We are on our annual, fall vacation. No big deal, just a little jaunt to Central Oregon to visit my husband’s grandparents and my great aunt. My husband drove us up, then after a few days flew home for work; the trip will end next weekend with him flying back to drive us back home.
There have been a lot of…shall we say…revelations so far on this trip. Realizations? How about realities. There have been a lot of realities presented to me in the few days we have been here; I am sure as the days unfold even more will crop up.
My dog is way cool with me wiping her butt.
Just when I thought I was never going to have any more butts to wipe, my dog got diarrhea.
The situation was as follows: we fed her a lot of different things on the way up and the first two or three days here, because – well – it’s actually really hard to travel with a dog that eats homemade food. Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that with the majority of them, a change in diet is a recipe for diarrhea all over your carpeted floors.
So we’re sitting there the other night, watching Full House (because what the hell else do they have on TV here in the middle of nowhere-Oregon?), and all of a sudden I realize that just across the room the dog is taking a massive shit on the carpet.
By the time the dog has finished and moved on to return to eating kibbles, my daughter has jumped up and yelled “it looks like chocolate pudding!!”
A wonderful visual for you all, I am sure. “It looks like chocolate pudding,” though, means one thing, and one thing only, to me: the dog’s got the runs.
So we get up to clean it and then I notice the dog still has “chocolate pudding” all over her backside. Being concerned that she would scoot around and destroy even more of the floor in this place we are guests (I mean, obviously at home I wouldn’t give a shit what she does – which says a hell of a lot more about me than I’d like it to), I realize the reality of what we have to do.
We have to wipe the dog’s butt.
I won’t go into any more details about this; I’ll just say that she was very OK with it. Disturbingly OK with it.
My regular life is really stressful.
It always takes these little vacations, away from my daily reality and regular life, to get perspective on things.
The perspective I have now is that my regular life is really stressful. It’s full of problems I shouldn’t have to deal with. Stressors that are beyond my control, even though they should be within my grasp.
And my newest development: a myriad of bullies that I cannot walk away from, because – gasp, big surprise here!!! – they are family.
In fact, my myriad of bullies has stopped me from writing. Writing on this blog. Writing my next book (yes, there IS a next book in the works). Writing even in my journal – perhaps the most important part of a writer’s day.
Now I knew they were bullies before the vacation. I knew that if a family member told you you should move out of town, concluded with a “Bye Felicia” …well, if they said something like that, you could assume they were intentionally trying to be mean to you. (By the way, I had to look that up, because I had no idea what it meant – in spite of the fact that I’ve seen all the Friday movies.)
And I knew that the gossip had reached a fever pitch, as well. It got to a point where I felt it was necessary to post this:
But I also was trying to give everyone the benefit of a doubt. Maybe they were just joking when they told me I was an asshole for saying I was tired of cleaning up the mess from the renters that lived in the family condo we moved into in June. Perhaps excluding us, and only us, from family events was just oversight on their part.
I am far too nice.
Since we got here, I’ve been posting TONS of photos of family on my Facebook page. Every day. I haven’t heard so much as a peep from any of my bullies – big surprise, right? Then I realized that this is the way it ALWAYS goes. They NEVER pay attention to the good stuff. The important stuff. The positive stuff. The fun stuff.
But say a man accosted me in my parking lot and I’m not happy about it (true story), or that I got a bad haircut at a salon their friends work at (a real life tragedy), and they are ALL OVER IT. And by all over it, I mean sitting right there, just waiting to tell me to shut the fuck up, and that I’m wrong for whatever it was I did or said.
As usual, at the end of my vacation I’m affirming that I’m not going to tolerate it anymore. But, then again, I always say that…
I am again reminded that if I want something done right, I have to do it.
For some reason, I thought that we had reached a point where I could give a list of things that needed to be packed for vacation, and that those things would actually be packed.
The list was very simple:
- 2 outfits for cold weather
- 2 outfits for warm weather
- 3 pairs of pajamas
- 4 sets of underwear
- An extra sweater
- A jean jacket
Guess what was packed?
- 1 outfit for cold weather, pants don’t fit anymore
- Nothing for warm weather (it’s going to be in the upper 80s and 90s for the rest of our trip)
- 1 pair of pajamas
- 1 pair of underpants, no undershirts
- 4 sweaters, 1 sweater dress, 6 pairs of tights
- No jacket
What’s more disturbing is that there was a 20 year old adult (the babysitter) assisting in this endeavor, so I have to ask just why the shit my list wasn’t followed.
Nonetheless, I had a little meltdown about it today, because after all the expenses of moving and the possibility that my husband will be changing jobs and taking a slight pay cut in the near future, having to go buy ANYTHING, when we have plenty of perfectly adequate things at home, is upsetting.
So in short…
…this trip has been a little strange. Eye-opening. I’ve realized a lot, and been reminded that there really is no such thing as a vacation when you’re a mom. I’m still doing laundry every day; having to wipe everyone’s assholes; cooking, cleaning… It’s really just the same old shit in a different place.
But at the end of it, I will say one thing: it’s nice to have gotten my head out of the smog. Both the literal smog of California, as well as the metaphorical smog. There may not be anything I can do to change these situations in my regular, every day life, but at least I can acknowledge them and act accordingly. It’s much less stressful to know things for what they are, than to hide under the veil of denial. For that reason, and that reason alone, I’ll call this vacation a success.
Oh, and there is some pretty amazing shit to look at here too…