I've been hanging out in the Hamptons, Amagansett specifically for the last four days. My sister and brother in law have a house out here, but as they're gone for the month, squatting rights have been ceded to me and my mother until they return.
Being out here with my mom over the weekend, didn't feel all that different than when my sister, the kids, etc. are all out here. A little quiter, sure, but the same activities more or less. With nothing in the house to eat, we got up, went into town to get a coffee and muffin at the Golden Pear and then over to Citarella to stock up for the weekend. We hung at the house, lounged by the pool, read, threw some chicken on the grill, made a salad and eventually made our way to the beach for a walk. Evening hang wasn't too different, except we moved ourselves to the sofas inside. Sunday, also more of the same but today we had more to keep us occupied with the Sunday crossword and planning our menu for our guests that would be arriving for the 4th. More lounging, more reading - we made grilled fish for lunch, made a stop at the beach, did a little browsing in Amagansett, had an early dinner at the Clam Bar and then I took my mom to the train. Then quiet.
I live alone, so am used to the solitude. So being out here in a big house with no one else other than my doddering old dog, didn't feel all that odd. In fact, I'd planned it that way. Three days of beach solitude. When driving out for the paper Sunday morning I found Acoustic Morning on 96.6 - a great mix that included Elvis Costello, Liz Phair, Keane, Bowie, the Cars, Michelle Shocked and an old fave, Jonathan Edwards' "Shanty". I heard it and smiled immediately. This was the track - It was exactly the mood I was going for for my three solo days. A simple plan that included reading, writing, music, beach, some exercise and baking - cookies and pies for the upcoming 4th and well... the kind Jonathan is singing about. Three days of bliss... doing everything i love doing.. couldn't need it more right now.
On Monday morning I got up and went into town for Mark Tuthill's kick boxing class, one of the exercise options I hadn't experienced out here yet. On my way, stopped at Goldberg's bagels for my NY Times and afterwards, drove back over to the Golden Pear for ice coffee a quick squat on the bench to do the paper (really don't like the Golden Pear at all - need to remind myself of this!).. and then over to Citarella again for a food re-stock. Driving around here, going to exercise, people watching and window shopping in East Hampton, getting fruits & veggies from Vickie's are all activities I've done many times before with my sister over the years. But I've never done all these activities alone. I don't have a house out here - isn't even a remote possibility based on my financial "situation" - and in general, just don't live this life. The women at exercise, although seemed mostly to be locals, were all married, talking about their kids and school, etc.. The people in town, all dripping with money - even if they were in exercise gear, you can just tell. And it's not just the big rocks on the women's hands that give it away.
Being single, and well, not financially in this class, no matter how well I can get myself around here, makes me feel like an outsider. I whipped around in the jeep - which is a total blast to drive - but as much as I was totally digging it, it felt like I was playing "dress up." Wearing the shoes of my sister's life. Which, believe me, isn't a bad thing at all. She has the life - but it's not mine - so it's sort of weird. But, admittedly, sort of nice at the same time. Just like little girls put on their mothers' clothes and make-up to make believe they are something other than they are, sometimes even as an adult it's just nice being somebody else...