Surfing Sundays


One of our Good Memories was Surfing Sundays. During the winter months we’d pack up our gear and food and head down to Shell Beach. Shell Beach is a secluded beach that sees a decent swell in the winter months. We’d meet up with my friend Bill and his family. Other families often joined in on our little beach party. It was a regular crowd of cool people.

It is here that Bill got me out on the surfboard. The first time I got beyond the surf break I sat up and less that 10 yards away a seal poked his head up and stared at me with those big black eyes of theirs. It was then and there that I transformed from an Ohio boy to a Californian.

My Kids and I had fun playing and hanging out with everyone. Besides surfing, there was boogie boards, bodysurfing, digging sand forts, frisbee, bocce ball, and beach combing. We all shared our food and drink. By late afternoon we’d pack up and head home, tired but rejuvenated for the week ahead.

Over time Janet started making up excuses for not going. She would tell the kids Shell Beach was too rocky, there was too much seaweed, that it was unsafe for them to swim there. She’d tell me that the girls shouldn’t be hanging out with them, implying that they were not “good enough”. I was like “what the hell are you talking about? The girls always have fun together.”

Eventually we stopped going to Surfing Sundays. Occasionally I’d suggest it to the kids but Janet wouldn’t hear of it. I didn’t have anything to tell Bill why we stopped going. But as it turned out, I didn’t need to tell them why.

One day Janet ran into Bill’s wife and accused her of trying to start an affair with me. Heated words were exchanged. Bill’s wife, of course, vehemently denied it. Running into Bill or his wife suddenly became very awkward. And I had no clue why.

Once I asked Janet if we could do something with Bill’s family. She became unreasonable and we got into an argument over her obstinate behavior. It was during that heated exchanged when she told me about her accusing Bill’s wife of hitting on me. Janet didn’t directly accuse me because she knew she made the entire thing up.

I stuck with this woman out of love and morality, even when she was hurting me. Don’t believe anyone who says I didn’t care enough, or love enough. I’m getting my life back. I focus on the present, and don’t dwell on the bad times because that’s not healthy.

But it’s hard to carry those good memories like Surfing Sundays, when they are tainted with the realization that Janet was pushing away my friends, my activities, and my kids.