Monday, September 18, 2006

Another Day, Another Sand Dollar

I walked on the beach looking for rogue waves and lost toys. A rogue wave is an unusually large wave that comes up suddenly for no apparent reason and can sink ships. I've heard of such monster waves taking people off beaches in an instant, so of course, I wanted to see one for myself. Alas, there weren't any to be had today, but there were many happy dogs chasing tennis balls, especially a German Shepherd named Lulu who was my best friend for about a half-hour.

I have a large collection of small plastic toys found on beaches over the years. My newest acquisition is a crocodile about 6 inches long, baring his teeth in anticipation of a nice piece of leg. He's lovely! Beaches have given me many matchbox cars, action heroes, and a cheetah on wheels. I'm very fond of wind-up and antique toys, too, but those never turn up trailing kelp and covered in sand.

California beaches have few shells, but I have found a number of beautiful stones. I learned the hard way not to hand my treasures to Flip for his pleasure because his pleasure consists of hefting them and hurling them into the ocean.

"Oh, look at this, honey."

Wham!! The arm goes up and the stone slams into the nearest wave. Sometimes they skip if they're flat enough.

Is this some weird convolution of male DNA or something? Why do guys do this? Are they really incapable of just looking at a pretty object without having an overwhelming compulsion to disappear it forever?

Why can't they just act like the rest of us?


Michael C said...

I can't comment on the throwing things into the water as I'm pretty guilty of it. I guess it's jsut neat to see how far it'll go?

I am envious that you are close enough to the beach to walk it frequently!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I like to skip stones, but I never confuse skippers with keepers, pretty rocks with interesting designs on them. I don't automatically launch them into the great beyond w/o even looking at them. It's just another of the many ways men and women differ, most of which are delightful.

Christina_the_wench said...

I think (and this is my opinion only) that men see beauty in objects as weak and thus they must conquer them. *shrugs* Men are weird.

mist1 said...

I always feel so bad for the rocks that get tossed back in. It's only taken them centuries to get this far, after all.

jali said...

How about the "jumoing thing"? Up to a certain age, guys can't resist jumping and hitting an object above them (something like a slam dunk with an imaginary ball)

The Law Fairy said...

Maybe he was afraid you'd find it more fascinating than him and you'd leave him for your new stone ;)

See, men have such self-esteem issues. A much more productive solution would be to take up dancing, or crochet, or something equally stimulating and useful to recapture your SO's attention.

And they say men are the ones who take productive action. Pshaw, I say! Pshaw!

katrice said...

The same reason spontaneous wrestling matches tend to break out all around my husband. An opportunity for them to prove their athletic prowess, maybe? Could apply to the jumping up thing too, Jali.

Does the word prowess make men feel less manly? Maybe they'd rather have "prow" and leave the "prowess" to us. LOL

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Novel idea! Flip is an artist, though, so maybe in his case it's the same instinct that makes dogs run after sticks.


LOL. I know. I always think of rocks as slower animals.


Showing off. All little boys want to be Michael Jordan. Probably the bigger ones, too.

Law Fairy,

Interesting point about productive action. As for insecure competitiveness, I think I still go with dog energy. (See above.) Anyway, I've heard that frogs turn into handsome princes, not stones. Was I misinformed?


Prow/prowess -- prince/princess. Hee hee. Here is my diagnosis: The wrestling and jumping syndrome is likely caused by an insufficiency of maturity in those of the male persuasion.

Burn this.

odat said...

I think it's the fact that when someone tells them "not to do something" tell him to throw it next time...and he probably won't...

curmudgeon said...

It's a challenge to see just how many times an object can skip, not to just watch it disappear.
Sort of like tripping someone on the top step rather than the bottom.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Puh-leeze!

Remember Lucy in The Long Long Trailer? That's why he throws the rocks into the ocean. Something I should have done on the trip from SF to Phoenix a few years ago. Those oh-so-precious rocks my wife picked up on the beach are *still* in a freaking box in the garage.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Reverse psychology doesn't work on my husband. He invented it.


I agree. I always count the skips, but haven't tried the stair gambit yet. Hmmm, a new toy for me.


We sell no rock before its time. I've actually never seeen The Long, Long Trailer but get the gist.

Steven Novak said...

I am fighting the urge to thow a rock at this blog.... ;)


heartinsanfrancisco said...


Please do. Smash that rock right into your display.

That'll teach the uppity bitch.

the Laughorist said...

Rogue Waves and Lost Toys. There's the title of your book...poetry? essays? blogs? Go with it.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you! I am actually writing a book with a different working title, but you're right -- that would be a great one.

If I change it, I'll give you a credit in the front where writers list everyone who ever said "Gesundheit" when they sneezed.

JR's Thumbprints said...

That's funny because the male inmates where I work won't let go of anything.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

They would if they were at the beach and someone handed them pretty stones. (Oops, sorry.) I think it's a reflex

Mama P said...

I don't have time to read your posts this second, but will come back. I found you through Kim and am commenting on the Dorothy shoes you chose as your photo. Awesome pic and so catchy. It really makes someone want to find out who you are. With all the photos out there, thought you'd like to know how intriguing yours is. Bye for now!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Mama P,

Thank you so much for stopping by, and for saying such nice things. Kim is great. I'm glad you found me, and I hope you'll come back soon.

Lex said...


Does that get me an honorable mention?

And I too am so jealous of the variety of nature that surrounds you. I wanna see oceans and gardens daily!

Why throw, jump, wrestle? They're BOYS!! Same excuse for everything they do that annoys the superior gender.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Maryland has some of the most exquisite seashore in America. (And crab cakes. Mmmmm.) Do you live near the Eastern Shore?

I drove through it years ago pulling a horse trailer with a Plymouth Duster from Vermont to Florida before settling in Western NC, where my daughter and I lived for many years.

One of the scariest experiences of my life was driving over the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel Bridge in Virginia. Every time a semi passed us, whoooosh!! Our whole car & trailer moved sideways a few feet. I was too catatonic to enjoy the scenery, and would love to see it again.

djn said...

I had the EXACT same thing happen to me when we were honeymooning in Hawaii. It was the craziest thing. I just looked at him -- gave him that look -- so he knew it was a pretty one. I think it is an automatic response for them. Crazy.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yup. Like Pavlov and the salivating dogs.

Maybe our wanting to keep and cherish things is part of the nesting instinct. And their wanting to throw them away is about retaining their independence.

And maybe I think too much. It's probably more like "Me Tarzan, you Jane."

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yup. Like Pavlov and the salivating dogs.

Maybe our wanting to keep and cherish things is part of the nesting instinct. And their wanting to throw them away is about retaining their independence.

And maybe I think too much. It's probably more like "Me Tarzan, you Jane."

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Oops. Dirty Blogger tricks.

urban-urchin said...

It's a boy thing. As the mother of a baby boy it's fascinating to see the desire to throw things starts as an infant.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Maybe. All my children loved to throw things out of their cribs repeatedly, and two of them are girls.

Pendullum said...

Because then we would have nothing to blog about!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


As in "Why can't they just act like the rest of us?"

You're so right! :)