“Fictional and indulgent beach reads to remove you from the 9 to 5 state of mind…to the To27 state of mind.”

A Mini-Reunion in Sag Harbor

I don’t “summer” in the Hamptons, I was born and raised here. I graduated from Springs Public School in ’98 and East Hampton High in ’02 before heading off to a rural college campus in upstate New York, only to return to the beach hamlet and help the family out with the old restaurant. I theorize that growing up in the Town of East Hampton has programmed in me a stronger component of calm and collect, while diluting any strong predilections for anger or panic. That’s because even amid chaos, I subconsciously know that somewhere exists an empyreal beach for peace and quiet, where the beautiful dunes safeguard me from harm and the vast Atlantic absorbs all my worries. That somewhere happens to be my hometown.

I didn't realize renting paddle boats from Surf & Sport was such a genius idea to capture a lovely view.

When I first told my college girlfriends I was from the Hamptons, due to my WASPy features and preppy wardrobe, I suspected that they most likely pictured a gated rococo behemoth of garish Baroque architecture sitting atop a cliff, overlooking the ocean. (This basically describes Tabitha’s house in Montauk). I instantly informed them that I instead reside in a quaint home, on a street of towering elms that leads to the beach.

I believe it was God’s plan for me to meet Leila, Nikki and Tabitha and the rest of our friends from Syracuse, all from various bustling cities or landlocked suburbs. I was intrigued by their various backgrounds and enthralled by their hearts of gold. I do admit, however, they tend to flood troubling situations with their temperaments or emotions. Whenever the girls visit me for a beach weekend, however, a blanket of distinct peacefulness overcomes their face, the best of their qualities gleam through their early-twenty-something complexions. But the moment they return to school or work, far from the soothing zephyrs of the East End, they once again became the neurotic city girls I love unconditionally.

When we all went to Florida last month, it was clear forces were testing our friendships. Constant clashes between Tabitha and Nikki scathed the whole vacation. I tried to mollify Tabby’s temper. “She is going through a break up…She is heartbroken…She isn’t acting out of malice.” That has been my role throughout the years. The neutral one, the pacifier, the listener, always on call.

But today, as I sit in my VW waiting for Kevin at the ferry dock in Sag Harbor, I ignore them all. Tabitha kept texting me pictures of silly purses she bought during her birthday weekend, Leila’s incessant emails beg me to edit her resume and Nikki’s voicemails earnestly request I visit her in NJ. “I need you more than ever Kris! Please come to Wayne, we’ll get our nails done, go shopping. Just us!” I walk to a waiting bench, trying to look laid-back and relaxed just in case Kevin spots me first.

No he was not my first-kiss and I never had a grade-school crush on him. Kevin was my best friend throughout my childhood in East Hampton. We were best buds and part of each other’s families. Our backyards faced each other and on his bike pegs, he would take me everywhere. When his parents divorced during our first year away in college, they quickly sold their home. I was so caught up with my new campus life that I didn’t even effort to track him down. Years went by and I counted it as a loss. Until, thanks to the Internet, we found each other. As expected he grew up to be one of those guys who are too cool for Facebook, rarely signed on and posted only one picture of him zip-lining through a forest. I could barely see his face. I did learn that Kevin is now an assistant district attorney living in South Boston. After a few e-mails he agreed to drive to Connecticut, take the ferry and visit East Hampton.

The 2pm ferry is packed and as the crowds clear, I see him with a Puma duffel and a Red Sox cap.

“Look at you, all grown up,” he says. “I’m about to cry!”

I have nothing cute or clever to say so I just shriek with happiness, run towards him, wrap my arms around him and realize I wasn’t hugging the pudgey 13 year-old troublemaker with spikey blonde hair and year-round rosey cheeks. The last time we hugged was before our 8th grade graduation. He was biking home and saw me crying as I walked home from the salon (my hairdresser gave me the wrong updo). Kevin now stands half a foot taller than me, his cocked grin is now framed by a square jaw and his shoulders now remind me of a brick wall…and he no longer smelled of dirt and sweat, but…a subtle spritz of Brooks Brothers cologne. I was unexpectedly intoxicated by the sight and scent of him. I snapped out of it, backed away instantly and playfully punched his shoulder. His Jeep followed my car back to my house where he’d spend his long weekend.

I spent a month planning Kevin’s return to the Hamptons which will consist of dinner with my family at our restaurant, drinks with the old gang at The Boathouse and a whole day of paddle boat rentals from Surf & Sport. I wanted it to be just like old times: sleepovers with crazy milkshake concoctions, maybe a prank call to the antique shop. But I did not prepare for any potential attraction to him. Kevin totally blind sighted me.
I was in a Hamptons daze until I see Marco walk out of the Post Office. I did a double-take and it was indeed Tabitha’s secret lover from Miami. I dialed her phone. “Um, Tabby? I just drove past the Post Office in my town and saw Miami Marco walk in with a giant painting. Please don’t tell me you’re planning a secret weekend in Montauk with him. Call me back NOW!”

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