beach and not showering afterwards is the best cologne on the market and don’t let anyone tell you differently. .