Friday, August 05, 2005

"Traveling While Married'

A friend recently loaned me "Traveling While Married' by Mary-Lou Weisman. Good book -- small and witty.

p. 46: "We don't like to unwind. There's nothing Zen about us. It's not unusual to come upon Larry relaxing at home on a Sunday afternoon, working a crossword puzzle, vacuuming the rugs, and washing the dishes. I can talk on the phone, answer my email, and moisturize without feeling the least bit stressed. People who like us think of us as energetic and productive. People who don't, think we're workaholic freaks who won't last much longer. The point is, a transatlantic cruise would not be a good vacation choice for us, unless our ship came under enemy attack or ran into the perfect storm."

This reminds me of an article in yesterday's Post about the staycation, in which one takes time off but stays home. I think that sounds lovely. I have plenty of interesting and fun stuff to do around the house, including weeding my garden, knitting, watching shows on my Tivo backlog, organizing stuff... you get the idea. I like going places and doing things, too, but the main point of taking time off is to be doing stuff I want to be doing, not stuff I have to do.

My favorite vacations lately have been the ones I spent at Old Bedford Village, where I spent a week at a time living in a log home and pretending I was keeping house in the 18th century. This involved hard work -- cooking, laundry, more cooking, cleaning, sewing, etc. But it was fun. No computers, no phone calls, no databases -- just me, the tourists, and the frogs in the pond.

Speaking of cruises, K. has expressed a desire to go on the Queen Mary II or the rebuilt Titanic. I think I'd consent to go if a) I got to spend the entire time sitting in a deck chair and reading, and b) he absolutely promised to dance with me ever night. (He's a great dancer. but resolutely refuses to dance at weddings or other occasions where that's an option, and I miss dancing.) Not that this is likely to happen any time in the near future -- it's hard for both of us to take time off for any amount of time lately, anyway.

We've got tentative plans to go to Maine on vacation this Fall. I'm also not convinced this will happen (see above), but if it does, I'm dreading it. Our last vacation in Maine (two years ago) was a disaster. He wanted the TV on all the time (we compromised and bought a cheap radio, which at least provided some background noise for him, though we couldn't agree on whether to play Classical -- my choice, for relaxation, or Classic Rock -- his choice).

We did ok with the antiquing and museuming, but the real problem was coming home. He went into a blue funk and whined for months about not being in Maine anymore, and then started talking about moving to Maine within the next year. We've talked about moving to Maine eventually, but... eventually and next year are entirely different things. We had a huge fight. I'd just published my first costume book, and had been building a community of local friends, and there's no way I could face moving at that point. We also had a lot of projects in mid-progress around the house (like ripping up carpet and putting down hardwood flooring, building built-ins in the living room, etc.), which would require finishing in preparation to a move. Last, and most important, Maine has had a depressed economy for the last hundred years; finding jobs there isn't easy. Many rural Mainers work several jobs to make ends meet. K. is an IT professional with a security clearance that is very marketable in the DC area, and I work in a rather specialized job myself -- chances of finding comparable jobs in the area we want to live aren't great. So I'm just worried that another Maine vacation is going to bring this all back to the top, and I'm not prepared to deal with it right now.

Fortunately (perhaps), he's now talking about doing a local vacation. Fine with me! In fact, I'd be happy just to stay home, potter around in the garden, finish some sewing projects... you get the idea. The perfect staycation.


Blogger Lisa said...

I'm all for staycations. I used to take a week off each year to work on my book. It was great! However, having just returned from a typical beach vacation with extended family I do feel more relaxed -- although playing catch-up with work isn't fun upon return. Why should a week be such a big deal? If I'm that indispensible, shouldn't I be making more money?

There's not much better in this world than sitting on a beautiful beach with a beer in one hand and a book in the other, and my parents babysitting my child while she squeals with delight in the surf.

5:31 AM  

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