Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Staycation Blues

Before anyone gets the wrong idea let me go ahead and state that I actively pushed my wife and daughter to take the trip both are currently on right now. This trip was so important to them that I realized anything less than my enthusiastic support would eventually come back and bite me on my own ass. What trip that I knew from the very beginning I wouldn't be going with them am I speaking about?

As of this very moment my lovely wife and daughter are probably sitting in the bizarrely conceived chairs at one of the Washington DC airports waiting to board a flight that will first take them to New York and then another to Edinburgh, Scotland. You know the kind of seat, it has a frame made up of some sort of shiny metal alloy with the actual place you put your butt and lean back on a vinyl/plastic substance. From a distance these seats, long rows of them, look comfortable but since the arm rests are fixed if you have to wait longer than thirty minutes to board your plane the average person begins a stationary dance sliding their butts to one side or the other in an effort to relax.

Once they arrive in Edinburgh they begin a nine-day trip which will have them, and the others in the tour group, heading south and catching some of the beautiful sights and interesting places making up the island of Britain. Like I said, from the beginning only my wife and daughter were going on the trip. But while I didn't selflessly volunteer to stay back, I didn't make a huge stink about the fact it would be me keeping the home fires burning while they were gone.

While the cost of the trip was overwhelmingly the main reason I stayed home, another important reason is that one of our two dogs is diabetic and requires insulin shots twice a day. Yeah, there are local kennels we could have boarded both dogs and the two cats we own but that would have just raised the already crazy cost of the trip even more. Throw in the usual crap associated with suburban living like cutting the yard and general overwatch of the house it was mandatory that some adult, other than my college age son who has his own things to do, had to stay home.

No, other than maybe a day trip down to the coast there isn't any sort of conciliation prize in the form of a cheap and easy vacation to the Bahamas waiting for me once they return. Truthfully, when my wife and daughter left the house Friday morning I had images of myself as the hapless loser on any number of game shows who totally embarrassed themselves on national television and came away from the experience with a one year supply of Rice-A-Roni. I'm sure Rice-A-Roni is a tasty treat but you've got to wonder that if they readily give away that much of the product who are they really helping, the hapless game show loser or the company?

What this all amounts to is that I am condemned to a “Staycation” this year with me taking a four-day weekend now and another at the end of the next. A situation I find comparable to having to endure one of the less extreme levels of Hell. Think the Rod Serling's Night Gallery episode where a late 1960's/early 1970's West Coast hipster is forced to spend an eternity of punishment listening to a rural Midwest farmer talk about the weather and crop yields. My attitude come from the fact I really don't like the area I live, don't get me wrong it's a perfectly pleasant place. That is if you enjoy sterile examples of America's corporate feudalism, traffic congestion comparable to big cities during rush hour, and my favorite, authoritarian neighbors on the lookout for any sort of infraction. There is also the fact that I'm just far enough away from the coast, and its beaches, that certain logistical issues become a problem, especially with a diabetic dog.

Since I willingly took one for the team this year to make my wife and daughter happy you would think I might get some iota of consideration from them when it comes to enduring this idyllic suburban hell. No, I'm not looking for an inane souvenir nor some special reward upon their safe return home. But given the conversation I had with my wife yesterday they seem oblivious to my vacation sacrifice.

Due to a slight mix-up my wife called me yesterday afternoon to ask me to track down some paperwork she should have taken with her. After finding the items within minutes I was standing at the scanner/copier/fax waiting for the overly complicated machine to do its duty so I could email her the forms. During those minutes she attempted some idle small talk.

“So, how are things going at the house?” she asked. I'll give my wife credit, she's not the best small talker and would have usually walked off to do something else as I scanned the forms.

“Almost exactly the same as you left them about ten hours ago.” I replied trying valiantly not to sound like a smartass even though I was slightly miffed that she had already run into an issue. This trip had been in the works for at least nine months and if the shoe was on the other foot I definitely wouldn't have left anything behind.

“Well, are you having any fun?” she asked in a way over twenty years of marriage has taught wasn't an attempt at humor.

To say I was dumbfounded at the question would have been an overstatement. But it did make me uncomfortable since she has to know how I would do anything to move not just to another town but at least to a house where the neighbors are far enough away they can't be quite as nosy.

No, I wasn't kidding.

“Having oodles of fun, playing doorman for the animals here at home is awesome!” I said as sarcastically as possible explaining that since she and my daughter had left I had already lost count of the number of times I had let some combination of dogs and cats inside the house or back outside.

“Okay, that's great,” she said with the total absence of mind that suggests I could have instead said something as outrageous as I brought a Craig's List hooker over the minute they left the house. Not that I would ever seriously consider such an action, the neighbors would have a cow.

