I’ve got Spring Fever in a big way. The way this fever presents is threefold: (a) frequent longing looks out classroom windows, followed by dramatic sighs, (b) a fervent desire to cover every available surface with hyacinths and paperwhites, and (c) a Vitamin D deficiency that is manifesting itself in a gloomy mood, scratchy throat, and sore muscles. This fever has been exacerbated by the fact that today, it snowed. What the hell? Someone missed the memo that next week is Spring Break.
Even the dogs have Spring Fever, which they’ve let me know by behaving very badly of late. I came home Monday morning to discover that they’d eaten my copy of Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love, which I needed to review for an exam that afternoon. They followed it up by eating The Rime of the Ancient Mariner on Tuesday. I had no idea the dogs were pining for reading material, but I can only guess that what they’re really trying to tell me is they want to go to the beach, which is my favorite place to read.
It will be Spring Break soon, but sadly, I have as much to do over the break as I do in any other given week: papers to write, books to read, notes to review. Remember when Spring Break was actually a break? For those of us who grew up in everyone’s favorite vacation destination, Spring Break was a break, but it also meant annoying traffic at “our beach” and lots of drunk northerners who, two days in, looked like scalded chickens.
It seemed like every year, some moronic teenager, fueled by a cocktail of Busch beer and Southern Comfort, would hurl himself off a Daytona Beach balcony, in an attempt to (1) catch big air, dude, (2) impress a girl, (3) garner the admiration of his comrades-in-idiocy, and (4) hit the pool below. Spectacular fails on all counts meant that the guy invariably ended up in the ER, while his friends packed their stuff, having been booted from the premises by management.
While the Spring Break tradition is alive and well in various parts of the country (e.g. those places that have not yet calculated the cost/benefit ratio and banned students from all hotels within a fifty mile radius), it seems like many high school and college students are finding better ways to spend their time off: volunteering, doing mission work, enrolling in intensive two-week courses. And I encourage all of that, because in the name of all adults desperately in need of a break, I would like to ask you to join me in a movement I’m calling: TAKE BACK THE BEACH.
Take Back the Beach (TBTB) is a mission to reclaim Spring Break for those of us who remember it before MTV arrived and made flashing your boobs a rite of passage. It is for all of us who desperately need to worship the sacraments of sun, sand and saltwater … not to mention the Blessed Trinity of Jim, Johnny and Jose. (Amen). To qualify as a member of the TBTB Movement, you must have gray hair (or spend money to cover it every month), at least one kid, and be much closer to the brink of (in)sanity than you ever thought possible.
Now, our first step will be to choose a destination and convince the local businesses that they need to get behind the TBTB movement. This ought to be an easy sell for the hotels, for the following reasons:
- We adults like our own space, and won’t be inviting ten of our friends to crash on the floor of our room because “bro, you can just pay me back in weed, man, and stay here, it’s totally cool.”
- We can handle our alcohol and we have lawyers, which will free the hotel from hiring cops to listen to sob stories about how Mom/Dad/Coach/the Scholarship Committee is gonna kick our ass because we’re going to jail for violating the open container law and being drunk and disorderly.
- We go to bed at 9:30 pm. Maybe 10:30, if it’s a big night. 11 is pushing it. Definitely by midnight.
- We like music, but not too loud, and mainly the same stuff we listened to as teenagers, except at lower volume. Also — and this is a big plus if we go to Florida — the lyrics to our music won’t cause infarctions in the elderly guests.
There will be a few additional costs to the hotels, but they should be offset by the more rooms, more revenue scenario — costs like umbrellas (we like to be in the sun, but not all day), fluffier towels (we’re not looking to exfoliate with cheap linens), bottled water (Mama needs her Pellegrino), and extra ice buckets (obvious).
The rules to our Spring Break will be simple: No one under 18. That’s it. Anything else goes.
So what do you say, peeps? Can we reclaim Spring Break for those of us who deserve it?
While you decide if you’re in, I’m going to treat my Spring Fever with a nap. If I’m lucky, I’ll dream about the beach. These two hooligans, on the other hand, will no doubt be dreaming about the next great work of literature they’d like to eat.