Thursday, June 12, 2008

What the ....?

Well I’d been waffling all week about what to write for this topic. I’ve had a variety of vacation experiences in my life, from the fabulous to the horrific, but nothing was leaping to mind. Then on television tonight I heard a word that made it easy. Yep, this one sent the stupid-meter soaring higher than the price of filling up the gas tank.

STAY-CATION

The media has decided that this is a great new thing, to bring families closer together and encourage participation in our communities.

Bull Puckey.

What it means is, “We’re too broke to go anywhere, but we can’t get cash for our vacation days. So we’ll take the time off and stick around home. We’ll do some local stuff so it only sucks little rocks instead of big ones.” Don’t even get me started on the other word they used, “home-tel.” That one’s just too moronic to contemplate. I was dashing to the bathroom when I heard that and I really hope it was a spoof.

So I guess my summer plans are suddenly trendy. Last summer was a big vacation, and this year, with astronomical gas prices, there’s just no hope of getting the hell out of Dodge. So, yes, we’ve talked about ways to make the summer suck a little less. Our kids are teens, so their idea of entertainment revolves more around friends than around anything else anyway, but yeah, we’d decided to make it a point to take in a couple of small Renaissance Fairs, and a few local museums that we’ve overlooked in recent years. Maybe let each of the boys drag a friend along, just so they have a good time too. And to think, we figured all this out without knowing there was a word for it. However did we manage that?

This is a new word for a very old concept. It’s called making do, people. And it’s how ordinary folks always have and always will cope with reality. Obviously, the pundits and politicians who are telling us how great this is never had to sit on the back porch with a homemade margarita and pretend it was the beach. Or convince a couple of kids that the sprinkler is as much fun as the water park.
On the other hand? It IS kind of cool to rediscover forgotten treasures in your own part of the world. Detroit has a world-class art museum, and my kids have never seen it, at last not that they remember. It’s free one day a month. Guess which day we’ll be going? Minor league baseball is pretty cheap, and it's actually more fun to watch, because it isn’t so slowed down for television. And when you come down to it, time is a bigger investment than money, anyway. Doing something, anything, makes more memories than sitting by the pool and having someone bring you pretty pink drinks.

Or so I will be telling myself all summer long.

6 comments:

  1. I think pretty pink drinks are overrated anyway. lol. A backyard margarita sounds pretty damn good if you ask me. I'm too much of a homebody to think about travel all that much. The thing about vacation is to be able to spend time with the family and you CAN do that for little to no money. Yep. Stay-cation sounds pretty fine and no mountains of laundry to do five days later.

    Thanks for my first big smile of the day!

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  2. Heh. Never realized that I've been ahead of the trend all this time. We've always had STAYCATIONS. The traveling vacations were very rare and expensive. So I'm glad to know that I'm in step!

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  3. Hahaha...heard that word last week and thought 'huh???' Who kmew we started a trend 17 years ago and it took this long to catch on?

    Hubby works in the summer, and my idea of a vacation is to send him off to work, send the kids to Grandma's, and I can write and fend for myself:)

    When I do travel with my kids, it's not nearly as relaxing! And you're right; we tend to overlook the historical spots in our own backyard. We happen to live in what was once the capital of the old NW territory. Time for a little brush-up on history this summer...

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  4. Why Ms. Pape, I had no idea you were a local girl too. If you are talking about the DIA you are right. I love it there, and so does my daughter. We can spend hours wandering around, picking out a new favorite painting every time.

    As for "Stay-cations" well, that's the only kind I've ever had. I always thought it was more a "Lack-of-cation" than it's own adventure. How exciting!

    XoXoXo
    Dakota

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  5. lol, great post, Cindy. For me the big thing is spending extra time with my family. It doesn't matter if it is in the backyard or on a beach in the Caymans as long as long as I'm with the people I love.

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  6. Okay, Dakota! We may have to get together and make the summer less boring.

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