Instead, I played it cool and kept my mouth shut, emailed her the documents, and went back to my activities such as they are after hanging up the phone. No, this time I've got to take the staycation hit and deal with the abject boredom that comes with being marooned in a place I'm close to despising. Although I did vaguely threaten my wife a few months back that I could take my own credit card and book a trip somewhere with my departure the day they are scheduled to return home. It's a nice fantasy, and right now it will stay that way.


Jimmy said...

Just leaving the door open it appears, now that is how a smart doorman rolls.

My ancestors came over from Scotland, I always thought it would be a nice place to visit, I hope your wife and daughter have a great time, and taking one for the team I hope the Staycation works out well for you also.

Pixel Peeper said...

I've always thought that staying home alone, where you can do anything you want, whenever you want, without anyone bothering you, would be a bit of a vacation in itself. The thought of a quiet, empty house to yourself has something calm and relaxing about it.

Of course, having two dogs and two cats around would change that dream a bit. At least your wife owes you something in exchange. Hope you enjoy the peace and quiet!

Beach Bum said...

Jimmy: Can't leave the door open for long, the flies are already a pain.

Major update on wife and daughter trip, I got a call 3:11am Sunday morning, long after they were supposed to leave New York saying their flight had been canceled. They finally left for Scotland at 6:50pm Sunday evening. That delay will cause some issue with the two stay in Edinburgh, but unless things went further sideways they will be able to meet up with the rest of the group.

Pixel: Yeah, I'm kind of cool with having the house to myself but my vacations are vitally important to me.

The Bug said...

I'm pretty sure Mike feels the same way you do - no vacation for us this summer either. And I think having to cater to my needs is probably more of a hassle than the animals would be - ha! Plus I'm pretty sure my surgery is going to cost as much as a cruise would. More, actually - I have a high deductible plan. Sigh.

I like being at home though - that airplane hassle your wife & daughter went through yesterday? I never think traveling is worth all that.

However, I'm fortunate to live in a lovely area where we're an hour away from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Ranch Chimp said...

That was pretty funny you talking about the game show and Rice A Roni, I remember that back when I was a kid ... ate some back them too, it tasted pretty good, havent heard of that in years ... but aint that the truth! {:-)

Well, hope they enjoy that part of the Atlantic ... beautiful countryside too up that way going up into Scotland, I look at that region over there as "early America", alot like here, except plenty of old castles to visit, and a little different accent, and getting used to the driving opposite ... fun though, and really nice folks. I loved the underground music scene in London too ... really kick ass scene ... my buddy over there was a bass player locally for a punk rock band! My wife took various trips to the Philippines every couple years or so, which was where she was born and raised, we met outside NYC though, she lived in Jersey and moved here from Tehran during the late 1970's revolution with a boyfriend of hers when she was staying in Germany, but alwayz for at least a month every time, I never once went with her. Nope, she doesnt worry never about me f**king around, heh, heh, heh, heh, heh {:-) ... nor was I ever worried about her doing such {:-)

If you despise the area where you live, should have not moved there ... guess you had your reasons, cost of living, raising a kid or whatever. I thought the coastal areas of South Carolina were real nice, I liked it over there, laid back etc, just my opinion ... Hell guy, wherever you go (for anyone), there will alwayz be things that you wont like about the town or area. I live in the city, plenty of traffic (24/7/365, I sware, there is ALWAYZ a constant flow of traffic and that sound of it) where I'm at off LBJ Frwy. I actually know most of my neighbours, and we have to look out for each other ... I mean ... there is alot of car break- ins here in NW Dallas, home burglaries and such, so we all keep our eyes open. I wont say they're nosey though, I'm pretty open to folks anywayz ... and such a mix of culture and people where I live from different parts of the globe and country as well ... Poland, Russia, Germany, Central America, etc. Even have a neighbour who been with Dallas Police for over 20 years (think he is originally from Nigeria though?), yep, I even chat with him about some of the injustices and bad cops ... he actually agrees with me. Another guy who owns about 5 homes here in the hood that I know, who worked in Saudi Intelligence for 11 years ... interesting chatting with him.

Hey guy ... the dogs and cats are alwayz good company ... and what's great about them ... they are alwayz HONEST!

sage said...

What do they look like? I'm heading to Scotland tomorrow (but with the exception of staying with a friend for a few days at his home in Edinburgh, I'll mostly be on remote islands). Enjoy your time alone (I'm also traveling alone)

goatman said...

Maybe time to outline your departure vacation to . . .
Not involving airline travel?