Tag Archives: beach

How Did Modesty Get Such a Negative Connotation?

*Warning* – Indecent image is included in this blog

I’ve been teaching my AP students using advertisements this past week. They were analyzing various ads for rhetorical appeals (ethos / pathos / logos) and strategies (juxtaposition / metaphor / etc). In upcoming lessons, we will be reviewing gender stereotypes.

I subscribe to a variety of magazines (at no cost thanks to frequent flyer miles since I never accumulate enough with any one airline to actually fly anywhere for free) that I use from time to time for projects in my classroom. This week, I received the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in the mail. Usually I would just throw out that magazine since it’s not quite classroom appropriate.  However, since I knew that we would be reviewing gender stereotypes in my classes in the upcoming weeks, I thought I might find some advertisements that could work for the topic of gender stereotypes in that magazine.

And boy was I right. Every single ad used a woman to sell something.  I expected this, but unfortunately, the ads are so hyper sexualized that I do not plan on using them with my students.

Once I came across this picture at the end of the issue, I felt prompted to write a little blog about it.  Sorry for the nudity, but here is the image:

Of course I agree that a woman deserves respect no matter what she is wearing.  Everyone deserves respect simply because each and every one of us is a human being who has worth. But feminists are taking things way too far.

This woman’s top is so contradictory.

Here are my naked breasts for the world to see.  But please, respect me.  

I’m dressed like I want to f***, but please, don’t come on to me too strong.  

Does she deserve to be raped?  Of course not.  Nobody ever deserves to be raped.  But does it look like she’s eager for sex?  Of course.

How is it that modesty has attained such a negative connotation?

I’ll be honest.  If I see a girl wearing that at the beach, I will automatically pass judgment on her.  I try my best to avoid judging people, but I’m human.  These would be my initial thoughts:

-Are there children around?  That woman is practically naked!

-She must be really easy

I bet she has slept with tons of men

-I’m sure all of the guys must be checking her out

-How can she wear that and not feel overexposed?

And the list goes on.  Now, I am a female.  I can’t even begin to imagine what the guys would be thinking.  It’s proven, after all, that men are much more visual than females.

It’s one thing to be proud of your body and another to simply be indecent.  I work out quite a bit.  I’m proud of my body, but I also respect myself.

Sure, her shirt says that other people should respect her, but the problem here is that she isn’t respecting herself.  She’s turning herself into an object of sexual desire.

I understand that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is about all that, but I am so frustrated that any company even made a swimsuit top like that.

If we want men to treat us like ladies, then we must dress like ladies.  Showing our goods to the world is not showing respect to ourselves or those we come into contact with.

I’ll be the first to admit that although my faith is strong, I struggle with modesty during the summer.  I like wearing short shorts and tank tops when it’s hot out.  I like bikinis rather than one-piece bathing suits.

I’m not calling for women to dress like they did in the early 1900s.

And yes, I am aware that that girl is a model.  It is her living to flaunt her body, but I wonder if she really believes that message written across her naked chest.  Does she really believe that she will be respected by men (or women, for that matter) when dressing like that?

Let’s show ourselves some respect by covering up a bit.  Don’t you ladies want to keep part of your bodies a mystery, only exposing it to the one you love?  Do you really want every random person at the beach ogling you?

Women complain about cat calls and being stared at, but guess what?  If you wear that top, you’re basically asking for it.  You’re saying, hey, boys, check me out.  I’m sexy and I know it.  Wanna take me home?  I know I’m beautiful and I want everyone here to know it.  Look at me.  Do you like what you see?  

But you’re thinking, Do you they like what they see?  Am I hot enough?  Am I curvy enough? Am I muscular enough? Do they like me? Do they think I’m beautiful? How many men I can get to stare at me?

Because I find that women who dress like this often have the lowest self esteem.  They find their worth in the approval of men.  They think that by getting a guy to stare them down, they will find true happiness and fulfillment.

It’s sad, really.

So please, ladies, show yourself some SELF-respect and maintain some level of mystery about you, which will attract the right guys, who want you for more than just your appearance.

