Here’s the latest Past Deadline, published in The Perth Courier on March 14/13.
Yes we have no vacation
By the time you read this, March Break will be almost over, we will have mostly adjusted to the time change, we’ll have new batteries in our smoke detectors (Right? Do it now!) and life will soon return to whatever version of “normal” is currently in play. (The options are wide open on that last one.)
As I write this, however, March Break is just beginning and I have said bon voyage to several friends who have jetted away for holidays. Groom-boy and I didn’t make plans to get the family away, mostly due to work commitments. We’ll probably do some minor fun stuff with the kids. (As soon as I figure out what “minor fun stuff” means I’ll let you know.)
It’s been busy lately, so March Break kinda crept up on me. Suddenly it was here and it dawned on me just how much I could use a little vacation. (“Dawned” in this context means “hit me like an anvil.”)
So, here is my “Top Seven List of Reasons Why I Know It’s Time to Get Out of Dodge,” in no particular order. (Yes, I know a Top 10 is better, but three reasons got filtered out. See No. 5):
1. Every time someone says he or she is going away for March Break, you laugh heartily and say, “Well have a fruity beverage for me on the beach!” After a while it occurs to you that if all those people get together and talk, they will think you are an alcoholic.
2. If you’re not talking to someone about fruity beverages, you’re offering to “carry their luggage.” Of course this is a fairly common expression to suggest envy for a holiday, but apparently you are saying it with enough earnestness and/or desperation to make people back away slowly.
3. When people chuckle about the “carry the luggage” thing, you are quick to present diagrams showing how you can actually curl up in a medium-sized suitcase for easy stowing. You’ve been practising. (And so endeth the conversation.)
4. You spend a lot of time giving yourself pep talks about people’s vacation response e-mails, voice mails or countdowns on Facebook (e.g. “Only three more sleeps ’til the Caribbean!”) You learn to scroll through and/or delete quickly and adopt denial as a survival technique.
5. Your Sarcasm Meter™ is high, but your Personal Filter™ is low, which is a baaaaad combination. You find yourself sitting on your hands to avoid typing regrettable witticisms on public forums. And although your filters are hanging in there, your hands are continually going numb, which makes it harder to practice folding yourself into a suitcase.
6. Although you have previously stated you are growing weary of the grit on the kitchen floor from sandy snowpants and that no matter how hard you try to pretend it is a sandy beach it’s just not working, it’s getting easier. You’re thinking that setting up a lawn chair in the kitchen may help.
7. The joy you usually experience from not having to make bagged lunches for a Whole! Entire! Week! is just not giving you the same thrill it usually does. You find yourself imagining packing picnics for beaches…and pining for it. (Perhaps a picnic on the kitchen floor is in order?)
So…what’s the silver lining here? (No…really…what is it?) Well, I suppose I don’t have to get up as early as usual during March Break, which would be great if my brain hadn’t started betraying me by waking up at the crack of stupid every day. Maybe the time change will be good for something after all….