Thursday, September 22, 2005

Summer Tan Lines Part I

This is a fictional story, but certain images are real.

After my sophomore year in college, I came back home for the summer. It was always a struggle to come home – after the 9 months of relative freedom, to come back to a family's home with the rules, expectations and so forth.

In the middle of the summer, we had our family trip. My parents are nuts for the yearly family trip, but this year I asked my parents if I could stay home and work. I will watch the house. My main motivation was my summer job and going out in the evenings with less of a curfew. Parents, if you have not figured it out, can read minds, so it comes to little surprise that mine said, "No." Not being a full adult (translation = being a Daddy's girl), I complied with Daddy's wishes.

Our trip was to Florida, not a stretch from Georgia, and a common destination. We rented a beach house one block in from the beach (cheap parents), and we were having a lovely time. I read paperbacks on the beach while basking in the sun.

Two days before we had to leave, my younger sister and I met some young men. They were college boys – many of them handsome. For the sake of the story, let's call them all handsome. Four guys, all in college, handsome and at the beach.

The oldest, Jerry King, was handsome, black and confident. He was also 21, which is important, as he was the "alcohol contact." Not that I ever really needed an "alcohol contact." Bat your eyes and the guy will find alcohol. My kid sister was still in high school, but she liked "pretending to be an adult."

Jeff was a year younger than Jerry – they were roommates. Jeff was handsome, tried to be as cool as Jerry, but he lacked confidence. He was cute and funny – the kind of guy you wouldn't mind bringing home for Thanksgiving to meet the parents or just rolling in the sheets with, for that matter. The other two guys were more non-descript.

We were sitting at the beach – and a couple of the guys dug a pit for our feet. I think they just liked playing in the sand, but we were able to sit on the beach, drink margaritas as long as the ice held out, and talk.

We talked about everything – from various college experiences, weird professors, over-sleeping the morning of a big exam, really universal college experiences. Now, I was born and raised in Georgia, open-minded and all, but I was surprised to catch myself assuming certain things. I assumed Jerry went to a state school (I went to a state school), but he was an upper classman at Cornell University (I also thought Cornell was in Connecticut, not New York; my Southern prejudices peek through, not knowing anything above South Carolina). Jerry was contemplating either law or medicine, and after talking with him, I saw him of more of a lawyer. He was well-spoken, thoughtful, seemed more like a lawyer. He also was an avid reader, and seemed to have unique incites on what author's write.

We all had a good time talking, and my sister got a little silly. She seemed a little out-of-place, mostly because she did not have college experiences from which to draw. The guys did not seem to mind too much; guess I was a tad embarrassed at times. But she was bikini-clad, and therefore most men forgive the occasional stupid comment.

It was getting late, the sun was falling, and we had to get back to the rental house for din-din. We could see a club from the beach – you know the type, horrid d├ęcor (huge beach lights), and the guys invited us there after dinner for dancing.

I had a slight buzz, and I hoped not to show it, especially because my parents didn't approve of drinking with guys on the beach. "Daddy, I didn't ask to come along this year," was all I could think to use as an argument, but my parents could not tell that sis and I had been drinking that day.

During dinner, I casually mentioned the club. We had not gone dancing since we started the vacation, and I asked if I could take my kid sister dancing this evening. "Fine" was the answer – curfew would be 10:00 pm.

"But, Daddy, I am in college now and it is summer vacation."

Well, to spare you the particulars, we negotiated me bringing (walking since we were so close) sis home at 10, and I would come home at midnight. Not what I wanted (I used to close clubs), but I had no power in these negotiations.

After dinner, sis and I showered, preened and started walking to the club. There was a new moon out, so it took us a couple more minutes to navigate to the club.

To read the rest of the story, click here.