As Dustin from Stranger Things starts to invade our TVs in every single fucking back-to-school commercial that’s ever been produced, another summer is starting to wind down. And there is no better place during the summer on this goddamn planet than the Jersey shore. If our foreign enemies invaded tomorrow, I would take the few things that matter to me in this life and drive down to Jenkinsons, where I would stumble around a beach bar awkwardly until somebody that I vaguely know yet still follow on Instagram started to tell me about what it’s like working in corporate real estate. The Jersey shore is our Nation’s hormonal Mecca. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying at your wealthy Grandparent’s house in Spring Lake or pregaming in a Seaside motel as you overhear a possible domestic dispute in the room above. It doesn’t matter if you’re coming back from a four hundred dollar dinner in Stone Harbor or you’re watching your step-dad’s sister chain smoke cigarettes in Wildwood; once you turn onto Exit 11, the only thing on your mind is getting tan enough to find love and hopefully not catch something that makes your reproductive organs fall off.
The Jersey Shore is the place where twelve-year-olds buy the girl in their Instagram bio a seashell necklace for a eleven dollars, sixteen year olds raid their parent’s beer fridges like they’re in LA in the spring of 1992, and thirty-four-year-olds that should have stopped getting a share house years ago wither away in a Djais porta potty. Millions of dollars trickle into New Jersey’s economy every year via sixteen-year-old Ukrainian girls charging little kids nine dollars until they get enough rings around a soda bottle to win a stuffed plush toy outsourced from China for thirty-two cents. It’s where Pennsylvania drivers get Italian guys so angry that they almost combust and where hot girls fall for men without a dime in their bank account because they are 6’3. If you didn’t have an awakening experience with your body in the sand as a cop cleared people off of a beach at night, you didn’t live the right way.
As the party ends and we are looking down the barrel of a recision, let’s soak in these next three weeks getting hammered and sunburnt. From Manasquan to LBI and Mantoloking to Cape May, I love you New Jersey.