Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Wrong Vacation

As the Fallout reached its peak and ever so slowly began to wane, the Wedding Date loomed closer and closer. Out of nowhere, my mother decided to take action, to employ some evasive maneuvers, as it were. ("Out of nowhere" is not likely accurate. I was in my own little world of pajamas and pop and Sex and the City. EVERYthing was out of nowhere.) She suggested we go on a family vacation.

I was...unenthused with the prospect. My mother can drive me crazy sometimes, and I had, in fact, already made plans for myself for The Day, and they included much wallowing alone. I planned to disappear that day, drive aimlessly, go to the church and cry. The thought of a family vacation instead didn't exactly thrill me.

But mom was adamant, and kept suggesting destinations. None of them seemed especially appealing, until she hit upon Disney World. See, we never really took annual vacations as kids, probably because we lived in Texas and road-tripped to Minnesota for Christmas every year. That was enough of a vacation for our parents to have to deal with us on, so we never went places like Disney World. I did go to Disney World senior year of high school with orchestra, but it seems like a family vacation kind of destination. At her mention of it, my eyes lit up just a little, and I said, "hmm." That was all she needed.

I could produce no valid reason why we shouldn't go ("well, I really wanted to sit alone and cry that day" just didn't seem like it was going to cut it), so she planned and compared and clicked and booked, just as I had been doing for the previous 16 months, and suddenly there were definite plans in my future. The first definite plans since all my plans had been thrown out the window. Which, by the way, I just realized as I was typing it. I'm sure someday I'll figure out what the implications of that are.

Anyway, so I suddenly had these plans and I had to get off the couch and pack. So I did. And we were off to Orlando.

I can't tell you what the dates of our vacation were. I can't tell you which park we went to on which day. I can't tell you everything we ate, or did, or saw.

I know that in Epcot's Japan, we bought oysters that were opened in front of us and had necklaces made of the resulting pearl. I got a greenish-goldish colored pearl, in a much larger than average size. My sister, mom, and myself all had our pearls set in the same necklace setting. I was slightly jealous of my sister's blueish pearl; I love blue.

I know that I wore black on The Day, as a symbolic gesture for myself.

I know that all four of us stuffed ourselves into one teacup. And now I know that that is not a good idea!

I know that we convinced our parents to ride the Aerosmith roller coaster, and the resulting picture was so awesome that we bought it. I know also that we road DINOSAUR, and also bought that hilarious picture. (Did you know that I'm afraid of dinosaurs?)

I know we had fish and chips in "England," and we took a picture of me kissing a camel at the Aladdin ride. I know I bought a souvenir, a frame, that I haven't even unwrapped; it's hiding in the back of my closet. I know that we met up with some distant family members who live in Orlando, and Pam and I love our aunt-ish-lady who we never knew. I know that I bought a pair of red suede Kenneth Cole pumps that are to die for, but impossible to walk in.

I know that, when we flew home, our flight attendant was a bit surly, and I thought to myself, "Psh, I could do a better job than that."

I know that I did not have a single drop of alcohol or, as far as I remember, cry a single tear.

I also know, now, that this was the wrong vacation to take.

Most of the trip was spent in a depressed daze. I tried to pretend that wasn't true, I tried to be normal, but I'm not sure how good of a job I did. Clearly, there's not a whole lot of details I can give you about my vacation, though maybe that's normal after a year no matter the circumstances. I commented one day to my sister that Disney World wasn't really as fun and exciting as it seems like it should be, and maybe you just have to be younger to enjoy it.... or maybe, I realized after a short pause, you just have to not be me, right now, in the mental state I was in.

I will admit, however, that it got me off the couch. It got me outside. It got me smiling and laughing and eating and moving and breathing. It was the first tiny baby step that got me moving again, moving toward where I am now. In a sense, then, it was right, because clearly something had to give.

But, good or bad, right or wrong, perhaps most importantly, we all managed to make it through a multi-day stretch in Orlando without getting sunburned.


  1. I don't think it was the wrong vacation... I think any vacation you could have taken would have felt similarly. Surrounding yourself with family in a silly, happy place was as good a choice as any. Hopefully in a good few more years you can return with some kiddos and see it through fresh eyes.

  2. Aww honey, it may not have been the vacation you wanted or dreamed of but it wasn't the wrong vacation. You could have gone to the most expensive, luxurious, exotic place in the world and I bet you $1,000,000 it would have felt the same. Biggest hugs to you!