When is a Vacation…not REALLY a Vacation?

There are times in every man’s life, when he just has to suck it up and take one for the team. I understand that…even expect it as part of having a family…I just didn’t expect to have to do it so often.

Ok, so here’s the story. My wife’s grandmother is in her 80s and her health is fairly rapidly deteriorating. However, despite the best efforts of her local parish to milk her out of every dime her deceased husband left her, (“Um, yes we went ahead and signed you up to donate $20K this year, OK?“) she still has a good bit of money left. With more children and grandchildren than she can count, I figure she thinks she should just spend the money now and have fun, rather than try and figure out whom to give it to when she passes on. So, about every year or two, she pays for the core family to all get together for a vacation. When Megan and I got married, she paid for everyone to go to Disney. We did a beach house a couple of years later. The trend continues this year. Last year it was Disney again (we opted out along with a couple of other siblings) and lo’, this year it’s a beach house again. This one to be more precise.

But wait! A fairly free vacation at the beach…what could be so bad about that? I dunno, let’s see:

  • This house sleeps 34 people. We’re going to fill it up and overflow into a second condo down the street (folks, that’s 34 people, including several crying babies and more than a dozen grandchildren all in one house!)
  • The 8 hour drive with two children in a car-seats
  • Usually, we all take turns cooking for the night. What? Am I running a restaurant here?
  • There will be no rest. There will be no one who wants to help watch our youngun’s cause they’ll all have their own.
  • Logistics, logistics, logistics. OHMYGOD! You mean all four of us are going to have to sleep in a single room for a week? Seriously? You do know that newborns (by then he’ll be 4 months old) don’t sleep well at night.

What makes it even worse is that instead of it just being the core family (her children and their families), they’ve also invited cousins and families. Seriously, I can’t see this being fun at all. In fact, I remember a couple of years ago when we first did this, my being in a decidedly constant bad mood and my wife and I getting in fights over it. She knows I hate crowds, yet again, she asks me to participate in what can only become a major problem for me. And it’s not like I can just go home and get away for a while. At the beach in July, there’s no getting away. Even a walk on the beach won’t be getting away. There’ll be hundreds of other people…

I know I’m just complaining here, but this is a week of vacation I’m blowing to go do something that I’m not just “not” looking forward to…I’m physically dreading this “vacation.”

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