So the Grump, my husband, gets about five weeks of vacation every year, and every year he forfeits about three weeks of it because he is a big workaholic. With family visits at Thanksgiving and Christmas, we only really get one week for family vacation...and this year, it's with more family. We are all renting a large house in a lovely little town on the Jersey Shore, where I have been going "down" practically my entire life.
Some might call me crazy for signing up for a week with my mother and father, but they would not know the truth, which is that my in-laws are also coming for three nights. In other words, flat-out insane. My only hope is that they cosmically neutralize each other and leave me out of it, thus freeing me to sit on my tuchas on a white sand beach and think about nothing at all.
We are essentially doing the same drive as described in a previous post by Mama K. I used to do that exact route, over the Tappan Zee bridge, mainly because I enjoyed saying "Tappan Zee," but lately we've said the heck with it and just taken our chances going through the Bronx and over the GW Bridge.
When I was a kid growing up in Philadelphia, summer weather reports, aka the "forecast," were accompanied by reports of beach weather, aka the "shorecast." I was wondering what to pack this week and decided to google "Jersey shorecast," and instead of sunshine, I got Snooki (i.e. "Jersey Shore Cast"). My, how times have changed. Suffice it to say that we are going to a shore town that does not have anyone wearing a "bumpit," although in the past I have spotted the occasional IROC there.
But I digress. The thing I am most worried about is that the Duchess and Honey, who have always been early risers, have been positively getting up with the cows lately. I'm talking about 5:15am, if we are lucky. Although I have always been a morning person, this is a little too much morning for me. And we can't even do anything fun at night - for example, the Grump and I went out on Tuesday evening and got home at a reasonable 10:15pm, but I have been a wreck ever since due to lack of sleep.
(On the other hand, the evening was totally worth it. Among other things, the bouncer at one bar we went to carded me - and almost wouldn't let me in because I didn't have my ID! I am definitely going back there, if only for the ego boost).
Speaking of which, my birthday is next week. What I really want is for someone to let me sleep in - like till 7am (a luxury I can barely let myself think about). But since I know this will never happen, I will just do as I always do and tell the Grump that I want something very sparkly in a small box.
All of this is just diversion from my stress about spending quantity time with my parents, who are now at the stage of life where kvetching is an Olympic sport - and they are going for the gold. (You know - it's either too cold in here with the air conditioning, or too hot outside, etc.) Also, no matter how specific I am in providing instruction about what to do with the Duchess and Honey, my mother blows past my schedules and just does whatever she was going to do anyway. ("I raised three children," she will say indignantly if I bring anything up to her). My dad claims he will help, but I can tell the Duchess will spin him like a top. He is just too easy a mark.
What's scary is how much of my mother I have internalized. For example, she would never have brought, say, half a box of crackers from the cupboard with us to the rental house; instead, she would have gone out and purchased a brand-new box to bring with us, even if all anybody wanted was just a half a box. "Let's just get a fresh box," she would say. And, as I plan my shopping list, I realized: I do this unconsciously too!
On the bright side, I constantly remind myself, I will be there for a full week with four grandparents who will fall all over themselves to spend time with the girls, while I slip out to read Us Weekly in the sand. See you in a couple of weeks!