Dino, and his friend Mickey, were picking me up at 7 a.m.
We were heading to Gilgo Beach, Long Island! Never having been there, I was very excited about going! I did not know that Dino and Mikey were surfers. I thought the only thing that Brooklyn boys knew, how to do, was fish off the Emmons Avenue bridge. However, when the invite came, I was not shocked; my boyfriend, afterall, was a huge Beach Boys fan. ("Help Me, Rhonda!")
My mom prepared sandwiches, and snacks, while I prepared myself. I parted my hair and clipped the top half with 10 "bobby pins". (My daughters refer to bobby pins as little, archaic hair devices.) I then attached to this, my beautiful "FALL," which I had purchased with my hard earned money. Having secured the FALL in place, I then gingerly put on my fake eyelashes (one strip to each eye).
I finished off the look with my black mascara and liner. Twiggy and London's Mod Invasion had captured the states...at least NYC. I may have not had Twiggy's body (my mom insisted I eat!) but, I did have her eyes!! I used my blush to give myself a sunswept look. I put on my two piece bathing suit, looked in the mirror, and smiled. Annette Funicello would be proud of me! I took a deep breath. I was ready.
Fast forward: So after about an hour, of watching Dino and Mickey ATTEMPT to ride a wave, I decided to go in the water and cool off. The temperature, according to the WMCA Good Guys, was at 95 degrees; clear skies and sunny! I did realize that the ONLY people IN the water were surfers, and that no one was just standing by the shoreline, but it was very hot, and I knew no better. I walked in. The water was not very deep.
I walked in some more. I was standing "knee deep". Looking out to the horizon, I spotted Dino and Mickey paddling on their boards. I walked towards them.. another foot or so. I bent at the waist and cupping water with my right hand, I splashed my left shoulder and chest. It felt wonderfully cold and refreshing!
As I bent forward, to repeat this, I noticed that the water had suddenly been drawn away from me. I looked up and, dear Mary, Mother of God!!! It was the BIGGEST wave I had ever seen in my short life. I was sure to drown in it! I turned my back to it, thinking it would pass me..but instead... I felt the strongest push on my back!
In an instant, I was pushed downward and dragged by the waves to the pebbly shoreline. Gasping for air, ( I must have swallowed a gallon of ocean water), I spat out what I could...a "saltwater/saliva mix". Feeling razor burn pain, I looked down at my bloody knees and thighs which must have scraped EVERY tiny, (expletive) pebble and broken seashell that lined the Gilgo beachfront! I was in PAIN. I started to cry.
As I limped out of the water, half dead, it occured to me that a heavy piece of sea weed was draping my shoulder! Eeeww! Touching it, I realized, "holy mackeral!" It's my FALL!!! It's come undone! My boyfriend would now realize that my hair was merely a fake piece!! I started to run towards our blanket. Sitting quickly, and praying that Dino and Mickey would continue their meager Jan & Dean impersonations, I yanked off my fall, and wrung it out, like a wet dish towel!!! I wrapped it in my towel and tucked it away at the bottom of my beachbag.
As I sat there, trying to knot up my shoulder length real hair, I felt something in my ear!! Uuugghhh! I quickly swatted it!! I looked down. OMG!! It was not a sandfly, but one of my fake eyelashes!! If one is off, where is the other?!!! I felt my sand covered face..and found the other lone eyelash pasted on my left cheek. I removed it, joined it up with its mate, and buried them both deep in the sand, using my thumb! I was not happy.
I probably looked like crap; where is a mirror when you NEED one?! As I sat there, nursing my wounds and pulling tiny pebbles out from my bathing suit top, I watched the 2 wannabe surfers attempting to ride a wave. I was not very different than my boyfriend. I ..pretending to be a Beach Blanket babe, and he, from Sheepshead Bay, pretending to be a Hawaiian native....each of us trying to impress the other.
**addendum** 42 years later, he still sings "Help Me Rhonda"..as I shout back.."What's her number? I'll dial for you."