Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"vacation" or the problem with making ones life so small

First of all it was cold, winter coat cold in Florida. By the time it warmed up two days later, I was in pain. Sometimes acute pain, more of the time, mild pain, but constant pain. A stomache, I mean a stomach ache, oh is that one word afterall, stomachache. Anyway, and either way, it was not fun. Waves of nausea, stomach cramping, thinking a mass exodus was about to happen one way or the other, but nothing ever did, which in retrospect having been me for awhile now, I should have known (I don't do those things). I finally realized I was not sick, or about to get sick, this was just me on vacation. A pack of crackers were good for a nice stabbing pain. It was a great time, I was afraid of food. I didn't eat much, and the pain settled into a milder small blunt toothpick kind of jabbing. My husband made fun of me, said he couldn't take me anywhere, that I'm not a traveler, "you just can't handle it" "I'll never be able to take you out of the states". Yeah, that's right, don't just let me be here in pain, with whatever peace I can muster, go on about how you'll never take me anywhere, that will make me feel better, nice, real nice. The other women, by the end of the trip, also had troubles. My Mom came down with a cold, and my sister in law, did indeed have stomach problems one day which included running trips to the bathroom. So my only possible come back to my husband was well I just feel sick, these other women actually are sick.

I try to go on trips prepared. I had with me, my bottled water. I don't drink bottled water at home, but I have to whenever we go on a trip that involves multiple states or I definitely get sick. (mabye this time my body missed our contaminated well water?). I had my fuji apples. Puffin bars. I had my chlorox wipes. I had my flushable wipes. I had my tissues with aloe and lotion, and I had my charmin with lotion too. For sleeping I have my vanilla chapstick and vics, my tissues and bottled water, and a book, all by my side (I feel like the allergy guy from Sleepless in Seatle). I had my pillow, and I had my sheets, and my slippers so my feet wouldn't touch the floor at night when I was all clean. So of course my husband who uses none of this stuff, sleeps right on the bed, uses the place's pillow, walks directly on the floor, who laughs when I rub down all the fixtures, etc., with the wipes, had a good time about this, "you take all these precautions and don't do well, I take none and am fine". I shrugged my shoulders and said, "you know it is silly to do all this other stuff and still use their towels, I've been thinking, maybe I will pack towels next time". He shook his head. Well at any rate, I should bring a small fan, or white noise machine, the sicker and more tired I was, the meaner I got to those who snore. Some nights I was too miserable to get up and gently nudge people (Husband and Son were on other bed, because they didn't want to be near mean sick Tiffany, and because they just weren't washed and clean enough to touch my sheets. For fun my son would poke my bed with his finger, and then laugh when I carried on), so I took to moaning/growling, which worked at first, but then they got used to it, and just slept solidly through it, finally I just gave way to,"WHO IS SNORING!! STOP THAT! TURN OVER! RIGHT NOW!" which did work quite well, but you know, makes one feel a bit like a bitch. At home I still have the fan up, right by my bed, and I reach out and turn it on when my husband snores, or breathes heavy (I can't stand that either, makes me feel like I am about to have a panic attack), it has been a very good solution. We both get to sleep. Not so much the case on this last trip though.

My son announced that I should just pack all my food next time, or pick stuff up in the local grocery store, and my husband agreed. I don't get sick every year when we go to the shore, we shop there and mostly eat in. So that is our theory, I wasn't sick, hadn't eaten anything bad, but I sure felt sick, but it was merely because I was eating stuff I wasn't used to, and was off my normal eating schedule. Incredibly pathetic, I hadn't realized I had made my world so small, but apparently I do eat the same things week after week, and I eat at the same times everyday, we go out to eat maybe twice a month and when we do we eat at the same places over and over again. (my life- home, son's school, Wegmans, Target, Barnes&Nobel, watching TV, reading books. Yearly-a week in O.C.N.J, I go to a used book sale, I see a movie in a movie theatre. On occasion-Red Robins,carrabas. Rarely but looked forward to-baja fresh, Trader Joes, rented movies. Spring and summer- go to gardening centers, work in garden. Yeah that's it. And the thing of it is, I like it that way. I would like to add on some travel, there are plenty of places I would like to see, but I wonder if I would just feel sick the whole time anyway, which brings us back to... )

I also think I was dehydrated, based on the killer headache, pulsing, and throbbing, I had on the way down in the car, which makes sense, I mean, 18 plus hours of driving in the car, I was plenty thirsty, but the water bottle was not my friend, not when I had no idea of when we would stop at cracker barrel again (their bathrooms are pretty good). The best part of the drive this trip was the Harry Potter and the half blood prince, audio book CD I took out of the library.

