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Surf Lesson

I’d like to tell you that I’d always wanted to surf. That I’d spent decades on the shore, secretly longing to be out shredding tubes with the sun-kissed stick jockeys. It would be romantic to say it took 40 years to get me to climb onto a surfboard. But the truth is it took only two words:

Champagne. Brunch.

My son’s school organized a surf-lesson fundraiser with booze, breakfast, and a band of adventurous, surf-virgin moms. As a California native who’d never hung 10 — and whose arm needn’t be twisted to slurp mimosas with her toes in the sand — how could I say no?

My surfing friends say there’s something spiritual about a day on the board. It’s meditation in motion. It’s prayer without words.

So imagine my surprise when our instructor informed us that he was fresh off a tequila bender from the previous evening. He zipped us into wet suits (which offer a full-body SPANX effect that I rather enjoyed) and began a lecture about point breaks, riptides, offshore winds, and other facets of physics that I was still entirely too un-mimosa’d to care about.

My attention ebbed and flowed like the tide, but I heard instructive blips like “zip up your ankles … squat low … no ballerinas… eyes on the beach … or you’re gonna nosedive …” We practiced popping up from our bellies to our feet while we were still on the sand. And then we hit the water.

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