Worn Slap Out!

Well, our clan has just completed our annual vacation and so we are absolutely worn slap out. All of us….however, the energy exerted on these annual vacations is not equally divvied up and therefore, the whining shouldn’t be either. Since my bunch doesn’t care what I have to say, I am putting it out there to you and hoping for an Amen, Sister!

Let’s talk about preparing for the family vacation with kids. We all decide on where to go. All have opinions and suggestions.  That is where the ‘all’ ends. Period.

Then while kids are bouncing off the walls in excitement, annoyingly asking “how many more days?” and endlessly pouring over which toys to take; momma plans, budgets, cleans, packs, stresses and drinks. Fast-forward to arriving at your destination or sooner if you are part of my clan, the ‘others’ begin to ask if I remembered to pack……whatever. I reckon they should have thought of that before leaving. My job is to keep all vitals strong and basic hygiene needs met.

Now, let’s go ahead and talk about coming home. We will clearly divide the duties to ensure you get the appropriate picture.

Dad drives home. Dad helps unload car. Dad naps.

Kids play or otherwise vanish into thin air.

Mom begins unpacking. Mom sorts the laundry. Mom starts the laundry. Mom puts up the luggage. Mom inventories fridge and pantry. Mom runs to the grocery store. Mom cooks dinner. Mom goes through the million receipts, invoices and charge accounts. Mom begins drinking, even though she can’t afford to. Mom gets everything ready for the next day. Mom catches up on her work emails. Mom takes a quick shower and falls into bed. Mom listens to the ‘others’ talk about how tired they are. Mom tries to remember that vacations are necessary and it was fun.

Mommas need a vacation after the vacation. Can I get an Amen, Sister?!

Worthless as an Ashtray on a Motorcycle (Part II) – Reentry.

I see that many of you read my first post and ascertained that I am an ungrateful cretin, after enjoying six amazing days at an all in-inclusive resort for free – and still having something to complain about. Not just for free….but FOR FREE!! Even my luggage was paid for, shuttle services, excursions, spa treatments, etc. Where do I get the gall to complain??

Let me explain. It’s all in the return.

If a resort is truly all-inclusive, then it should also cover reentry into reality? I mean really…how hard would a few-hour course be to put together?? Pennies compared to the potential costs of homicidal ramifications or outright depression that society would incur without it. I have even taken the liberty to offer my suggestions….free of charge, of course.

Below are my top five components of such a course:

  1. Role play scenarios or pictographs of ‘How to Pay a Bill at a Restaurant.” This probably needs to proceed ordering of said meal in first world countries. For example, back in reality, you will need to remember that the water is safe to drink and free…..you will need to remember that desserts are absolutely an inexplicable cost, only an option on birthdays…when it’s free.
  2. Demonstrations of turning on water faucets or flushing toilets.
  3. Pictures and sound recordings of an actual alarm going off. Complete with the total service of said alarm, which is nothing. No courtesy call asking if you need a second call or if you would like coffee or juice. Nothing. Just loud, obnoxious sound and then it’s done. Maybe, this would be a good role play option…having someone kick us out of bed to the alarm sound….pour water on us…curse us like yard dogs….
  4. The quiet. A course on understanding that this state is not OK. It’s a direct indication that something is wrong. At the resort, when you enter a room, you are acknowledged. You walk out of the resort and you are acknowledged. When you arrive at the airport, you are acknowledged.

Not so much in reality. Remember your thankless role?? It’s time to             become one with it again. Also, if you have kids and you hear quiet….be       afraid….very afraid.

5. The tables have turned. I don’t know any other way to say it, but now you are re-entering a world, where your family are the ones living in an all-inclusive resort. You take their order, bring their food, make their beds, do their laundry, wash their dishes, drive them places, change their toilet paper, paying for their needs, etc.

Yep, this last one needs an all-inclusive response to reintegration.

Did I forget anything?

Worthless as an Ashtray on a Motorcyle

So, I just returned from my very first, all-inclusive resort experience, which was way beyond my raising. Really, I shouldn’t even speak of it. However, I’m curious.