 

 

 

 

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2016 Year in Review

As I’ve done for the past two years (2014: My Year in Review, 2015: My Year in Review), here is my 2016 year in review.  Everyone seemed so eager to see the passing of 2016, but I don’t feel that way at all.  While I am excited to see what this next year of life brings me, I am content looking back at all that happened in 2016.  I feel beyond blessed at how different my life is today, January 2nd, than January 2nd last year.  There are so many people I didn’t even know last year today who I am now happy to call my friends.  I had a great year and I look forward to an even better 2017.

January:

-I started off the new year in San Antonio, Texas, watching fireworks exploding all over the place at the passing of midnight and playing lots of games like jumbo Jenga before flying back to Jersey

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-Annual trip to Frost Valley in Claryville, NY

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Posing with the snowman and my cousin
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Hiking to High Falls with painted faces
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The crew

February:

-The end of my last relationship

-Caidin came to visit and we went to Twin Lights in Highlands

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-My mom traveled to Israel / Tel Aviv / Jerusalem / Bethlehem / Rome for her birthday pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  She got to renew her baptismal vows in the Jordan River.

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March:

-I traveled to Brazil for Spring Break.  First, I was with my sister, Vanessa, and my brother-in-law, Carlos, for Easter.  We went to see an amazing waterfall.

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Swimming by the waterfall with my brother-in-law, Carlos

-Then I went to Manaus for my grandma’s 99th birthday.  I am so thankful that I got to go and spend some time with her because that was the second and last time I would ever see her.

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I also got to see lots of other family members while there and I went swimming with river dolphins with two of my uncles.

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-My mom’s 60th birthday

April:

-Although my mom’s birthday was in March, we had a family party for her in April

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May:

-My cousin, Dan, graduated from UConn

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-I ran the Run the Hook 10k in Sandy Hook, NJ

June:

-I went to senior prom to see my students

-Finished my first year teaching in New Jersey

-Traveled to Kansas City, Missouri, to grade AP English Language & Composition exams with my friend from DHS, Elise

-While in Kansas City, I also got to see my friend, Kristin, from high school, who is now a zookeeper at the Kansas City Zoo

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-Ran the Fairfield Half Marathon and set a personal record of 1:55

July:

-Went to Connecticut for my grandpa’s birthday party

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-Ran the Belmar five miler

-My friend, Juan, came to visit me in Jersey

-Met on Monday nights with the Belmar Area Catholic Young Adult group that I helped run

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-Through the Belmar young adult group, I met my friend Gabriella, and through her, my Bible study, which has been such an amazing blessing and has brought me so many new friends

-Went to the sand castle competition in Belmar

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-Went to Long Beach Island for a week with my mom

-I turned 28 in Long Beach Island

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Birthday lunch

August:

-Ran the River to Sea Relay race with an awesome group of people to raise money for Covenant House

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-I started riding my bike all around the shore

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Riding my bike through Avon by-the-sea

-Traveled to Nicaragua with Living Water International

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My amazing team

-We helped to drill a well to bring clean water to a rural village

-We also taught hygiene lessons and Bible stories to the women and children.  I helped to translate.

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The community with their finished well

-My friend, Lizzy, visited since she was in Philadelphia for vet clinicals, so we had a beach day

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-Worked on improving my yoga and handstands
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-Hung out with new friends from Bible study14212800_931558857870_9142389201927948083_n

September:

-As of the 1st, I have officially lived in New Jersey for one year

-Started my second year of teaching in New Jersey

-My Brazilian grandmother passed away right before her 99 1/2 birthday

-Went to the Philadelphia Zoo with my friend, Adam

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-Went kayaking with my friend, Adam

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October:

-Ran the Jersey Shore Half Marathon in Sandy Hook

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-Tenth Avenue North concert with my friend, Amanda

-Went to Catholic Underground in NYC with friends from Bible study

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-More kayaking with friends

-Ran the Atlantic City Marathon.  My mom and my friend, Adam, came to cheer me on

-I saw whales a few times from the beach in the fall

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-I went swimming in the ocean the day before Halloween

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November:

-I hosted our weekly Bible study once at my house in November.  It was tight to squish in 15 people, but we managed.

