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In which I took a break. - It seemed like a good idea at the time... [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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In which I took a break. [Aug. 3rd, 2012|04:32 pm]
So, you find yourself at a rooftop club arm-wrestling a bounty hunter and think “Okay, I didn’t see THIS coming.” For the record, this wasn’t a contest for my freedom or anything, just a guy we met, and feats of strength came up and the three women I was with started arm-wrestling each other, and then I took them each on and beat them handily and then they egged me on to pit myself against this giant mountain of man muscle. Which was a losing proposition, clearly, but he seemed a little surprised that he actually had to twitch a couple of muscles to beat me. Which then flushed out several guys clearly harboring certain fantasies who were very, very hard to shake off. This is why I don’t go to clubs.

In college I was a polyester leisuresuit magnet. If there was a pair of Sansabelt slacks in the room, they would find me within 20 minutes. Now it’s definitely a more eclectic bunch, but each not-my-type in their own little quirky ways. (Like the guy last night who opened with “don’t your feet hurt?” and after some random chatting insisted on a goodnight hug whereupon it became apparent that he was wearing…something…underneath his t-shirt that wasn’t an undershirt and I keep trying to get my head not to contemplate it, but my imagination is terrier-like in its persistence) Although I can’t get too particular – when you show up at a club at 9pm and leave by 10:30pm, my gut says you’re not viewing the cream of the crop. But since me to a club is as a hat is to a cat – perhaps amusing for a brief time, but ultimately not a sustainable venture, and if carried on for too long, involves bloodshed, I’ll continue to consider it part of my wingman duties and nothing more.

Note to self: You need to get more sleep. Seriously. You’re burning the candle…it doesn’t even have ends anymore. Just a lump of wax with some charred bits mixed in. But coming off of vacation I was feeling mellow and supportive and vulnerable to peer pressure, so thus, instead of a relaxing night at home, I found myself drinking beer from plastic cups and chatting up bouncers and bounty hunters.

So, I went on a vacation. An actual vacation. Either 3 or 5 days, depending on how you calculate. The first two days were with family, so they may not completely count. See, that’s the thing. It’s been probably a good five years since I've actually gone someplace that didn’t involve performing or being in costume and/or staying with family or some large communal friends thing where I may be in a vacation spot, but sharing a room with another couple and enduring the joys of one bathroom for eight people, and unless I cook the whole time, we’re going to be eating cheesy-frank-bean-bake, or something similar.

I have very particular ideas about what a vacation constitutes, don’t I? Here’s the thing: my regular work/play/home life is very much focused on people/critters that NEED me to do something. Get them a report, get them information, analyze something, take this here or there, feed them, clean up after them, attend to their emotional needs. It’s rarely about me. Heck, I cancelled television – not because I have something against it, but I just don’t have TIME. When I go on “vacation” it winds up being the same damn thing. I’m going someplace because that’s where someone else needs to be. And where ever it is, I’m going to wind up DOING for people. Or I’m staying with family – and it’s not about relaxing or chilling or….it’s about visiting. Making the most of our visit with full-on constant contact, until I’m finally driven to lie about needing to go to sleep just so I can steal a half an hour to read a book.

So, while I could hear my mother’s heart weeping as we abandoned a perfectly good guest room and headed a mere 40 minutes down the coast to stay in a hotel full of strangers, it was EXACTLY what I needed to do. I’d thought, “oh, wouldn’t it be sweet to stay in quaint little B&B’s….” and then I thought about having to make conversation with the B&B owner upon arrival, then the next morning at breakfast…and thought “Hell NO.” Here is my credit card, employee of large hotel chain; this concludes my relationship with you. And I got to go places I wanted to see, do things I wanted to do, and the only catering to another I did was because I truly wanted to, not because I had to, or should.

And since much of what I do on my idea of a true vacation is centered around food and the things you do on your way to the next food experience (there are generations of “you should eat to live, never live to eat!” progenitors rolling in their graves right now, so sorry, East Coast, for the mild tremblors! Although that scritchy noise is my grandmother in her post office box, sorry, COLUMBARIUM) it certainly helped to have a traveling companion who shares that. And gets my inner Calvin Trillin enough to understand that sometimes it’s not about the brilliance of the food, but about the genuine experience and FEEL of a place, the very landmarkiness, benchmarkiness of the food or restaurant that’s important. Because there are far tastier breakfasts in Providence than Louis, but you can get tasty breakfasts in almost every city in the world. There is only ONE Louis – where art student and salt of the earth meet in a multi-generational family restaurant that probably hasn’t had a good cleaning since they opened two generations ago.

But there were naps, people. And reading books. And sitting on a terrace sipping wine watching the sun set over the river, with the Sound at our backs. And beluga whales, and wine tasting and pastures of cows juxtaposed against oceanside cliffs and the smell of the ocean and lack of humidity and eating lobster almost every day.

I’ll have to be careful, though – too much of that and I might become a relaxed, mellow person. And that would be world-ending.

[User Picture]From: dreamtigress
2012-08-03 09:07 pm (UTC)
My ideal vacation would involve no agenda, no responsibility to be anywhere at a certain time, no tourist attractions. It would involve a pool that I could swim in whenever I chose, a hot tub or jacuzzi tub in my room, and a lot of reading and good food.

I was actually musing the other day that if I had 24-7 access to a pool, how much happier my body would be, and how nice that would make life.
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[User Picture]From: terribleturnip
2012-08-04 02:48 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've tried that. Fun for a day, but then bored, bored, bored. I love to explore and do things as much or slightly more as just chill. The chilling is the reward for having gotten up and learned/seen/done something. Although I'm with you on the pool -- I go two to three times a week and it's rushed/chore. Would love to just flip around in one whenever I wanted.
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[User Picture]From: pyllgrum
2012-08-04 01:19 pm (UTC)
Lobster makes any vacation memorable...
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[User Picture]From: sestree
2012-08-04 01:43 pm (UTC)
YOU would understand why we abandoned a perfectly good greek restaurant in favor of a raw bar that has the best burgers and vintage signs.

Actually atmosphere is why I used to eat at One Eyed Mikes. Nothin says fun quite like a place where regulars are greeted like real people and (back then) a dog sits at your feet and nuzzles you for treats.

I'm glad you got away. Jon and I are the masters of the mini vacay. Long enough to recharge but not so long you have work guilt.
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