The Just Back From Vacation Blues (tf)

I’ve never liked scheduled “vacations” for the same reason that I never drank on St. Patrick’s parade day even in the bad old days when I was as thirsty as a Hell’s Angel on uppers.

I don’t like to be told when I’m supposed to enjoy myself.

The above logic is why the best parties are always the one that happen spontaneously. When you try to duplicate the fun by planning it comes off stilted and everybody gets self-conscious and leaves early.

Vacations always seem to be someone else’s idea of what’s supposed to be fun.

The beach is supposed to be fun, but I loathe the beach and everything about it, especially the part where everybody else thinks they should be having fun at the same time as me. I’ve been to the “beach” probably 30 times in my life and I still can’t get the damn umbrella to stop blowing away. The water is always freezing and the sand is always insufferably hot and I always forget my beach “badge” and have to hide from those teenage Nazi’s in the red shirts wandering around trying to catch me. I burn like toast and never get to read the book I have with me ’cause I’m afraid one of my kids is going to drown while I’m not looking, which is quite possible since my oldest fears absolutely nothing about water or sharks or getting conked in the head by drunken surfers and would disappear over the horizon if I didn’t keep up a constant torrent of threats and abuse from the water’s edge, which always earns me dirty looks from the 12-year-old  lifeguards who can’t swim and the wretched New Yorkers with their upper-crust accents, who always seem to crowd around me and talk way too loud and eat the crap that brings in all the starving birds…..no matter where I bury myself.

Yea, I can’t wait to go this year. D-day is mid July.

Most people check off the days on a calendar in anticipation of vacation. I check them off when I’m already there, dreaming of when it’s over and I get to come home and begin the task of dumping sand from my sneakers. In fact I’m never happier than when I’m pulling into my driveway at the end of it all, contemplating my own bed and my red nose, which always peels like a snake and makes me look like WC Fields on a vicious bender.

I wish it weren’t so but it is. Faulty wiring perhaps. Or maybe it was that time my twin brother got zapped by a rabid jelly-fish and nearly died when we were about 10 years old. That was a wonderful trip, filled with fear and poison and antibiotics and a hurricane that nearly tore the roof off our rental, which somehow fit 8 people even though it seemed smaller than the station wagon we arrived in. My sister (who hates the beach as much as me) and I spent much of that week watching “All My Children” on TV, until my parents threatened to take us to a psychiatrist…..saying that only the mentally deranged watched soap opera’s while at the beach.

And that may be true. But it seemed very normal at the time.

My sister has her own family now, just like me. And they love the beach like normal people and we still hate it. But without numbers there is no strength, so we can’t watch “All My Children” anymore because we are alone and if you spend your time at the beach alone in your room watching soap-operas the maid never gets to change the bedding. I hear “All My Children” was canceled anyway, so what the hell.

Nobody ever asks me where I want to go for vacation.

–Tom Flannery

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~ by admin on June 15, 2011.

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