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We were young once, right?

My husband and I took a few days and headed for the beach for a few days last week. The past few months have been crazy, with a lot of great things going on, but crazy is still crazy! We really needed, and enjoyed, the break.

Carole Townsend

I think it’s an indication of our ages, but we had forgotten that March at the beach means one thing:  spring breakers. Young kids, mostly college age, who are there for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to party. Five or six years ago, I would have known that. I wouldn’t have forgotten that, because our daughter was in college.

Now I don’t have anything against young people. In fact, I love them. I love their energy and enthusiasm and idealism. I love everything about them – except spring break. I didn’t even like it when I was a college kid. I really didn’t like it when our kids were in school. And now that we go to the beach to relax and unplug, I still don’t like it.

I knew we were in trouble when a big black Suburban pulled into the parking space next to us one afternoon as we parked back at the condo, and about ten college age boys piled out. They began unloading their car onto the luggage racks, and two things they pulled out reminded me that we had possibly made a mistake by choosing that particular weekend for our peaceful escape. They unloaded two coolers to every one suitcase (backpack really), and the last item they piled onto the luggage cart was a blow-up doll. It was a male doll, but still…not a good sign.

Later that evening as we returned from dinner, we saw two cop cars parked in front of the condominium building. I had to wonder what had happened (or what was about to go down). Seeing cops parked in front of your place of residence is never a good sign. 

We caught the same elevator as a group of very loud, very drunk young people. Each of the guys was carrying a 12-pack of different kinds of beer, and since they were returning to their room from the beach, each box was almost empty. To their credit, they were very polite and let us board the elevator first, and on the way upstairs, we chatted with them. I couldn’t help it; it’s the mom in me.

Turns out, they go to the same school our daughter just graduated. A couple of them said they knew her, but if I had told them her name was George Washington, they would have said they knew her. They were beyond drunk. I’m not sure how they were standing, especially on a moving elevator. 

They wouldn’t tell us what floor they were staying on, so I just left them with two pieces of advice:  “Don’t get into any trouble; your parents will kill you,” and “Don’t spit on us from your balcony, because we will find you.”

The only upside of sharing a beach town with spring breakers is the entertainment value. When they’re not being obnoxious, they are pretty funny. Too, they rarely cause long waits at the restaurants we like, because they don’t spend their money on nice meals. From what we saw, they spend it on beer and liquor, foam fingers and concerts on the beach or in bars.

I was reminded this past weekend of the times our daughter would head south for spring break. I was reminded of her assurances that she and her friends were not like the other kids. They were not looking to be drunk for days on end, or to hang upside down from their hotel balcony by their feet, or to get into any of the other kinds of trouble that we all know kids do during that awful week known as “spring break.”

And I am still choosing to believe her.

Carole Townsend is a Gwinnett author and freelance writer. She writes about family, from both a humorous and poignant perspective. Her newest book, MAGNOLIAS, SWEET TEA AND EXHAUST (July 2014, Skyhorse Publishing) takes a look at NASCAR from a Southern suburban mom’s perspective. She is currently writing her fourth book. Carole has appeared on local and national news and talk shows, including CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC affiliates. When not writing, she travels throughout the region, speaking to various civic and literary groups, and advocating for the health and well-being of the family, particularly women and children. For more information, visit