―Richard Henry Dana, Jr.
Well, Sir—we’ve come a long way. Dana Point has plenty of fine California wine to offer in the 21st century, Jack’s banana pancakes, original surfwear and surfboards, creative gourmet cuisine and, yes, idle (sated, inebriated) Californians lounging on sexy/gleamy decks of high-end power boats in the marina. I myself, a 7th Generation idle Californian (as idle as any devoted mother can be when not overseeing the wiping of a certain precious bottom, cooking, cooking, vacuuming, or answering provocative questions like Mama, who is Nixon?…), idly (gratefully) watched pelicans glide from the patio of the—but the name of the restaurant doesn’t matter. The Wind & Sea, Surf & Tar Blob, Tide & Tumult, Sails and Scoundrels. I lunched (so deliciously idly) on battered jumbo shrimp my father insisted I try, though I’m squeamish when it comes to the dietary habits of shrimp, halibut, scallops and would much rather have ordered the vegetarian cobb salad. But the obvious pain (winces with time lapses of several seconds) on my father’s face when I hinted at my choice moved me to quickly (not idly at all) order a grilled cheese for the boy, battered shrimp and a giant soda (I never drink soda–my idleness at work!) for me and I deftly (not a hint of idleness in my character–how perverse I am) changed all subjects to sky, fishing boats and the statue of a very muscular and book-clutching Mr. Dana studying sky and fishing boats, contemplating the idleness of Californians in perpetuity (with–it’s possible!–the temptation to try a little idleness out for himself–2 years is a long time before the mast with a sadistic captain in charge), statue-foot up on a statue-pier-piling/cleat thing (the sort of nautical-ish object sleepless mothers can never remember proper verbage for), mesmerizing all idling locals and tourists in his apparent mesmerization of the pulsations of the great Pacific. Dude. Ahoy.
The battered shrimp was heavenly. I will order them again the next time we visit my father, a man whose I told you so is unspoken, not smug and correct (this time), so that my better nature swiftly returned strong upon me. Somehow. After all these years.