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-Bar Crawl in Asbury Park to raise money for Covenant House

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-Did some November stand up paddling and kayaking in the ocean in my wetsuit from my uncle

-Kayaking Shark River with my friend, Kate

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-Home to Connecticut for Thanksgiving

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December:

-Went to see the ice sculptures in Tinton Falls

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Mimicking the ice sculptures

-Out in Asbury for my friend, Stacy’s, birthday

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-Weekend in the Poconos for Sway’s 25th birthday

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-New relationship with AJ on December 11th

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Climbing a tree in the Poconos

-Graham cracker gingerbread house building with AJ

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-Christmas Eve at my grandparents’ house

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-Christmas day at my aunt and uncle’s house

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-Devin & Elise’s New Year’s Eve wedding with AJ

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So here is goodbye to 2016 and hello to 2017.  This year should be another great one, filled with more adventures!

God is so Good

I’ve been wanting to write a blog regarding my recent joy and gratitude for a while, but because I’ve been so busy (doing a bunch of awesome things), I just haven’t had the time.  So here are some of the things that have been taking up my time:

Bible Study

I am so incredibly thankful for the new amazing Catholics that I have met in my area, mainly as a result of attempting to start a Catholic young adult group here.  Through that, I met a great new friend and through her, I learned about a Bible study that meets each week.

Basically, we meet at a different person’s house most Thursdays for dinner and Bible study.  We share a meal and then study the Bible together.  The first time I was invited, it was a group of 6 or 7 of us.  This was some time in July.  I thought that these people had been close friends for years.  Only weeks later did I find out that their Bible study had started recently and some of them didn’t really know much about each other at all.

Since then, our numbers have continued growing.  Now we also have once a month Thursday holy hours, holding them at a different church each time.  I had been praying to find local Catholic friends basically from the moment I graduated from Franciscan University in December 2009.  It took a while, but I am currently so blessed in that I have met so many amazing passionately Catholic young adults.  And what is crazy to think about is that I didn’t know any of these people before June.  Most I’ve only known since July or August.  It’s interesting how quickly life can change in such dramatic ways.

This past Thursday, I hosted Bible study in my apartment.  We had 15 people there.  It was a little tight since I have a small apartment, but that was a great problem to have.  We just keep growing and meeting more amazing Catholics who desire to grow in their faith.

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Bible study

Kayaking

I lived here for almost a full year before getting to use my kayaks.  It was tricky getting my ocean kayak to the beach by myself.  There is also a river where I can kayak, but I can’t get either kayak on my car alone.

Toward the end of the summer, I used my kayak twice in the ocean.  Then I figured out how to get both of them to the river by putting one in my trunk and one on my roof rack.  I’ve gone kayaking there 4 or 5 times since September with two of my friends.

I love living in a place where I can walk a few feet and be at the ocean or drive a few blocks and be at the bay.  (They call it a river, but to me it seems to be a bay since it’s connected to the ocean.  I don’t know).  It’s pretty awesome.

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Kayaking Shark River

It’s also great that I have a job where I can finish a full day of work, be home by 3, and still get a few good hours of kayaking before it starts to get chilly.  It has been a nice autumn because the weather has been pretty warm even into November.

Here’s a quick video of getting to see the train while kayaking and also seeing the drawbridge:

Tenth Avenue North concert

I went to this concert back in October and it was just amazing.  They are my favorite Christian band and I had never seen them live before.  It was just what I needed at the end of a great, but long week.

This is my video of compiled video clips from the concert:

I am so happy that my friend Amanda invited me because I would have never known about the concert if it hadn’t been for her.  She is another friend who I met as a result of trying to start the area young adult group with my church.

At the concert, the lead singer for Tenth Avenue North talked about Compassion International, which is the organization I found in order to sign up to sponsor Patience, my sponsored child in Rwanda.

I know from my own experiences in meeting Patience back in August 2015 in Rwanda that Compassion International seems to be doing great things across the world, but hearing even more accounts about it solidified my view of the organization.

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With my sponsored child, Patience, in Rwanda

What is great about Compassion is that they don’t bring in Americans to do the work overseas.  Rather, they use local churches and hire people within each country to oversee the program.  In some places where other sponsorship organizations were denied the opportunity to work in some dangerous areas, Compassion is allowed since they are based out of churches  that already exist in the community.

Catholic Underground

For Catholic Underground, a group of us from our Bible study drove up to NYC.  The church we went to for adoration was completely packed.  They had confession and praise and worship music during adoration and then there was live music downstairs afterwards.  It was an awesome experience, and great to get to know some of the people from my Bible study a little bit better through the long car rides.  I am so thankful for all of these new friends, even though I have only known them since this past summer.

