A Rare Rant: Is it Just Me? Or are Vacations Overrated?

I am the Vacation Grinch. I don’t like vacations. I really, really don’t like them.

I like it at home. It’s nice here. It’s comfortable, relaxing, and I have everything I love around me; mr husband, son, kitties, dog, comfy chair, comfy bed, garden, work. I like it here.

Vacations are work, much more work than actually going to my job, which is actually fun, and from which I rarely require more than a day away from to miss it again.

I don’t like flying, either, and I don’t like being away from home. I don’ t have a desire to travel and see the world. I do enjoy day trips, or the occasional weekend getaway, if it is stress-free and inexpensive. But by the time I arrive at my destination, I am already homesick. I feel like I’ve been evicted from my house, or worse, like a little bird that has lost its way. I seem to get more homesick with each passing year.

Maybe I’m nuts, or maybe I just have other priorities.  I don’t think mr husband understands, but I googled “vacation dread” and found I am not alone! I don’t need time to “relax and unwind” – I want to stay busy!

Our last “vacation” was a weekend in Chicago. Two of three museums were good – the other sucked. It was cold, food was expensive, but they have pretty good mass transit. As for architecture, it was very cool, but then again, so it Detroit. The curtains were very interesting in the hotel room, and I ended up spendiig a lot of time staring at them. BORED to tears! The train ride was okay on the way there, and terrible on the way back. It was ridiculously expensive, but pretty okay.

The vacation before that was a week on Ocracoke Island. We went early in the season, to avoid crowds. Oh boy! The museum was closed, there were two restaurants open, one of which food-poisoned mr husband, two stores were open (thank God one was the liquor store!), and the weather was too rough to boat or visit the ghost town on the neighboring island. I read all my books the first day – did I mention it rained the whole time – and spent a great deal of time staring at the ceiling. That was the last vacation I didn’t bring “work” with me!

There was a California trip in there somewhere, too. El Segundo is a cool town, although the antique shopping sucked, the food was pricey, and they had the first tornado in 50 years while we were there. We did see some whales, though, which was actually pretty awesome, as was the Getty Museum.

I know I sound like the vacation Grinch! I just don’t see the point of all the fuss – I’d rather take a week off work and stay home, visit local museums, etc. mr husband can relax with his books, and I can do more than stare at a ceiling in some strange room while he takes a necessary and well-deserved break.

Still, here is my gripe-y, whiney, depressing list for vacation, which is supposed to be to Tennessee for Thanksgiving, to see parents and my brother’s family and some cousins, etc. I know it will make me sound like a negative person, which I’m not, really. But I suspect that many women have a similar list in preparing for vacation:


Clean the house

Do the laundry

Find a catsitter

Reserve the dog kennel

Make sure the animal’s vaccines are up to date for the kennel/sitter

Clean out the refrigerator

Take out all the trash

Gas up and clean up the car

Find all the misplaced CDs for the car

Pack all the crap to take to my mother

Withdraw all the excess cash from my bank account

Make sure all doors and windows are locked

Talk to the neighbors

Do more laundry, because someone wore something they wanted to pack

Find the suitcases, pack all the stuff

Find a good book to read

Make sure all bills that are going to be due are scheduled to be paid

Make sure City Hall knows I will be out of town, and leave a forwarding number

Get the dog to the kennel

Get a key made for the cat sitter

Put the trash out to the road, in bags only, and hope the raccoons don’t tear it up

Pack laptop, and bring some “work” to work on if I get a chance!

Run the dishwasher so it doesn’t smell bad

Make sure there is enough food for the cat, oh, and the fish, too. make a run to the pet store for more.

Touch up hair roots and manicure

Ps-These are MY tasks, not mr husband’s

While I’m gone:

Worry about what I forgot to pack

Go to the store for all the stuff I forgot to pack

Worry about an unexpected bill hitting the bank one day too early

Worry about the kitties and dog

Miss the kitties and the dog

Worry about the house

Worry about the museum burning down, or worse

Worry about getting so behind at work

Worry about that overdue library book that didn’t make it to the “preparation” list

Worry about the mountains of laundry and crap to unpack when I return

Listen to endless snarking of family members

Worry about amount of money that is being spent

Worry about unhealthy fast food, expensive restaurant meals, general overeating and how much excess alcohol is necessary to survive it all

If visiting parents:

Cook, shop for food, cook, cook, cook, shop for more food, clean up food mess, plan for next meal, cook, (rinse and repeat, forever!!!)

Listen to mother’s criticism of hair, weight, fashion choices, mothering ability, excessive alcohol consumption, son’s life choices, job, house, car, etc…..

Generally deal with feeling disconnected, lonely, unhappy, homesick and sad

Spend 5-6 hours a day staring at the hotel room ceiling while mr husband reads a book, sleeps in late, and showers, while I crave coffee, and stare at the ceiling some more

Upon return:

Wash more clothes than I even knew I owned

Spend a week unpacking and stowing suitcases for every family member

Sort through 65 pounds of junk mail

Re-connect with sad, lonely pets

Pay the sitter and kennel, feel broke

Clean out smelly fridge of things I thought would make it a week, but didn’t

Spend $150 on groceries, because there’s nothing in the house

Go out to eat, anyway

Answer 200 emails from work, as well as 16 voice mails that should have been answered last week

Air out the house of stuffy air

Repair shattered ego and begin rebuilding self esteem

Clean the house, again – how did it get dirty when no-one was there?

And I have fun when?

Mr husband doesn’t understand why I don’t want to leave home….I like it here. I’ve worked hard to make it a comfortable place. Why would I leave?

Anyone with me?


About claymire cottage

I'm a museum curator who lives with a wonderful husband, Rowley the golden Retriever, and 2 cats; Mr. Cookie, and Mabel the Magnificent.

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