02 August 2007

Family

Last night, for the first time since I started surfing, I came to the realization that the crew at my home break is, for better or worse, a family. What's funny is I couldn't tell you the last names of most of the folks in the crew. In fact, I couldn't call them or show up unexpectedly at their front doors. I don't know phone numbers. I don't know home addresses. These are mere formalities. When we're all together in one place (whether in or out of the water), there's a comfort level that I don't even have with many of my non-surfing friends. Last night, we all came together for a party. Ria and B got married a few weeks ago . . . in Vegas . . . by Elvis . . . with their beloved Ridgeback present as the best man, er, dog. The wedding was a small private affair. So, they threw a party here in L.A. to celebrate and share the love with their friends. And there we all were. In real clothes. With spouses/significant others and kids in tow.

Looking around the gathering, it became clear that I've known those folks long enough to become attached to them. I remember when E. smoked and drove an old ratty Saab. Now, he's a non-smoker with a wife, a kid and another kid on the way. When K walked in, I was astonished. Now that one of the female members of the crew finally got him to cut that hair (which he allowed to grow to shoulder length even though his he is basically bald on top), he looks rather dashing. J and L are still going through changes, but they're still together. I remember when they were trying to get pregnant. Now they've got a beautiful child who looks just like both of them. When I see G with her non-surfing man and listen to her talk about the future, I get a sense of how much things change in just a short period of time. I get the sense that they're in it for the long haul, that this is probably the one. There were others from the crew there too. You look at these faces and start thinking about how much you genuinely care for these people. Surfing is unlike other sports in that you can actually get to know people while you're engaged in the activity. You can't do this with basketball, baseball or even cycling. You only socialize with folks when you're done with those sports (i.e., going out for a beer after your workout). Because we're somewhat anonymous to one another, I think we surfers tend to share more. For our crew, it's usually the case that what's said in the water (or the parking lot) stays in the water. Therefore we tend to say a lot more than one would normally say on land. How can you not care for people with whom you've shared some heavy conversations?

Ria and B!!! Congratulations!!! Thanks for registering at a surf shop. This was the only time I enjoyed shopping for a wedding gift.

7 Comments:

At 8/3/07, 1:06 PM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Well said. I never thought about it before, but definitely a part of my enjoyment of the surfing experience is chatting in the water. And when you're done chatting, no one thinks anything bad if you just turn your board and paddle away. No excuses necessary. Every surfer understands the need for alone-time and wave-catching.

 
At 8/5/07, 9:14 AM, Blogger Paula the Surf Mom said...

What a really great post... you got the whole spirit of what surfing is all about Surf Sister... I'm going to make this a featured article in my featured article section... which BTW work now when you hit the buttons...

But I think this is one of the best surfing article I've ever read.

Thank you for sharing this one.

 
At 8/5/07, 10:35 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Thanks, Paula! I wasn't happy with this post when I wrote it. I felt like I hadn't entirely said what I meant, but I guess I made my point clearly and other surfers agree with what I've written. I must have done something right.

 
At 8/6/07, 9:30 AM, Blogger Paula the Surf Mom said...

Sis,

I love this post so much that I would like to cross publish it over on my blog... (I'd just link it but people are so bad about following links and this is a good article, it needs to be out there) Let me know if it OK

Paula

 
At 8/6/07, 9:43 AM, Anonymous riab said...

M-Thanks for being part of our "family." B and I are still overwhelmed with the outpouring of love we got on Wed night. It was really wonderful and sweet. And your post just puts the cherry on top of a great night.

 
At 8/6/07, 5:09 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Paula, feel free to cross publish. You're part of the family—the blogger surf family—too!

 
At 8/7/07, 8:42 AM, Blogger Paula the Surf Mom said...

done... It was my morning post.. you even upstaged Sammy.

 

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