Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Be Prepared

A few weeks ago, my folks joined us on a week’s vacation to the Caribbean. I know what you’re thinking, but overall it really was a great trip.

No, seriously.

We always do well with my folks on neutral territory. Three days or less at our house, work fine as well. It’s staying at their place that can be a little mind-numbing. As my friend Jessica says, “You & Larry do really well when you are staying at some place that begins with Ritz and ends with the word Carlton.” I must agree with her theory.

While the trip itself was great, the weeks that led up to the vacation were hysterical. We were staying in our friend’s condo, so Larry & I had been there before. But this was my folk’s first visit and my mom is a person who likes to plan ahead. Yes, I know you think that I’m over-organized and planner. I am, but not to this extent. Mom likes to be prepared. I mean the Boy Scouts could use her on their merit badges as the “Be Prepared” mascot.

About six weeks out, the calls began. “What type of weather will we have?” she’d ask.
I answer, “Assuming no hurricanes, it’ll be hot.”

A week later … “Do they have shampoo and soap?” Okay, a logical question which I answered in the affirmative. “Do I need to bring bug repellant?” I was prepared for this one too. “Mom, there are no bugs on the island. Besides, there are stores there so you can buy anything.” (Turns out there were bugs, so she got me on this.)

A couple days after that… “What are the pillows like?”
I said.
She asked, “Well, are they hard or soft or medium?”
“I’m not sure” I replied. “I’ve never had problems with them before.”
She indicated that she’d bring a pillow from home, which then led me into my lecture of packing light. It was only 6 days and we had access to a washer & dryer. My father immediately interrupted saying that I had no understanding of what it was like to live with a woman who was packing a suitcase. He advised me to keep quiet.

HA! Me? Keep quiet? I’m like the Dr. Phil and Martha Stewart love child when it comes to giving advice.

The kicker was two weeks before the trip. Mom called to say that they were bringing two suitcases and three carry-ons. “You have no idea how much a woman needs on vacation.” (Well true, I didn’t.) “I have my ankle braces (she’d recently sprained her ankle), my curling iron, and my (fill in with various female-oriented things). Plus I have my noise machine.”

I paused. “Your noise machine?”
“Sure,” she said. “Your father snores.”
“Okay Mom, let me get this straight. You are bringing an electronic device that makes the sound of the ocean?”
“Yes, it blocks out the noise,”
she replied.
“Mom, we are at the ocean! All you have to do is open the door!”

(Silence) “Well it could be humid and then I’d have to fix my hair.”

Yeah, I don’t know much about women.


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