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Some of the people from our Bible study at Catholic underground

I’m also excited about Catholic Underground because I met a guy from Connecticut there who also has an interest in overseas volunteering.  Through him, I might be able to find a connection to Catholic volunteer organizations to potentially serve with in the future.

The beach

It’s so simple, but I just love the beach so much.  I never expected this fall to be so warm that I could continue swimming so late into the year, but I’ve been lucky.  Maybe it’s a sign of global climate change, but for now I’ll just be thankful for the many beach days I’ve had since the end of the summer.

I’ve gone out for many morning beach walks, looking for beach glass and seashells.

I was even able to go swimming the day before Halloween!

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And THEN there was a whale at the beach on a few separate occasions.  Most recently, though, the whale was really close to the shore and it was feeding, so it kept leaping out of the water.  It was so incredibly exciting.

There is a person who lives in a house that overlooks the ocean and early last Saturday, I saw that he posted a live video of a whale.  I could tell it was right by my house.  I was still wearing pajamas, so I pulled on some leggings, threw on a jacket, grabbed my camera, and ran outside.

It was incredible.  The whale stayed in the general area for over an hour.

The picture below is just amazing.  I didn’t take it, but I did see the whale doing that multiple times.  The picture was taken by the guy who lives in the house right by the beach.

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Who needs to pay for a whale watch when you live right by the ocean and can watch them swimming on a random Saturday at 9am?

Here is my video of the whale:

Atlantic City Marathon

Although I’m not completely satisfied with my result since I had an injured achilles tendon and subsequently didn’t beat my previous marathon time of 4:20 (I finished this one in 4:29), I’m happy that I have gotten my health back to a place where I’m even able to attempt (and finish) a marathon in the first place.

When I first moved to New Jersey, I was pretty healthy, but then I quickly started experiencing my Lyme symptoms again.

Last February I started going to hot yoga and that has helped a lot.  Last March I started running again for the first time after almost a year off.  In that  year I did go running, but never enough to actually train for any races.

I also found that I love yoga…something that I had never expected.  I always looked at yoga as glorified stretching, but it’s definitely more than that.

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Backyard yoga practice

I think that yoga helped me to get back into running.  It also seemed to make me faster.  I ran a 10k in May in Sandy Hook, a half marathon in June in Connecticut, a five mile race in July in Belmar, a relay race across the state of New Jersey in August, a half marathon in Sandy Hook in October, and a full marathon in Atlantic City in October.  I had a full year off from running, completing no races at all in 2015 and then I was able to compete in 6 races in 2016.

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Now that I finished the marathon, I have to take a few weeks off from running to rest and heal my achilles.  I know that I would have done better if it hadn’t been for the injury, so I need to make sure that I don’t get back into running too quickly only to re-injure it.


I’m so incredibly thankful for my faith.  It’s not easy.  Sometimes I wish I learned about my faith about an older age.  But right now, I’m so at peace with my life in general and I think that a huge part of that has to do with my faith.

I know that God has a plan for me.

It’s really interesting because it’s the first time I’ve been single in five years.  I’ve been single now since February.  Back when I was in my last two relationships, I really thought that I was happy…especially in my more recent relationship.

Was I happy?  Sure.  But now I feel so much more peace and joy.

I have never been the type of person who needed a relationship to give me confidence in myself, but at the same time,  I liked being in relationships.  They were comfortable.  As a person who likes routine, I liked knowing what to expect each weekend.

But I realize now that both of these relationships were holding me back.  Yes, I was Catholic, and my exes were Catholics as well, but I wasn’t being pushed to grow in my faith.  I was remaining static.

Upon finding myself single last February, I started focusing more on God.  When I prayed, I kept getting the same message.  “Wait.”  Through the entire spring, I just kept doing just that.  Summer arrived and I was still without local friends.  I was still just trying to follow His advice, but it was hard.

I turned to God and running to maintain some sanity.

And then, without even realizing it at the time, things started changing.  I started to meet new people who have turned into new friends.  I found out about Bible study, which has led to many other events.  I found out about the race across the state which led to other new friendships.

Here I am now in November.  I’ve been single for almost exactly 9 months.  And I feel so incredibly joyful.  I feel like my life is exactly where it needs to be right now.

