Enough! Stop it! I can’t take it anymore! It’s only May and if I read just one more article about how to be a surf or beach goddess then I swear I will lose my shit. I’ve had it up to here with fitspiration, bikini body countdowns, tan extenders, appetite suppressants ads and which bronzing palate to use. So here’s my guide to being un-goddessy, which I have based on some friends I have met over the years…
Eat more chips
This is the easiest way to achieve non goddess status. Chips are extremely versatile and can be eaten in wedges or skinny fries and with a variety of different condiments. However they must be eaten with fingers and straight from the wrapper and ideally sitting on a sea wall with legs dangling over. The art of dangling is an important one. When you’ve finished eating your chips you must rub your salty, greasy fingers on your jeans. I have a friend who says she can tell what a man is like in bed by the way he surfs. Sadly I don’t have enough statistical evidence of my own to back this up. But I believe the way a woman eats chips is indicative of other things. Watch the way she salivates and smacks her lips lasciviously and tosses her head back and devours them with whole-hearted attention and then slaps her hands on her lusty thighs. A woman who is horny for chips is horny for life.
If you really want to be a non-goddess there is absolutely no such thing as oversharing. You’ll have just met her but she’ll gladly tell you about the worst date of her life, or the worst sex. At the surf camp where I work, every week I would have a contest with one of the other instructors to see who could tell the clients the most inappropriate story. The ethos behind the whole thing was that often the clients are pretty uptight, stressed people; so our shocking story would help loosen them up. This other instructor would win the contest pretty much every week because she is much more rambunctious than me and gets up to all kinds of shenanigans. My idea of fun these days is going to bed at 8.30pm on a Friday night and getting up at 7am to go to an 8am circuits class. But I did beat her one week when I told the story about the time I did a number two in a wetsuit (I was experiencing severe toilet issues).
- Know all the lyrics to the following songs:
Wannabe – Spice Girls; Back for good – Take That; Live to Tell – Madonna; Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; Hold on – Wilson Phillips; Creep – Radiohead; Wake me up before you go go – Wham!; Total eclipse of the heart – Bonnie Tyler; Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
- Know the chorus to the following songs:
Come on Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners; Girls and Boys – Blur; Echo Beach – Martha and the Muffins; There she goes – The La’s; She’s like the Wind and Hungry Eyes from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack; Go your own way – Fleetwood Mac; Wuthering Heights – Kate Bush (must be sung in a sort of witchy, wild woman voice)
To really be a committed non-goddess you must never be well prepared. She never remembers to set an alarm, so she’s always saying things like “I’ll see you at the beach at 7am”, but then she’ll traipse along at 10am. That one time that she did set the alarm she ended up just pressing snooze every 8 minutes for an entire 2 and a half hours. She never has spare leash strings, wax or a wax comb. However she is resourceful, for example it’s fine to use a fork instead of a wax comb…
I can’t talk about the non-goddess without mentioning her go-to hangover meal – it’s outstanding. She starts by eating something very starchy, ideally this will be last night’s leftover cold pizza. Then she will have two massive bowls of Coco Pops filled to the brim and spilling over onto the floor. And then a bag of Haribo tangfastics. If she was in the UK she would definitely buy a packet of mini Cheddars, and not the small packet but the big bumper packet that’s always on special offer for a pound near the till. Fluid-wise she’ll drink 2 bottles of 500ml Powerade, either orange or tropical because they don’t seem to do the melon one anymore. And then as much San Pelligrino Limonata as she can lay her hands on.
A key thing about the non-goddess is that she really excels at the all the activities that kind of go around surfing. For instance, she has a phenomenal grasp of organizing boat trips out to spots and then jumping off the boat. Her apres-surf game is unbeatable. I always know what she’s going to order at the apres-surf brunch. Usually it’s a dirty burger with bacon rashers and gorgonzola cheese and of course chips (except she calls them ‘wedges’ and they have rosemary on them so she tells herself that they are healthy). Her favourite smoothie is ‘The Power of Cacao’. She always says that the bit of surfing that she’s best at is the 3 hour nap immediately after brunch. There’s always chocolate in her fridge. One time in October (the darkest depths of the low season when chocolate stocks in the supermarkets are low) I opened her fridge and there was a strawberry yoghurt flavoured Rittersport in there. I couldn’t believe it that she would stoop so low. Rittersport is the manky-est, most awful chocolate bar with probably about 5 percent cacao and strawberry yoghurt is the grossest flavor of all. We ate it and it was delicious.
I can remember the first night I met this particular non-goddess. It was happy hour at the Playa Carmen Pizzeria and she had 2 strawberry daiquiris and then devoured some guacamole and chips and the lion’s share of the pizzas. Later that night she bought some street meat (aka meat on a stick from a roadside vendor). I was impressed, even though I’m a vegetarian, and I knew we would be friends.
The non surf goddess is an animal lover. She doesn’t know the cool gang of surfers, but she definitely knows all the dogs, their names and their habits. Actually, come to think of it, she prefers dogs to people.
To be a true non-goddess you have to put comfort over sexiness when surfing. The FCS hat with its attractive under chin cinch strap is a wardrobe essential. As is a face covered with white, pasty zinc. After surfing though it’s a whole different story. I would say that she definitely has her own sense of style, for instance she has this one dress that reminds of Hiawatha and she wears big pieces of statement jewelry and floaty feathers and a necklace-y thing that sits on her forehead. One time I swear she wore a negligée to work, and because it was her of course she got away with it.
In many ways the non-goddess is like Marmee from Little Women because she’s kind and dispenses good advice. One time I had a guy coming to visit me and there was a hopeful chance that he might get to see my knickers (North Americans call these undergarments ‘panties’, but that word creeps me out). In Nicaragua there are some very nice ladies who sit at the side of the road selling knickers on plastic tables. And this is where I buy my knickers. I really like them because they are very comfortable, 100 percent cotton, have wide sides, full butt coverage and a strong gusset. However, I am aware that they are not very suitable for romantic occasions. My friend Benny was going to the US for a short trip so I went on the Victoria’s Secret website and selected the most modest ones and wrote down all the details like serial number, style, collection etc. I gave Benny the money and then a week later she came back and she had completely ignored my list. Instead she came back with lacy thongs, leopard print cheekies and hot pink bikini knickers with frills and ruching and sexy slogans written on the back. I was really cross and put them in the back of my drawer and didn’t wear them for months. And then one day I’d run out of clean laundry so I wore Benny’s knickers and surprisingly they were really comfy and they became my favourite ones. I’m mentioning this story because I think sometimes our friends know what is best for us even though it doesn’t seem like it at the time.
I should point out that the non-goddess is not some kind of beach bum, hanging out in hammocks all day. She works hard and helps people; she’s the orthopedic doctor you might see if you broke your leg, or she works in international development, or she has a job that involves saying things like “send me those contracts over immediately”. Because at the end of the day she wants to be able to say something about her life that’s not just about having beachbody abs or perky tits. She uses surfing to de-stress. She likes meditation, but the other day she noticed on itunes that she’s listened to her Tibetan bowls meditation download 3 times, and Adele’s ‘Hello’ 287 times. She also uses yoga to relax, but finds sometimes that a glass of Pinot Grigio and a couple of episodes of Seinfeld are just as effective. Her knowledge of Seinfeld is incredible, in fact she used to organize Seinfeld pub quizzes.
But most of all the non-goddess has a big heart and is full of love and light. There’s always at least one person crashing on her couch. She’s a connector of people, the social glue that brings together all the waifs and the strays of the town (ie people like me). She’s always up for going on surf trips and generously lets us use her car. When she makes rum and cokes she fills the glass with ice and then it’s a very generous measure of rum, next she uses the juiciest limes and squeezes in a ton of lime, and then just the smallest splash of coke. Genius! At night her patio is the place to sup on these libations, and the next day it is known as ‘hangover sanctuary’, where lovers of merriment convalesce with San Pelligrino Limonatas and baked treats from the supermarket, whilst maintaining high levels of jollity. When she laughs she tosses her head back and roars… and that really is the best medicine.
- A force of nature
And finally, and of course this goes without saying, the hottest men in the town are drawn to her like moths to a flame.
Next month: Surf, love, life – 24 things I’ve learnt in 42 years.