Even if I hadn't had the stomach pain, I have to admit I am not a fun person. My favorite day was the last full day, when I ditched everyone at the magic kingdom and took a boat ride over to the polynesian, sat on the lounge chair, listened to the birds, and the kids play, and watched the boats. I like the sea turtles, and the jellyfish (the living seas aquarium), I like the birds ( bird walk- the animal kingdom, aviary), I like the flowers, plants, bees (landscaping-everywhere), I like taking a slow boat ride, and I like sitting somewhere outside reading a book, a like listening to birds, and kids if it is soft happy sounds, not loud sharp screaming inches from me, huge groups in mass. I do enjoy the 3D shows, and I like fireworks, and the light parade, but other than that, I am just not an amuesment park sort of person (I don't like rides, and I certainly don't like standing in line to go on a ride, I don't wish to go on, and I don't care for shows), and the things that I do like to do, I don't like to feel hurried while doing, I want to stay for a long time and watch the birds, and the fruit bats/flying foxes are neat too, I don't want to rush through and on to the next thing (the next thing that I don't wish to see), I feel this is why I am here, not for the rides. I finally sent everyone on ahead when I was in Japan at epcot, I felt so pressured, I knew they were all done, and I wasn't. I found this really sweet blue bowl with white bunnies on it, it impressed me as Mikiyoshi's childhood bowl. It was the first time I had felt the story close around me again, and I was silent listening, it felt weird to go on and join the others (the bowl had made me really sad, it represented to me, what was lost, in the story, an inoccence, his, and the loss of his childhood, and though the family wanted to know what I had bought, I didn't wish to show it to them, I felt on the verge of tears, and wasn't in the mood to try and explain crazy). I like going about the parks alone, doing just what I feel like, and leaving when things are too crowded and noisy. My husband agreed that I should just have a one day hopper pass next time we go. What I would really like would be to spend most of the time reading sitting outside near water. I would also really like to pick a day or two and go to any local aquariums, aviaries, and botanical gardens, but I doubt that will ever happen.

Truly I prefer a beach vacation. The sun, the sand, the ocean, sitting on a beach chair reading, walking along the waters edge, looking for shells, and marine life, riding a wave or two till I smash hard against the sandy shelled bottom and decide "well, that's enough of that" and only get wet up to my ankles for the rest of the week. Riding one of those beach cruiser bikes down the boardwalk in the morning, and all around during the day. Walking the boards at night, listening to all the sounds (arcade, amuesment rides, seagulls, people, the sounds of bikes, feet, strollers on the boards), and the way the air is scented with sea, and frenchfries, suntan lotion, and wet wood. reading a book on a boardwalk bench while my husband and son ride the rides, staring up at the moon, listening to the waves in the darkness as we walk back to our place, falling asleep in bed while reading and daydreaming. Even though each year is different, we have stayed at different places here over the years, and with different people (my grandparents who used to bring me, have died, and now my brother has a different tradition with his family), my life has changed (I bring my own child now) and over the years some stores and shops have changed, but each year is added on to this strand of continuity, I am the same, deep inside I feel the same, and it feels the same to be here, it feels like home (O.C.N.J). I would love to go to other beaches, other places, despite the fact that I don't travel well, I do love to travel, and see new things, and explore, but in addition to, not instead of, my traditional beach vacation. So I like a beach vacation, and I like this beach vacation best.

Having done both my summer beach vacation this year, and this last trip to Florida with other people, I have observed-
My husband and son are used to me, and therefore I don't notice how unsocial I am, unless/until other people are thrown into the mix. Some people actually talk quite a bit while sitting on the beach. And they play cards at night. And they go out to eat in restaurants (we go to Mack and Manco, and get take out from Pucinni, and will go to a fish taco place to see if it is any good) but mostly we eat in, and I prefer it that way. It is a little bit concerning, I like other people, but, I do not like making these adjustments, I don't get to read, I don't get to sit and think, I don't get to listen, in a general way to everything, and to nothing in particular. Doing what other people consider to be fun, takes all the fun out of my vacation for me. My mom seemes inspired to try and make me do things, well what about this, what about that, when all I really want is to be left alone. Having people around whom I care about but not having to be around these people a lot, that is appealing to me, but you just can't come out and say that, though with my husband and son, I am afraid I get closer to it then I should ("I do love you, but can't you be quiet now?" " Please, please, please shut-up" "don't tell me anymore about it, I don't understand it, and I don't want to"). I think it is odd for a 37 year old woman to not really have friends (a few hold overs from earlier times, who I talk to several times a year and that is it), but of course when I think it through, why don't I have friends, the answer is quite clear, and another question comes to mind in its place, how on earth did I manage to get anyone to marry me, and I actually have a kid, hmm, quite amazing. Hard bargain, I believe, I have over-analyzed it enough to know why one like me would get married, but I don't know why he would marry someone like me (?). I am grateful for my son (though afraid to have another one, because I am the way I am, and anti-social), but having him let me know that there isn't a limit to the emotions that I can feel (not in range, not in depth). I might not function in the same way that those around me seem to do, but I am not broken, just different.

I don't know how I got here (to this topic) from there. I guess it all falls under, the small way I live my life, and what I like about that, and what are the drawbacks, or my concerns. And I am trying to figure out how to do extended family vacations in the future (as people seem to want to do this, and it is good for my son), and also how not to feel sick when traveling (because I want to travel). And on the one hand I am thinking that I am just too high maintenance, and on the other, isn't wanting to be left alone, an easy thing. And I guess I get confused because my idea of fun does not mesh with other peoples (at least not the ones around me). (but I don't want to change, I just want to not feel bad or guilty about being how I am. And I don't want them to mind either.)

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