I am healthy.  I am running and going to yoga.  I have awesome students this year at my job and I’m getting to teach the AP class that I love so much again.  I’m living by the beach going for walks, bike rides, and kayaking.  I just got a stand up paddle board this week.  I have amazing friends and Bible study.  God is a main focus in my life right now, and I just feel so blessed.

I didn’t know how to word this post because I know that other people are facing more struggles than I am right now, so I don’t want to sound like everything is sunshine and rainbows.  But at the same time, I can’t contain my gratitude.

I literally drove to work this week with a smile on my face, just thinking about the place I am right now in my life in general.

So if you’re a person who isn’t yet in a good place, you need to turn to God first.  None of my happiness found me until I left it in God’s hands, waiting for things to fall into place.  I was on my knees in tears at adoration.  I was at Stations of the Cross on Friday nights with no other plans for the upcoming weekends.  I was at Mass by myself each Sunday just praying and trying to be patient.

Things do get better.  It may not be according to our own timeline.  God’s timing may not be what we want.  But I don’t think that the joy I feel now would be the same if I hadn’t had the difficult times last winter and spring.  I needed that to now see the dramatic shift that my life has taken.

I don’t know where things will go from here.  But I am content in my belief that God has good plans for me.  He is in charge of my life and I am trying my best to make choices that reflect His will for me.

And right now, it all seems to be working out.  I am joyful, I am thankful, I am blessed.

Whale Off the Coast of Belmar

This was by far one of the best Saturday mornings, and it was completely unexpected.

I was actually feeling a little sad about the colder weather this morning, and along with it, the end of race season.  I love running and training for races (but I’ll save that for another blog).

I was just sitting on my couch grading some of my students’ journals.  I took a little grading break to log onto Facebook.  I clicked on the Belmar Facebook page because I remembered that a friend told me that he saw a whale off the coast one night this week.

Once I opened the page, I saw live video drone footage of a whale.  From the video, I could tell that it was right outside of my exact street!

I was still in my pajamas, so I quickly took off my pants and put on some running leggings.  I didn’t even change my shirt, but just threw a jacket on top.  I took off my socks and ran out the door.

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The videos and photos cannot do it justice, but the whale was so close to shore and it was just amazing to watch.  I walked up the beach, following it while it slowly swam around, leaping every now and then to catch fish.  I could also see fish jumping all over the place.  Surf fishermen and fishing boats started coming out in droves.

I didn’t get any great footage of the whale leaping to eat fish, but watching it in person was simply amazing.

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It was such a beautiful morning by the beach.  It was sunny and the ocean was super calm.  I was probably out there for over an hour, just following the whale, watching it, taking pictures, and chatting with all of the other people who also came down to watch.

This is a really awesome photo.  I didn’t take it, but I did get to see the whale breaching like that with its mouth open and it was amazing!14900389_870353719732279_3700921162615339114_n.jpg

Here is my compiled video footage:

This Summer’s Dating Dilemmas

What an interesting summer it was in terms of some of the males I met.

1. Mr. Nice Guy

Things started out pretty normal back in May and June.  I had been hanging out with a guy for a month or two who I met online.  He was a really nice guy.  Unfortunately, nice just wasn’t enough (see the blog on that topic here: Why Being a Nice Guy Isn’t Enough).

It was enjoyable to have someone to go out to dinner with, go shopping with, and hang out at the beach with.  For our first date, we went out for brunch, then to Barnes and Noble to browse some books, and then we went for a walk on the boardwalk.  It was really nice.

After that, we hung out a few times, had dinners together, went running together, and went to the beach.  He was a nurse practitioner with a good job that he loved.  He was intelligent and kind.  He dressed nice.  But there just wasn’t a spark and he wasn’t too interested in his faith.

Then he invited me to his mom’s wedding and started talking about plans for my birthday and places we could go for a birthday getaway.  And that’s when I realized that he was definitely more into me than I was of him.  I probably could have let it continue a little longer and had a fun summer doing random activities with him, but I knew that my feelings weren’t changing and the longer I kept seeing him, the worse I would feel to end it.  I didn’t want to break either of our hearts.  As it is, I still ended up in tears when I ended things with him since I knew he was really disappointed.

Back to the drawing board.

2. Mr. Inappropriate, Self-Conscious, Fake Runner

This guy I also met online, but we only met up to go running together.  It wasn’t supposed to be a date.