Apparently, I am a big deal with Thirty-One Gifts, and earned an all expense paid trip to the Hard Rock Resort in Cancun, Mexico. Believe it or not, I almost passed on this trip. The thought of preparing for a week away and facing the fallout was about too much to bear. Whatever, I ponied up and went.

The morning of departure, I was ready to book an earlier return flight. It was 4 am and two hours of sleep was just not going to cut it. After 4 hours of waiting at the airport, I finally boarded the plane and sat next to total strangers on my way to paradise. Fast forward two hours. I landed in Cancun, got body raped by twenty locals trying to convince me that they were my ride to the resort, aka human slavery. Thankfully, Thirty-One had actually included a picture of their man at the airport, so I had tunnel-vision for him and him, alone. I get on the bus, was offered a warm towel (not sure why)….was told another hour and ten minutes, I would be where I need to be.

Then, I arrived. Red carpets, waiters with champagne and strangers clapped my way from the bus to the check-in counter. I’m fairly certain the heavens opened up and I heard angels sing. My luggage was an after-thought, when it was delivered to my room. I had only seconds to glance down at my feet to find only ratty flip-flops, instead of ruby slippers. This was my first glance at my alternate reality for the next six days.

In hindsight, this was my first moment of ungratefulness, camouflaged in awe. This was their first jab.

For the next six days, I had FREE drinks, room service, five-star resort food, mini bar, robes, slippers, cabana boys by the lagoon, etc  My shower was so perfect with multiple spickets, so I didn’t even have to scrub. If I chose to walk more than ten feet, there was a golf cart waiting for me. If I couldn’t choose between desserts or appetizers, I was brought both. I couldn’t decide between manis, pedis, hydrotherapy and massages, so I just used my room credit and enjoyed them all. If I needed a snack after ten feet of walking, there was a buffet of choices. There were guys to clean the seaweed from the lagoon…really,…true story. My flesh was so sacred, people were keeping fungus from touching it – or so I chose to believe.

After it’s all said and done…is it worth it? Should it be allowed that people are treated this way? I mean, really….think about it. If I had ever been incited to violence, it was upon my return.

Shouldn’t “All-inclusive” include a debriefing session? Are we that careless with the American people??

That Girl Got Too Big For Her Britches.

As with all other life events, a country girl can survive…even coming home. Out of all of my transitions in life, this was probably the most welcome, but the hardest one. We all know that country folk don’t take well to those that ain’t from around here. Well, after surviving the big city and even Europe, I had become that girl. (Hell, I may as well had moved to Florida.) In the process of learning French, I had lost some, if not all, of my southern twang. All of sudden, my friends and family couldn’t understand a word that I was saying. I encountered several people that had something to say about me leaving in the first place.

My words were different, my dress was different, my outlook on life was different…but I was still a country girl at heart. Or I wouldn’t have moved home! I just needed a healthy dose of country to help me readjust.

Here are some lessons learned…

1. Don’t forget where you came from.
2. Fried food, pintos and onions, cornbread and milk and wild game will need to replace hummus and pita, sushi, Italian pies, broiled and blackened meats – who does this to perfectly good meat anyway??
3. Go to your favorite restaurant and order a big ole greasy cheeseburger with slaw, fries loaded down with ketchup and a big glass of southern sweet tea. You will wonder how you ever survived without it.
4. Flannel and jeans – you shoulda never have given this up anyway.
5. Don’t forget where you came from.
6. Dial down your schooling. Now, I ain’t saying that country folk ain’t smart, don’t have some serious degrees and natural talent. I’m just saying that country folk don’t flaunt it, like our city counterparts. In the city, you have to constantly fight for your position at work or keep up with conversations above your pay grade. I understand that and that in itself creates a habit that has no place in the country. Just do your thing and your smarts will speak for itself.
7. Forget the word clubbing and think Friday night football games and tail gates. Same scene, but better music and way less cheaper!
8. Get all of your stuff done before 9pm. Remember us country folks got no good reason to be out that late.
9. Identify your politics. Country folk ain’t got no use for those that are undecided.
10. Don’t forget where you came from.

PS – britches are pants for any city folk tuning in.

I LOVE to read your comments. Tell me what you encountered when you returned to the country – even if just for a visit!