Saturday, July 26, 2008

You know...

I don't like the word "Staycation."

Oh, don't get me wrong, the CONCEPT is fine. It's just, I've heard the word so much lately it makes me want to gag. It's the new trend: "Oh, we're having a staycation."

Or the news stories: "Ten tips for a happy staycation." "With finances tight, more are opting for staycations!"

If I were vacationing and staying at home, I'd just say "I'm going on vacation" and leave it at that.

Then I'd unplug my phone and try to avoid places where people I know go, so that I couldn't have people going, "I know you're on vacation but....could you do this thing for me?" or so I wouldn't have people want to come over because then I'd feel obligated to clean my house all up, which you shouldn't have to do on vacation.

I think part of the reason it bugs me is that it's so self-consciously, "We're saving money!" or "We're being green!" It's like "Give me extra credit for doing this thing now!" Even though I've been doing it much of my life.

When I was a kid, we took vacations-at-home. We went to local parks and stuff like that. We didn't give it any cute name. It was taking a cheap vacation because there were more important things in life than staying in luxury hotels. Fact of the matter is, I never in my life stayed in a hotel nicer than Holiday Inn (and stayed in an awful lot that were WORSE*) until I was an adult and went to meetings and figured it was better to shell out the extra bucks for the Sheraton close to the meetings than to have to walk 10 blocks in a dodgy part of town to get to a Days Inn.

(*There was one I remember where I actually threatened to sleep in the back seat of the car because the room was so skanky. And I wound up taking my beach towel and elaborately (and very dramatically) wrapping it around the pillow while making noises about my fear of getting head lice. My dad actually relented after the first night - I think he was concerned about the cleanliness too - and got the family rooms in a Holiday Inn instead).

Just call it a damn vacation. Especially if you're expecting sympathy points from me for your "Look we are staying at home because the economy sucks." Yeah? You took nice fancy vacations a couple years ago and rubbed my face in it when I went to boring old meetings. So don't act all "pity me!" now because you've decided you have to scale back and pay off those credit card bills.

And especially don't ask me to babysit your bratty kids so you and the spouse can have some alone time on your staycation.

Me? The only summer vacations I've ever taken have been to visit family or go to meetings. So I'm gonna roll my eyes a bit at your "new austerity" especially if you were jetting off to Alaska or somewhere last year.

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