Turns out he hasn’t really run since high school and he’s completely out of shape.  He was four years younger than me, still living at home, never finished college, and was just working at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Now, for a running partner, fine, I don’t really care about any of that.  But if you haven’t run since high school, then you obviously aren’t going to be my training buddy.

We went for a walk on the boardwalk.  He was complaining about walking because he was getting tired.  He definitely hadn’t done any sort of running in a long time.

I was trying to get home as quickly as possible because it was clear that he wanted a date, not a run.  He wanted to sit on a bench to talk, so we did for a little while as I made excuses in my mind about why I had to leave.

He was just a bit of a mess, cursing, uneducated, and making lots of ignorant comments.  I said I had to go home, and he responded, “you aren’t even going to let me see your apartment?”

Uhh, no.  I just met you.  You’re not my cup of tea.  I don’t really trust you due to the whole running facade.  No you can’t come to my apartment.

He was really giving me a hard time, so I just said I had to go.  I proceeded to walk down the wrong street because I wouldn’t have put it past him to follow me home.

He texted me later and I told him that sorry, I wasn’t interested.  To that, he responded with a lovely dick pick with the text, “You could have had this.”  Yes, really.  I was open-mouthed, at a complete loss for words.

I told him how that was completely inappropriate.  He asked me why.  I tried to explain, but he just didn’t get it.  Then he asked me if it was big at least.

WHAT???  No I’m not answering that question.  I said he was inappropriate and that I didn’t want to talk to him.  He went on this sad rant about how he’s just so self conscious because of his height (he wasn’t much taller than me and I’m 5’2″).  Blah blah blah.   I tried one more time to explain why that picture and question were uncalled for, but it didn’t work.  I said goodbye, thinking it was over.

He proceeded to text me the next day, begging me to answer.  I had to actually block his number because he just didn’t get the point.

3. Mr. 40-Something Fist Pumping Lifeguard

I met this lifeguard early on in the summer while going on my usual morning beach walk.  He approached me, talking about the weather or something like that.  He asked where I was from and how long I was here, clearly thinking I was a tourist.  I explained that I live here.

Once I said that, he should have ended the conversation and moved on.  It’s now clear that he just wanted a tourist who he could hook up with, then never see again once they went back home.  Instead, he kept chatting for a while.  He had the perfect lifeguard tan and body, and he worked as a gym and health teacher.  I didn’t know much else, but he seemed nice, so I gave him my number when he asked for it.

Then I continued to see him almost every time I walked on the beach.  Every time he would ask me to go to DJais (the typical crazy Jersey Shore-type, slutty outfits, fist pumping meathead-type bar).  Every time I told him no thanks, especially after explaining that I don’t drink and that I’m not really into the bar scene…especially the DJais-type bar/club scene.

One time he said that maybe we could get dinner one day.  I said fine.  That was the last time I ever heard about dinner.  Every other time, it was just about DJais.  He even told me that DJais isn’t so bad on the weekdays and that I would probably only get my butt grabbed by one guy (rather than more on the weekend?).  Uhhh….I’m good.  One butt grab is one too many.

Toward the end of the summer I saw him less since he flew to Cali for some national lifeguard competition and I went to volunteer in Nicaragua.

At some point I was curious about his age, and when I found out that he had been teaching for such a long time in his school, I realized that he had to be in his 40s.  I’m 28.  That’s a little old for me.

At the end of the summer, he moved back home, yet still asked me if he was back here visiting the lifeguards if he could text me so we could hang out.  Uhhh.  NO.  All you want to do is go to the bar.  I don’t like bars and I don’t drink.  What about that do you not understand???

I wonder if this situation will replay itself again next summer.

4. Mr. Afraid to Show His Faith to the World

I met another guy online who was really into his faith, he loved running, and he was studying to be a teacher.  Perfect, right?

We met up for lunch at a Mexican place.  It was fine.  A little awkward, but that’s not too abnormal for a first date.  Then we went for a walk on the beach.

I could tell really quickly that he liked me more than I liked him.  I was ready to say goodbye at the restaurant, but he doesn’t live as close to the beach as I do, so I said I’d show him the beach when he asked me to.

