My most awesome friend, MM, read my post about going into that super cold water earlier in September and immediately offered to buy me a pair of surf booties as an early birthday present (November 12! Mark your calendars!). So today we met up at the very groovy Rider Shack in Mar Vista to get them. When they were all out of my size (out of all warm booties period) I was ready to go get an espresso at a nearby cafe. But, being an unstoppable woman, MM was not deterred and we headed next to The Sport Chalet in Marina del Rey.
As a budget-conscious, stay-at-home Mom, I don't go out bootie shopping very much - or clothes shopping, or shopping for anything other than groceries, in fact. But I LOVE shopping, and I LOVE clothes. So The Sport Chalet was awesome, if only to see all the prettily colored fleece hoodies and surfer girl gear. And yet, what did they not have? Booties in my size.
What they did have was a sales-guy named Dylan who was available to answer this pressing question:
"Am I lame for waiting the recommended three days to get back in the ocean after a rainstorm?"
"Three days?" answers Dylan. He won't go in less than seven days after a storm like we had last week.
And then he tells us a couple of gruesome anecdotes about impatient Angelenos who did not wait long enough: anecdotes involving things like, oh, typhoid (!) and necrotizing fasciitis. Is there an extreme enough exclamation when faced with something like necrotizing fasciitis? Ouch? Gross? Disgusting? Oh no? None of these capture the horror and revulsion that flesh-eating bacteria truly inspires.
So I didn't get my booties. But I got some words of wisdom. Was this of the "Surfing sucks, don't try it" school of advice? I don't think so. Because he did tell me that if I HAD to go, I should at least go north to Malibu. That way I would escape the Los Angeles sewer system swill that would eat my flesh, or at least put me at risk of a sinus infection, if I did choose to surf my usual beach tomorrow morning as planned.
But I think I will go swimming. In a pool. Instead.