Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Vacation's End: A Cautionary Tale

Did you ever have one of those days, those end of the vacation days, when the entire morning has been spent finding socks, washing sand out of bathing suits, cramming the wet things into plastic grocery bags, ensuring that your children are, if not helping, then are at least safely immobilized by a movie so as to not get in the way?

You know, that day when you're all running around saying, "Have you seen my sunglasses? They're cheap and black," divvying up the rest of the beer and wine, trying to find where the hell you put the room key, and frantically racing around to get the hell out by checkout time at 11:00?

OK, on those mornings, you might assume that it would be a completely normal thing to not shower, because everyone's showering, and besides, you showered the night before. There's the fact that you were lying down on wet hair last night because you were sick, and thus this morning your hair looks Flock Of Seagull-ish, but not just in the front, in the front AND back, with bits pointing out on each side, too. But, you would most certainly think, "Fuck it," as all you have to look forward to today is a four (six, with stops for diarrhea and historical sites!) hour drive with two children and your husband, who is stuck with your ass no matter how you look. (Oh, and that reminds me...happy anniversary, honey!)

In fact, when it comes time to get dressed, you have the presence of mind to comb your hair to some degree, but you stare, attempt to fuss it into some shape, and then sigh, and give up. You resume dressing; black tank top and tan shorts, that's fine. Ah, but crap, you forgot to bring a black bra into the bathroom, and honey has probably already zipped up the suitcase. There's the junky white jog bra you slept in, though...agggh, fuck it again, that's fine. You're dressed. Just pull the black shirt over the white bra straps occasionally. Or not. It's a road trip through southeast Texas, for cripes sake. Oh, there's a few paparrazi hanging out at the Luling DQ, but that's about it.

Come to think of it, a jog bra might be just what the doctor ordered, as you've been eating like a swill-deprived swine since you've been here. Is it fried, dipped in butter, or served with heavy cream? Yes! That's what you've ordered! So, even though you're disgruntled that the diet has to start on Monday, this has now been declared Fat Sunday, and comfy stretchy clothes are welcomed.

Anyway, after you get the crew and the crap in the car, there's just one more stop to make before the journey. Aforementioned six-year-old-girl-who-likes-memorabilia-of-dead-things wishes to have a shark's tooth necklace. So, you pull into Cap'n Ahab's World Of Beachy Touristy Crap. All you want is to go in, spend your $9.95, and be off. That's all. Really.

But, then, as you're almost in the front door, a man. With BIG BIRDS on his arm. Spies your chatty and excitable six-year-old. And says: "Would YOU like to have your picture taken with my parrots?" Just as the words "No, no, we're leaving, must be running, have to get home" exit your mouth, your six-year-old screams "YEEEEEAAAAHHHH!" Your shoulders slump, knowing that $20 is about to go down the drain. But, there are worse things in the world than this, eh? She gets her picture taken, we pay the ransom, and we go.


This horrible, evil, man, as I'm about to slink into the now large crowd to observe, grabs my arm, and says, "No, no, it's a FAMILY PHOTO OPPORTUNITY! You have to get in there with them!" You think, "Oh, no, no, no...no, I don't have to do this, do I?" But, by this point, there has been pulling and positioning, and children thrust onto the man's shoulders, and...crap, there's a friggin' bird on my shoulder. And another on the man's, and two on Older Girl. And it's JUST. TOO. LATE.

And, voila...here is what our $20 hath wrought. My advice to you? Never, ever, ever leave the house again looking as vile as I did on Sunday morning. Because, you NEVER KNOW what will happen.
You, sir, wiggle the stick! (Me, in my head: No, he does that enough already!)

Luuurve the jog bra. And my snarl. And the look on Younger Girl's face. She is quite correctly wondering what the HELL is going on with these damn birds and why they are all up in her face. Smart one, that.

Did you ever have that day?


Karla May said...

Okay, believe it or not, you look quite fine in those photos. I love that you're doing the "hang loose" sign. Priceless. Really. That's one of those that you'll laugh at when you're eighty, and Older and Younger will LOVE forever. You're a good mommy.

Karla said...

You look tanned and thin. YOu look fine...really! I love how the youngest looks quite dubious.

If some guy came up to ME and started putting birds on me, boy, would HE be in for a surprise. Cuz bird feet? One of my phobias. I could not BARE to have them on me and then we would have a melt down of the highest order and what kind of photo would THAT be?

You should have seen me screaming in the Piazza in Venice...all those freaking pigeons worked my last nerve.

Milena said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Daisy said...

Those are awesome pictures - I agree with Karla May, you'll be glad you have them.

Milena said...

You crack me up. I'm thinking that it would have been even more classic if one of the birds had elected to pluck at your mussed hair ala "The Birds." But then your kids might be in therapy for that, so never mind.

Bookhart said...

And I saw you in person at that very moment and you looked fine, if a little annoyed that you were out 20 bucks.

I discovered when we got home on Sunday that my corkscrew didn't make it back. I'll have to consider it a donation to the condo.