Part of what drew me to him was his strong faith, but once we actually talked about it, it was clear that although it was something that was important to him, he didn’t want to share at all.  He said he never spoke to anyone about his faith; he preferred to just pray to himself.

That’s all completely fine.  I understand the feeling.  But I’d ideally prefer someone who is a little more open about it.  For me, it’s something that I definitely want to talk about if I’m with people who are close to me.

Then I learned that he was living at home, had to go back to school to finish his teaching program since he had a different job before deciding on a career switch, and was currently living in a hotel since his parents were selling their house and moving.  Ehhh…

5. Mr. 60+ Years Old in a Speedo

Do you need a visual?  Here you go:

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I apologize for that, but I was the one stuck there on that towel talking to him while he did not take my hints that I was not interested in making conversation. And don’t worry, he had no idea that I snuck that picture…it was just one of those “I can’t make this stuff up” situations.

I was just sitting at the beach minding my own business.  I was reading a book, enjoying the late afternoon weather.  He looked at me from his chair, which was probably 20 feet away from me.  He said hi; I said the same back.  I was just being polite.  He asked me some small-talk-type question.  I responded once again, then tried to get back to my book.  He asked if I would like to take a walk with him down the beach to stop at 7/11 for coffee.  I declined the offer and he left.

Then I saw him heading back my way after his walk, coffee cup in hand.  I tried to busy myself in my book, but next thing I know, there he was, all sprawled out in the sand next to me.  Legs spread, Speedo out in all its glory.

Now, I am usually pretty good at ending conversations when I’m not interested in someone.  This time, I was a miserable failure in that respect.  He just kept talking.

And he wasn’t even being nice.  He asked about the book I was reading and when I explained that it was about sisters who are interracial, it was clear that he was racist.

Then he asked about my tattoos and then asked if I was a “Bible thumper.”  He told me I was a bad Catholic for having tattoos, even though he doesn’t know much about Catholicism regardless.  And on and on.

He complained about Belmar not being the party town that it used to be.  As a local, I like that it no longer has the crazy party reputation.

I saw him at the beach the next day, but luckily my friend was with me, so he stayed away.  And he’s actually from NYC so although I saw him in passing one other time during the summer, he didn’t see or speak to me.

6. Mr. Reality TV Dirtball Pilot

This is definitely the most interesting of the guys I met this summer, but I DO NOT mean interesting in a good way.

I was on an 8-mile run in early September, when summer was dying down.  I was about 3 miles from home, running on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, when a guy on a bike started riding next to me.  He asked me if bikes were allowed yet and I said I didn’t think they were allowed until September 15th.  I now realize that considering he lives here, he knew the rules.  He just wanted to talk.

So he continued asking me some questions and talking to me while I ran.  It seemed a little strange, but he seemed really nice, and it broke up the monotony of a long run.

It turned out he was a pilot for a major airline, but because of his part-time work schedule, he had lots of days off, and he mainly worked out, rode his bike, went to the beach, and used his stand up paddle board.  Wow, I love all of those things, I thought.

He biked next to me for about a mile while we talked about random stuff.  I didn’t have my phone on me, so I gave him my number and he said he would text me later.

We lived pretty close to each other, so I was excited to have someone to potentially go to the beach with, run with, or ride bikes with.

A few days later after work, we were both on the beach, so I walked down to where he was.  We went swimming and went for a walk.  He didn’t seem to be the best listener in the world, but I wanted to give him a chance.

Let’s make the long story short.  I started getting weird vibes from him, so I found his name online.  It turns out that not only is he a pilot, but he also had his own TV show about a haircutting place he owned in Long Branch (which no longer exists) where the girls cut hair while wearing bikinis.

The episodes are online and when I clicked on one, I could not believe what a jerk this guy was.  I know that reality shows typically portray people in the worst, most extreme light, but if he was even 10% like his character on the show, that was too much for me.

His whole life seems to be based around the size of his muscles, his arrogance, and the number of women whose numbers he can get and who he can get into his bed.

He even told me at one point that he liked to have a “local hookup” and that I was “convenient.”  I told him about my faith, so he either wasn’t listening, didn’t believe me, didn’t care, or viewed it as a challenge.  No, I would not like to be your local, convenient hookup chick.

7. Mr. Lying Surfer

Then, on another random September afternoon, I was going for a walk on the beach, when a guy was getting ready to go surfing.  He said hi and asked me about something.  We talked for a little while.  He was a local surf instructor and he seemed pretty cool.  He was just returning from a surf competition he was in that day in Long Beach Island.  He asked if I had my phone on me, but I didn’t and he didn’t have his phone on him either.  So he said he hoped we’d cross paths again and I continued on my way.

To my surprise, a few days later, I was walking down the steps off the boardwalk to head home after a run and at that exact moment, he was riding by on his skateboard.

He asked for my number.  I didn’t have my phone on me again, but I gave him my number because he offered to teach me how to surf.

He called me at some point, but I was busy, so I called him back another time and we chatted for a tiny bit.  Then he asked me out around 7pm one day, but it was to go out at that moment.  Sorry, no, I need a little notice.

Then the next day I was at the beach with my friend.  He asked if we could hangout and I told him no, that I was with my friend.  So he texted me while I’m with my friend on the beach saying that he was on the boardwalk right then and there and that I should go talk to him.  Um, no.  I told you that I was with a friend.  So he left only to text me a little while later to ask if my friend and I wanted to come watch him surf in Avon.  No again, like I said, I was with a friend.

He texted and called a few times after that to ask me out.  Every time he was asking me out between 8 and 10pm for a date that would happen that night.  No.  That’s not how I roll.  Every time he called, I was legitimately busy, so I’d just text him back later on saying sorry.

Then I had a difficult time when my great uncle passed away, there were some family issues going on, and then my grandma passed away just 3 days after my uncle.  Work was stressful.  I wasn’t in the best mood.

He called me one day that week at 8pm, but I was out at Bible study.  I got home after 10pm, so I texted him since I needed to go to bed and didn’t have time to talk on the phone.  He asked if I would come over.  Uhh, it’s 10:20pm.  We’ve never hung out before.  What must you want?  Hmmm…sex, maybe?

So I told him no and he basically proceeded to tell me how I’m weird because I only text and don’t talk on the phone (which isn’t true, it just happened to turn out that way with him), and I’m just too negative for him.

I explained that it was an abnormally depressing and stressful week.  He ignored my comment about the deaths in my family and just said that he likes to associate himself around positive people.

I said bye, trying to end the conversation, but it was clear  that surprised him, despite him being so rude.  At some point in the conversation, I had asked him how old he was.  He told me he was 28.  I said, “oh, me too!” To which he admitted that he was actually 26.  So when he called me out for my negativity, I called him out for lying, but he ignored that comment.

I’m glad I never went on a real date with him, since it would have been a complete waste of time anyway.  I just couldn’t believe that he had the nerve to say I was being negative when I had two family members die just days apart.  Yes, I’m feeling sad, I think that’s quite normal, given the situation, thank you very much.


So that concludes my summer of, um, interesting(?) guys.  Never a dull moment, that’s for sure!

Snow Days are Fun for Teachers, Too!

This morning I woke up at 5:31 as usual and it was snowing.  But it had been 54 degrees outside yesterday.  The snow couldn’t really be sticking, could it?

I was eating breakfast when I got the phone call from my school district that we had a 2-hour delay.  The recording said that they would call again at 7:15 with an update.

I usually leave for work at 6am.  By 7:45, I had received no call, so I started cleaning off my car.  I had gotten dressed, packed my lunch, the whole routine.

I got in my car to drive to work, but I realized that my side mirrors still had snow on them, so I got out of my car one more time to clean them off.  The moment I sat back down, I got the text that school was closed today.

Initially, I was frustrated.  I was already dressed and in my car (though some teachers were already at school) and now that we have a snow day, our extra day off next weekend gets taken away.

But that’s when I realized that it was snowing pretty hard.  I looked down the road and I could tell that it was even snowing on the beach.

I have never been on the beach before during a snowstorm, so I put on my snow clothes and walked down to the beach.  I was running around, having a good ol’ time, taking pictures and videos with my cell phone.

That’s when I remembered that I now have a GoPro.  I really didn’t want to ruin my phone by getting it too wet from the snow, so I went inside to get the GoPro before going back out for quite a bit of more fun in the snow.

I had planned to get a lot of grading done today.  Instead, I just had a fun time outside, shoveled my driveway, and then went outside again.  I’d say it was a pretty great snow day.

My snow day, for your viewing pleasure: