Start preparing now to reach that summer mind-set

April 25, 2021

The party is over and the fat lady is about to sing. Or maybe I just missed it. With the influx of visitors, I feel like it has already started. Make no mistake about it, though, she is going to have a set of pipes on her the likes of which you’ve never heard. She has been practicing now for the last couple of weekends. That’s right, the month of May is just around the corner.

That means parking meters, traffic, crowds, digging for quarters and what Americans love best, long lines. Shrug it off now, but by the end of the summer, you won’t even remember your address and you will be diagnosed with the permanent condition known as having no bladder control at all. This is a real medical condition resulting from being stuck in traffic and having to use your cup holder as a last resort.

There is a transformation that has to take place if you live here all year round. You’ve got to change your mind-set quickly from pulling right into a parking place downtown to being in a holding pattern that is showing up at the air traffic control tower in Dubai.

The highway will start to resemble a major cattle drive. You might just as well strap a saddle on top of your car and turn to Gene Autry, ”I’m back in the saddle again, riding the range once more ...” 

We know there are so many positive benefits from all the tourists that descend upon the area, especially this year for the businesses that have been so hard hit by the pandemic. Unfortunately, the only transformation from our minds has been a bet on how long you can actually stand it. What are the odds that you are going to make it until July before having a complete meltdown and learning your body is no longer capable of producing red blood cells.

It does take some preparation to enter the season. You probably have already noticed that as usual, DelDOT is on top of things. They’ve already closed some lanes on Route 1 to do some minor work, funneling vans filled with kids screaming they have to go potty into lanes full of cars pulling boats the size of aircraft carriers. Eventually everyone will have to go potty, which is why they no longer have ash trays in cars anymore.

Still, it’s always great to see crowds back at the boardwalk, lugging chairs and belongings like they are going into a waiting room at the nearest Greyhound bus station. People spilling onto the sidewalks wearing T-shirts that say Tourist from Hell will  become a common sight. But that’s not the only thing spilling out in the summer, as the beach cover-up has gone the way of the rotary phone. Rolls of skin, some looking like a bad paving job on an asphalt driveway, will assault your view, often even darkening the sunlight to the point that some beachgoers pack up, thinking there’s an impending storm.

And how about that fashion statement for this summer? After one look at what is walking around, I know you are thinking the fashion this year must be “I’ve given up on having a lifestyle.” We should look to the future, though, and all wear one of those silver one-piece jumpsuits like they wear in other galaxies. Slippers and bathrobes are out. So is the extra 50 pounds you put on while self-isolating.

You have a voice, too, so let’s get ready to use it this summer – nicely, though. I know you can do it.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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