The ‘the outside’ category

Lobster in August? Check.

August 30th, 2017

The other day I brought my daughters to the ocean for the second time ever. The first time, they were nine months old and we were on a town beach just south of Boston. There was a lot going on. The surf was hectic, the beach crowded, and I was having an out-of-body experience the entire time. So this time was really their first bona fide Eastern-shore-on-an-August-day memory — one of many to come, I hope.

This time, I was blissed out with nostalgia vibes because I myself grew up on the summer beaches of New England, tempting fate in the cold salty surf of the Atlantic. It made my heart expand to see my daughters take to the frigid water like naturals. I watched my husband teach them how to build sandcastles and witnessed their thrill at being slapped by their first waves. At some point, I decided to go back to our blanket, way up the beach, and enjoy a sandwich while everyone else stayed down at the water with the girls.

My Aunt Joan is the best hostess of all time. She had packed lobster sandwiches and watermelon slices for our brief beach day, as one does. I unwrapped a half a lobster sandwich and contentedly bit into it, reveling in my perfect summer day.

That’s when the ferocious mob of seagulls swooped in for the kill.  

Suddenly, there was a mad flapping around my head. I couldn’t see, didn’t know what was happening, and before I knew it, something had bitten my finger and flown away with my sandwich. With a cacophony of loud squawking and some pretty serious infighting, my sandwich disappeared into the merciless mob. 

I was incredulous, and kind of embarrassed. “Honey,” said the salty local on the next blanket, “You need to eat under your umbrella. You can’t just hold your sandwich up like that.” I felt like a beach neophyte. 

The embarrassment passed pretty quickly though, and then I started laughing. This is the kind of ridiculous shit I actually live for. Yes, I lost half a lobster sandwich, which is a legit tragedy. On the other hand, I got to have the experience of being attacked by a pack of seagulls! I mean, it was worth it, is all I’m saying. The real tragedy is that no one caught it on film. 

The second life lesson I learned about lobster sandwiches that day is that they are not the best-ever snacks for toddlers to eat in their car seats. Hours later Jon was insisting that he could still smell lobster, and indeed I did find a bunch of lobster meat stuffed down into the cracks in the car seat. Eeeeeeew. Lobster is one of those substances that devolves quickly from “delicacy” to “putrid mess” under the right circumstances, and my husband, who didn’t grow up in New England, doesn’t totally get the lobster fixation in the first place.

I think I might be more of a fancy restaurant kind of lobster sandwich girl. I had the opportunity for a do-over later that evening when Jon and I went out to dinner (alone!) at a spectacular Portsmouth restaurant with a breathtaking view. I ordered a $30 lobster roll. 

Jon, though, is basically a breatharian. I mean, he eats, but he doesn’t really need to. He never says “I’m hungry” and I have certainly never seen him hangry.  He got the basic fish tacos, but he did consent to try my lobster sandwich, finally. And I think he was impressed.

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