DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, or What I Did On My Summer Vacations

So the other shoe dropped.

The weather suddenly turned, the sky grey and the wind chilly, and I felt like perhaps this was my own doing; like I had expressed passionate emotions to an indifferent date; I was like “Let’s spend our lives together, I love you, baby” and the weather really just wanted to be friends, saying, “You’re a nice girl and all, but I’m not really ready for commitment right now.”

Then the kids. Holy smokes, the kids. By Friday I was vacillating between thinking that I was possibly the Worst Mother Ever or, alternately, that I had given birth to the Worst Children Ever. