Monday, June 28, 2010

Shoebie, Shoebie, Do....

Not wanting to give into a lazy-do-nothing Sunday, last weekend my daughter, her friend and I braved the 90+ degree weather and headed to the shore to be “shoebies” for the day. Daughter’s boyfriend also paid us a visit at our beach-blanket address at 34th Street in Ocean City (mainly because there is a bathroom there…I cannot possibly go the entire day without going to the bathroom and the obvious alternative is not an attractive option).

We packed our chairs, umbrellas, beach bags – complete with towels, sunscreen, reading materials, sunglasses – and our lunch and headed to this sandy slice of heaven. Now, you have to understand, the Jersey shore is one of my favorite places ever. What makes it even better, in my estimation (some would, of course, argue) is the variety of conversations that one is lucky enough to overhear and the antics of families that spawn those sometimes banal conversations. On this particular day, I overheard a litany of platitudes about sunscreen, dinner and, of course, the always unpleasant but somewhat reliable family admonishing a slightly puckish child (however, in this particular case, I thought the mother was infinitely more annoying than the child).

Anyway, we bought our daily beach tags, the price of admission to enjoy the usual aerial advertisements being pulled by two-seater airplanes, the school-house-like-bell call of the ice cream boy, and the familiar whistle of the lifeguards warning people to swim between the green flags...pure relaxation and enjoyment!

If you are unfamiliar with the term “shoebie” let me enlighten you. explains that “a shoebie is a South Jersey Shore expression to describe the day-trippers from Philly and NYC that took the train “down the shore” for the day or weekend and brought everything they needed in a shoebox”…hence the word “shoebie.” Wikipedia says that the term was coined in the 1920’s and further details that the “shoebox” would include items such as a towel, suntan lotion, and food. There is some funny “shoebie” paraphernalia one can purchase at

Our shoebie lunch (that was really in a Playmate cooler) consisted of turkey, ham and cheese on wheat sandwiches, chocolate chip cookies, pretzels, and nectarines. I took a walk to the 34th Street Produce Market hoping to score some Jersey tomatoes but it is too early in the season so I had to settle for beautiful imposters from South Carolina. It was a delightful day!

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