Awê Ma Se Kinnes!

Even as youngster, those popular beach days never held much appeal for me. I must have enjoyed it until I was around 11. But not so much after that. As a kid, it was my job to make sure that the watermelon was kept safe and cold when we got to the beach. This essentially meant that one of the adults would find a little groove with water, under which the watermelon would rest. Some unfortunate laaitie would then be assigned the task of making sure that the watermelon did not go missing. I was often that unfortunate kid. And this is clearly the reason why I only learnt to swim when I was twelve. Watermelon caretaking duties took up much of my time.

And then you know those boys who can just energetically sprint into the water and take a duik. Now I wasn’t one of those boys. You know what I mean. It’s safe to say that I never really developed a love affair with the ocean.

I like winter because then I can wear jackets and coats and scarves and stuff. Like James Dean on that poster where he’s looking cool as hell, walking down some street in New York. Collar up. Entjie dangling. That poster.

But now summer does not allow me to look like James Dean. And those hot summer days are fast approaching. I know this because the gym is getting a lot busier. The gym bunnies are out in full force! It’s a Cape Town thing – getting that body toned for Clifton Beach. The time for the toned people is here, dullin.

I’m jealous of people who have toned bodies because I don’t have one. And I probably never will have one. It’s too late. Yes I do go to gym regularly but that’s essentially just to prevent myself from developing my daddy’s boep. A pregnant man is not a fabulous look. So for me, gym is just for general maintenance, if you like. And I should add that I like Burgers. And Slap Chips. And Ghostpops. And Bar One’s. I’ve made peace with the fact that I will never emerge from the water looking like Halle Berry in DIE ANOTHER DAY. And I most definitely will never have Daniel Craig’s chest.

Let me pause here quickly. Here by that “Halle Berry” moment. She was perfect when she came out of the water. That is what toned people look like when they slowly drift out of the water. The rest of us are sitting on the packed beach with ice cream and a fanta, hoping that the toned person will trip over something and fall face first into a sand castle. No we don’t really wish that. Because Chucky who built that sand castle would go bedonnered and wake us up from our naps. And we would ne napping. Because that mos wasn’t really fanta in the can.

Staying with the “Halle” moment. It’s a very stressful experience when all eyes are on you and you realize that the walk of shame is quite a lot longer one than you imagined it to be. And you have to do it without breathing because you are doing the utmost to keep the stomach looking flat for at least 4 minutes. Which starts to feel like eleven days. The traumatic moments are worsened when you slowly realize you are actually quite dizzy and unsteady from being klapped by that last big wave and you are somewhat confused as to where your spot on the beach was. But you still have to keep acting cool. Only uncool people look frantic when they are lost. Cool people look like they are calmly thinking about their vinyl collection. You are just about to turn navy blue and pass out from not breathing when you mercifully see your purple umbrella. Biggest relief, ever. Collapse into your floral towel. Annnnnnnnd exhale. Oh Hello Boep.

And this is why I have always made sure that wherever I live, the house comes with a swimming pool. My sensitive Lottering heart can’t deal with all that public stress. Don’t get me wrong, I do go to the beach – but I go like James Dean. On off-peak days and times. To walk the dog. To chill with a cappuccino. To stare out onto the majestic ocean, like a poet. And wonder about the people who simply never pee in the water – do they even know that they’re missing out on theee most amazing experience!?

And now I wonder if I would have felt differently if I had a Men’s Health chest? Perhaps. There’s a strong chance that I would have enjoyed “giving me out”. Nonchalantly posing my moer off. Heeldag op en af oppie beach. But then I more than likely would have had other problems. Because those people mos usually do. I’m not lying. Most of my perfect looking friends always tell me they have things like anxiety issues and all sorts of other trendy issues that pop up on instagram. I look into their perfect eyes while they share their heartfelt stories with me. And I just think ja, whatever, go have some more gluten free quinoa – you know you look lekke, anxiety and all.