anne mikolay 2012 120On Saturday, March 1st, like countless other winter weary Middletown residents, I headed to the grocery to pick up a few things before the predicted storm. Let it be known I did not hoard bread, milk, or eggs; rather, I was hunting cupcakes, but I digress. While fully expecting the usual panicked, pre-storm crowd, I was rather surprised there were no parking spaces available – not one! Thus, I parked on the other side of the shopping plaza and hoofed it over to ShopRite. I didn't mind really; I was in a good mood, enjoying the cold. I met an adorable golden retriever puppy on my walk and had a healthy chuckle over a passing teenager unknowingly dressed like “Puss-n-boots”. My amusement continued as I walked the red carpet in front of a new tanning salon. Before you think me delusional, allow me to explain. The tanning salon had rolled out a red carpet for its grand opening and put up velvet ropes for crowd control. Clever marketing, indeed, but anything associated with tanning strikes me as vain and dangerous, and I didn't give the establishment a second thought.

Apparently, I missed my chance to see Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino preside over the grand opening of Boca Tanning Club, his new state-of-the-art tanning facility in the ShopRite Plaza on Route 35 in Middletown.

I'm not crying over my alleged misfortune.

This pale, Irish lass has never and will never be inside a tanning salon, nor have I ever watched an entire episode of “Jersey Shore”. At the peak of the MTV production's popularity, I tuned in to see what all the fuss was about and was promptly offended by the behavior, vocabulary, and false image of New Jersey promoted by the reality series. Thus, I've never paid any attention to “The Situation” or “Snooki' and am not about to start now.

Township Committeeman Gerard Scharfenberger assisted Sorrentino with the ribbon cutting ceremony and acknowledged the positive impact Boca Tanning may have upon local economy. It's very true that there are many vacant stores along Route 35, and new businesses are welcome, but I stand with Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray who declined to attend the grand opening. As reported by moremonouthmusings.net, Mayor Murray explained her position: “While I wish the business success for the sake of the existing businesses in the shopping center, I don't personally support Mr. Sorrentino as his insensitivity and disrespect toward women (calling women “grenades” for example), is appalling and offensive. Additionally, as an Italian-American who loves and lives at the Jersey shore, the image Mr. Sorrentino projects is equally offensive.”

These days, it's a rare person who stands by his/her convictions and willingly foregos an opportunity to have his/her photograph in the media or to “hobnob” with “celebrity”. Kudos, Mayor Murray! Kudos, More Monmouth Musings for letting Middletown residents know our Mayor absolutely did the right thing!