I have been home from vacation for three days now and yet my house still looks like something out of the movie Poltergeist. Wrapping paper, empty boxes, and unopened mail are strewn all over every flat service available. Christmas decorations are wilting and yes, our tired tree is drooping so low that dust bunnies have to stoop to pass under. Dust bunny poop is accumulating at a rapid rate as are take-out containers. Apparently I felt that I needed not one, but two, mental health days when we returned so Tuesday and Wednesday I spent most of the day away from the house shopping and running errands.
We are still living out of suitcases and yet, what have I done this morning? Reorganize my iPod playlists.
Important stuff, I know.
And yet, I am still sitting here in my pajamas, typing away while eating left over Christmas candy and drinking cold coffee.
Instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I thought it might be more fun to welcome in the new year with a great big, caffeine-overloaded, badly manicure-needed, middle finger salute.
Yep, a Friday Flip Off for the first Friday of 2012.
A sweaty, out-of-breath, almost 40 standing ovation to all of those newly energetic single gym members that suddenly came out of the woodwork. I am not amused by you nor do I want to have a conversation while I am trying not to pass out on the elliptical. It takes a lot of concentration to not fart in public after eating a bean burger and your ridiculous antics are distracting. We have been members of our gym since May and Wednesday night was the first time that the gym really felt crowded. I’m sure it will be short lived as everyone’s resolve starts to wane, but in the interim please, if you are reading this, here are some things that you just don’t want to see or hear while you are working out:
- muscle shirts showcasing smelly, wet, hairy armpits especially when you are a female
- spandex pants stretched so thin you can see what color underwear they are wearing underneath, or worse, that they aren’t wearing underwear
- people picking their nose, wiping it on the equipment and then not cleaning it with disinfected wipes when they are done
- some random man jumping off the treadmill, walking on his hands to the elliptical machines while sweating profusely on the carpet
- a very slender, yet well-endowed, young woman suddenly doing a back bend in the middle of the gym then “walking” like that over to the next weight machine. (her boobs stayed up in the air, I joke not)
- deep guttural grunting noises resembling the mating call of a Bull Frog because someone has pushed their body past the limit
- overhearing the women next to you talk about the lice epidemic in their child’s classroom while you realize you put your things in the locker right next to them
I would also like to offer a non-apologetic, stressed out and frantic finger to traveling long distances with your family. I don’t know what is worse, the stress of getting there or coming home. Being with family for the holidays, and of course enjoying the amazing Texas weather in December, is a highlight of my year. It must be, we’ve done it for ten years in a row. And yet, the actual driving experience continues to be a source of skin crawling, hair pulling, excitement. We give the Griswald’s a good run for their money, minus the sexy blond model trying to have road sex with my husband while driving her convertible beside us. Everything is packed securely in its place, snacks are abundant and no one is bored while we fill up hours with well-thought out music playlists, sing-along’s, road games, books and movies. Everyone is chipper and happy. Everyone is speaking to each other kindly.
And then there is the drive home.
Suddenly nothing fits back into the car the way it came, encroaching on everyone’s seating space. Apparently every 18-wheeler in the country takes the same route back to Michigan on the exact same days we do, blocking us out of the fast lane. Everyone avoids eye contact and speaking. Bathroom breaks are only allowed when the car needs to be refueled and there is a good chance that the only food we will see are whatever crumbs are left in the snack bag because “we’re almost home”.
In addition to the travel adventure, I would be remiss if I didn’t give a high five flip off to bed bugs, dirty flee infested carpets and moldy bathrooms. Traveling with pets is always a challenge. We have patronized many roadside Motels that are “pet friendly”. What their websites fail to tell you is that the pets that they are referring to are the ones already inhabiting their rooms. Although, I must confess that I should not be surprised by the conditions of $39 rooms, it is still a stomach turner. But, it is hard to justify spending too much money when you literally stay at the establishment for a few short hours to sleep. We usually pull in between 9 or 10pm at night and then scoot out of there by 6 or 7am. However, after ten years, I decided that I am just too old for cheap motels and decided to book us a room at a Fairfield Inn and Suites on the way home. DW dropped us off with our overnight bag while he parked the car and walked the dog.
“There’s no doors on the outside of the building,” stated The Hare surprised.
“No, there all facing the inside. This is a hotel not a motel, ” I explained.
As we all piled into the elevator, both of the girls started grinning.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“It smells good in here,” they said in unison.
After we found our room, we piled into the room, breathing in the smell of bleach and freshly vacuumed carpets.
“Can we take our socks off here?” asked The Tortoise.
By the time DW got up to the room, we had already unpacked, pulled back the sheets and started showers. For the first time in ten years, I took a shower while traveling back to Michigan. When I crawled into bed, refreshed and relaxed, DW sighed loudly.
“That shower felt good,” I said.
“I hope it felt an extra $50 good,” he grumbled.
“It did. Thank you very much.”
We went to sleep.
The next morning, after DW had showered and we had eaten our fill at the continental breakfast bar I finally asked him, “Well? How was your hotel experience?”
“Good,” he said sheepishly, “maybe even an extra $50 good.”