Written by Heather Foley
Just a few short years ago (ok fine, more like a decade ago but when you get old you start to round down) I would head down to M St Beach with a Jackie Collins novel and be one of two people at the beach…the other being a nutjob with a metal detector obvi. I didn’t really have to worry about anyone else and could do pretty much as I pleased because who really cares what metal detector Joe thinks. Oh how times have changed. The beaches in Southie have gone from underused oasis to some of the best and cleanest in the country, and hence some of the most crowded. Now for the record I am not complaining. I’m glad our beaches are being used and that people of all ages are enjoying them, BUT when beaches are more crowded your etiquette game needs to be on point, and some of ya’ll need help, aka me. Sidebar, I don’t know how a woman who was once shut off at and asked to leave a Jason Mraz concert became the Caught In Southie go-to for etiquette but here we are. Anyhoo, here are my beach etiquette tips!
Location is everything. As the beaches get more crowded, there’s less space for each of us, it’s just science. But you really shouldn’t just plop down right on top of a stranger. Give people room to breathe for Christ’s sake.
Watch the blowback. You’re at the beach, there’s sand, I get it, but watch where you kick that stuff up. Is there anything worse than when someone shakes the sand off their towel and into your face? No, no there isn’t.
Don’t feed the birds. Feeding the birds should be punishable by firing squad and I’ll fight anyone who disagrees.
Come get your children please. Newsflash – no one sitting near your group wants to play with your kid. Actually no one even in your group wants to play with your kid, so don’t let your kiddo strong-arm strangers into building a sandcastle or letting them play cornhole. Nobody wants to be the jerk who tell a kid they don’t want to play with them, so control your rug rat before it gets there. Also maybe keep an eye on the wee ones in the water because they’re giving everyone anxiety.
Watch your god damn mouth. I say this as someone with a slight salty vocabulary, but watch your mother-f*cking mouth. There are people of all ages and language tolerance levels at the beach, so be conscious of those around you.
Your music is terrible. Taste in beach music is very personal and subjective, no one wants someone else’s music blaring in their ear. Keep your tunes below a dull roar please. If you promise not to blast your country Sunday funday playlist I’ll promise not to blast my Barry Manilow deep cuts (#fanilow).
Pick up your trash. Is this common sense? Yes, of course. Is common sense all that common? Alas, it is not. I am absolutely horrified by how some of you leave the beach. You know better, shame on you! Pick up your God damn garbage, you garbage person! I’ll give you that the city of Boston (or the state, I have no idea who’s in charge) needs to do a better job with the barrels, but do us all a solid and start packing a trash bag with your beach gear.
It’s not all fun and games. The beach is fun! You want to eat fun food, drink fun drinks, tell fun stories, and play fun games! But if you need to jump over a random stranger to play ultimate Frisbee or have hit the same person three times with a football, maybe don’t with the games this time. Just a suggestion.
I’m a little worried I’m coming off as a giant grump when really I’m more of a lovable curmudgeon. I swear I’m a good time! I just think when we share a common space we need to be aware, and dare I say respectful of the people around us. The beach is no different. People just want to relax and have a good time, and that can be hard to do when the people two feet away are being jackasses. So I guess just don’t be a jackass, happy beaching!