It's 5:30AM. We're packing the offspring for a trip this morning to the Jersey Shore, hoping to beat the traffic to my brother-in-law's 40th birthday bash this evening.
Since we should arrive before lunch, we'll meet my cousin on the beach and expose our blindingly white bodies. I'm not a beach person, unless it means going at night, which is another lovely story altogether.
Spent much of my adolescence and young adulthood plagued by people with a substance called melanin in their skin that caused them to crave the rays of the sun. Consequently, I suffered countless hours on the hot sand, wrapped in Levis and sweatshirts to avoid splattering like a strip of bacon.
I killed time by reading behind a pair of massive UV-repellent goggles. One time, a tall, handsome, golden, and sufficiently-muscled 21-year-old man approached not my lithe friends, who lay fetchingly in bikinis, but me: the poindexter inside a book.
He crouched down next to me. "What're you reading?" he asked.
"Wuthering Heights," I answered.
"You're kidding," he said. "I just finished Jane Eyre."
And so began a little romance. Years later, one of my bikini friends still marvels at it.
If a pasty bookworm can get the attention of a gorgeous (and well-read!) man on the beach, I guess anything can happen.