Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Hat

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. We’re in the middle of our yearly Spring Break excursion to Costa Rica. I’ll have a couple posts once I shake all the sand out of our clothes.

In the weeks leading up to our trip, I was determined to avoid my yearly barf-a-thon from sun exposure. It was me against my Irish/Polish/German skin.  I was determined to prevent the life giving Goddess of Sol from befouling my ivory epidermis.

Step one? Shades. I briefly worked on The Oakley account, so I had a few pairs of half price sunglasses hidden in the tiny shoebox that contains last Rick-only items in our house. I picked out a big, oversized pair with bright purple lenses.

Next? Sun-proof shirt. I wanted something I could wear to the beach and the pool and had a cool name like “Rash Guard.” I don’t particularly like the feel of wet clothes, so I went a size up, so I’d have room to breathe.

And the final piece of my arsenal? The hat. Since I barfed into my last hat on the plane ride back from Mexico, I felt like I needed to upgrade past my usual Bears baseball hat with the factory added distressed look. I searched high and low, and after combing the internet for a full seven minutes, I decided on a replica of the jungle hats our armed forces wore in Vietnam. If it worked for the thousands of men sent to their deaths for a vague anti-Communist agenda, it would work for me. Besides, if some of Costa Rican locals mistook me for a Marine Sergeant on leave with his family, would that be so bad?

We arrived at our beachside paradise shortly after noon, so we had time to hit the pool before dinner. We all raced to put on our swim gear. I was excited to put my sun stuff to the test. Since I had more stuff to put on, the rest of the family waited patiently on our little patio. I made my grand entrance.

I often wondered if I would loose my sons’ admiration slowly over time or I would suddenly and dramatically become uncool. The look on their faces showed my uncool had arrived with the force of a hurricane. I looked at my reflection in the sliding glass door. I was so violently dorky looking that no amount of detached, ironic reverse psychology could save me. I looked like a 1980’s computer programmer mated with a non-Indiana Jones archeologist.

“It’s…it’s for the sun,” I protested. Diana averted her eyes so she could maintain some kind of marital-obligated attraction to me.

We went to the pool and I fumbled with the water toys to complete my look. Two fashionable gay men stared agape from the swim up bar. I hid in the water, lamely batting at the swim shirt that had filled with air to give me the appearance of having oversized breasts.

Oh, and I threw up the next day from too much sun.

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