Saturday, August 16, 2008

Summer Vacation Part 2

Things to consider when on vacation:

One only needs to capture a maximum of 50 scenic shots. One does not require 238. Weeding through 238 scenic shots is time consuming and will cause one to get intolerant of one's children, who are likely to be milling about asking if one is finished so that they might check their Webkinz accounts. Or if lunch will ever be ready, while muttering "she likes that computer more than she likes us" not so subtly under their breath. One might be tempted to reply in return that YES, SOMETIMES SHE DOES.When your youngest child learns to swim long distances under water, you may be requested to document this each and every time. Resist this request (see above for further elucidation on why one does not need more than 5 shots of this event).
Do not refuse the Lots of $ off Dairy Queen Frozen Cakes! coupon your mother presses on you enthusiastically before you leave town. Do not fear you may look cheap handing a coupon to a very bored and mildly surly teenager when buying a birthday cake for your about-to-turn-seven twins, who fully expect a large and heavily decorated ice cream cake from Dairy Queen each and every birthday. Those $#%&*@ cakes are expensive. They also exude a magic scent that draws in all children within a 2 mile radius and those children will prevent you from getting even a taste of that over-priced slab of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, dark creamy fudge, crumbled chocolate cookies, and melt in your mouth icing.
(squint carefully here, or click on the picture to magically enlarge it)
Do not worry when your husband takes your request to "get these kids out of here!" seriously and heads off on a raft-with-slide with his friend (you know, the one who likes to make margarita machines out of garberators?) and two paddles. He's just going to moor them offshore a ways. And your youngest children have life jackets on. Right? Besides, you're having a lovely time.
Do not fret that your eldest spends all his time hunched over, making large and strangely complicated sand castles. It's not like he's recreating all the things he could be doing on Runescape if we weren't the only people on the beach without an internet connection. Oh no no no. He's having a lovely time.

Do not feel awkward when looking at your neighbour's summer photos from last year, particularly when you note that your corpulent body is wearing the exact same frumpy dress it was wearing last year. (remember, you were having a lovely time)

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Do not worry about your cat, even when he spends almost the entire vacation hiding under your bed. Do not believe him when he tells you he'd rather be home, teaching the children math. He's having a lovely time.
Do not buy the Canadian edition of Hello! magazine if you can help it. The British version is so much better. You will be able to read about people you've never heard of, people like Cheryl Cole and her unfaithful soccer spouse Ashley, who spends lavishly on her when he's not cheating. You will see lots of pictures of Cheryl in many different outfits, looking fetching and holding Ashley by the hand, and be convulsed by the captions of their summer holiday ("Ashley waits chivalrously while Cheryl adjusts her shoe" "Ashley gazes adoringly at Cheryl's stunningly toned and fit body"). You will marvel at her declaration that she feels "over the hill" at 25. You will see the very first pictures of the MIRACLE IVF twins an aging rocker you've never heard of and his also aging (but vastly better looking) wife just had. You will see pictures of him trying to feed a sleeping baby a bottle of what appears to be apple juice. Never mind that the baby is only 1 month old. You will note that he has the same compellingly rigid expression in all 12 photographs. And finally, you will see pictures of Brad Pitt rushing to be at Angelina's side as she awaits the birth of their 4,234th and 4,235th children. You might have to tell your husband again why you like to buy this magazine when you go on vacation. He might express some skepticism about your exuberant and unbridled hilarity at the stories, not to mention your penchant for reading him the really funny bits, but just because some of us like reading academic texts at the beach doesn't mean that all of us do. Who knows, maybe he is just distressed at the idea that a 57 year old man is trying to give a 1 month old baby a bottle of apple juice. Ignore him. He's having a lovely time. And whatever you do, do not worry when your children push the raft-with-slide further and further out into the ocean in a never ending quest for further and further excitement. As long as you can see a speck on the water you know they are still there. Even when they climb onto the slide en mass and start rocking the whole thing back and forth, laughing wildly all the while. Even when they go head first down the slide into the very deep water. They have life jackets on. And they're having a lovely time.
Finally, teaching one's cat to fetch one of those glow in the dark bracelets is an excellent Party Trick to entertain The Slightly Bored And Looking For Excitement Underage Masses when it's raining on one's vacation. Just make sure he doesn't bite through it and drip glow in the dark fluid all over the carpet.

By the way, no cats were harmed during the making of this video.

They were having a lovely time.


Nicola said...

Reading about that cake made my mouth water - and it's not even vegan!

Yes, those tomatoes are all red, so we can't leave them on the kitchen countertop too long.

The ones in the garden are nowhere near ready. We have apricots and peaches but I can't eat them, thanks to my husband getting me on to this alkaline diet. I will have to preserve some for September when I will once again allow myself fruit.

Anonymous said...

Your husband reads academic books on the beach! Mat does that too. We went camping in Italy once. I was chortling over Nick Hornby. He was reading Donna Haraway.

That all sounds nice. And who cares if you were wearing the same dress. Since when do you need to be fashionable at the beach?

shaun said...

First, I have exactly one beach dress that I wear over my swimsuit. It gets a lotta wear. It is approximately 8 years in my possession. It was previously owned by my step-mother, who bought it on a Hawaiian vacation.

Second, your pictures look great. That raft is very very tempting.

Beck said...

We are suddenly BIG DAIRY QUEEN CAKE FANS after realizing that we can get them made GLUTEN FREE! Hooray!
I've had to force myself not to lecture COMPLETE STRANGERS about the horrible things they give their babies in bottles. YIKES, people.

sheila said...

JoVE, Shaun, perhaps it was the corpulent bit that bothered me most, I don't know. I just looked so, err, matronly. And Shaun, I almost laughed my tea out of my nose when I read that your dress was previously owned by another family member! So funny!

Richard was reading Roger Scruton and some other guy. I like Scruton but the other one was massive, heavy and looked exceedingly dry. I see my mission on our holidays as being the Frivolous Asides Person, just in case he's tempted to dry up from work.

Beck - who woulda thought! I did not know that about DQ cakes. Good for them. And yes, I'm with you on the lecturing perfect strangers bit. I have to bite my tongue several times a day. Fortunately my daughter is a chip off the old block, and she butts in where I fear to tread. Handy, that.