The Season of Good Intentions

And just like that, the Summer of 2006 ended like a typical sub-par sex session.

Yeah, it happened, it had the potential to be great, but it didn’t fulfill expectations, and it could have lasted a bit longer.

This summer season, particularly at the Jersey Shore, came in trilogy fashion: June was cool and misty, July was almost perfect and August was a classic case of extremes…105 degrees and unbearable to start, 65 degrees and too soggy to finish.

But readers of this column aren’t here for a weather analysis. Rather, they want the dirt on people they don’t know, situations they can only dream of being apart of…


Being the head of a beach house empire has its advantages, but almost all of the stories gleaned came from a composite of five beach rentals courtesy of interaction with those who run them. One overriding theme emerged from all: Summer is a time for escapism, particularly when it comes to the self-imposed responsibility of escaping the bar scene and settling down once and for all. We may not say it out loud, but it is the objective of satisfying monogamy that sits in our conscious everyday and dominates our conversations after small talk of news, career, and sports are quickly exhausted.

So how does one define summer escapism?

Well, the easy way to explain it is to evoke alcoholism, binge drinking. It is decidedly rare to find anyone who takes it easy on the cocktail front on a Saturday night at the beach. It is also uncommon to find anyone physically addicted to the bottle. Rather, being involved in a beach rental means consuming substantially more than usual for both men and women simply due to environment and a bit of peer pressure. And the result is as predictable as the music selection at Leggett’s (which somehow never gets old).

We already know about a man’s one-dimensional intentions when getting fucked up, so let’s focus on the more complex mindset of the fairer sex.

Are they too going out to have a good time, pick up a guy at Edgar’s or The Marlin, and therefore scratch some kind of estrogen-filled itch?

My experience when observing 70-80 people that I’m exposed to weekend after weekend says that the answer is no. Guys are easy…women know this. Most, those very attractive and even those considered average, also know that if they put their mind to it, that any guy not already snatched up can be theirs (if they so choose) anytime after 11:30 PM at any given beach bar.

So, what? Are they looking for a guy in the summer mist that they can eventually claim exclusivity with?

Well, not exactly.

Alcohol, in short, provides an excuse for women to make mistakes when searching for a significant other. It allows them to go after a guy that they know is a player to enjoy the consequence-free benefit of hooking-up in the process. But it usually ends going deeper than that: There is a good chance that the girl will come to actually like the player, to genuinely care.

Oftentimes the thought process is that if she plays by his rules (after initially resisting) during the summer—and has fun doing so—that autumn will bring said player to reconsider his lifestyle and actually settle down with his summertime fling. Of course, this gameplan hardly ever comes to fruition. And when it doesn’t work out, the “I was drunk” excuse at the beach is the reality version of a get-out-of-jail free card. It’s foolproof, but doesn’t fly in the other three seasons of the year when justifying one’s behavior.

Some girls don’t even search out a BB. Instead, that kind of guy may have fallen into their lap—or between it—due to the slapdash manner in which a beach house—costing anywhere from $20,000-$60,000 per summer—is put together in regards to 20-30 shares needed to pay for such a home.

Personally, my beach empire is a well planned and executed arrangement, comprised of an equal amount of mostly single guys and girls hailing from Manhattan, Hoboken, and Morristown. Aesthetically pleasing people aren’t turned down easily, but ultimately, it’s about prospects passing 29 dimensions of compatibility via evaluation Happy Hours in the spring that have been previously mentioned in past columns. If and when they pass the biggest test they’ve taken since the SAT, they enter a world that may dominate and dictate their summer prospects whether they know it or not.

In the end, we’re all benefactors (or victims) of our summer environments. Men and women who we may never have otherwise crossed paths with are suddenly living, drinking and sharing the intimate details of our lives 2-3 days a week. That kind of exposure can manipulate a mind into thinking that it has met its destiny…when it fact “destiny” was nothing more than a pre-conceived situation in an atmosphere that is anything but conservative, leading to decisions based on more on instant gratification and less in the realm rational thought.

As for converting a player to an eharmony advertisement testimonial partner, it happens as often as a Met throwing a no-hitter (feel free to Google that stat). In our double-standard world, respect for a girl who will agree to a weekend-only, after-midnight-till-breakfast relationship will only solidify the player’s mindset in terms of his manner in which he conducts his existence, and therefore not force him to rethink the alleged error of his ways.

In summary, summer is happy time for what women characterize as “bad boys.” Slogan t-shirts wearing, toned, shot-swilling, harmlessly arrogant, somewhat-witty-only-when-buzzed BB’s are perfect for the beach house and bar atmosphere. After all, the conversations between randoms in the night almost immediately start off provocative, and as a result a BB can quickly and effectively close his object of affection the moment she agrees to leave the area where the discussion began (dance floor, walk home, “party” back at his house, etc.).

So what does this mean for so-called “nice boys”?

It means that if you fall into this category, autumn is definitely your favorite season. Here’s how it works: Many post-summer, still-single girls went the bad boy route over the summer. They likely got burned or had low enough expectations that any co-existence they may have shared with a BB wasn’t seeing the light of day (literally) after Labor Day. Consequently, these same women have shifted their priorities from the fast and the furious to the kind of man who they can take a cooking class, go hiking or attend a wedding with.

The nice guy may be a bit tedious, too conventional, and definitely won’t challenge a girl enough to work for his complete attention, but with the fear of another bad boy relationship fresh in their minds, going bad is not a viable alternative. That kind of negligent thinking—like self-bronzer, Parker House cards and EZ-Pass—is for June, July and August only.

But now that the season of good intentions is here, are there really any nice guys out there for women with renewed priorities? The old quote is that, “Men are like pumpkins. It seems like all the good ones are either taken or they’ve had everything scraped out of their heads with a spoon,” so perhaps everywhere, especially Hoboken, is just an extension of life at the Jersey Shore.

Fear not…that probably isn’t the case. The answer is that there likely are such men, but many play the dual role of bad boy turned nice guy right around the time the NFL season kicks off. Men, in the whole scheme of things, are actually caring creatures who do have aspirations of buying a house in Chatham complete with a wife, three kids and two golden retrievers.

Hoboken men are increasingly selective creatures that work within their own annual itineraries, and while having a girlfriend to do all-things-cultured in the foliage of fall, the white of winter or showers of spring is a convenient, comfortable thought, don’t be surprised when the shore house season of ’07 rolls around with the same bad boys gone nice turning back to the dark side once again.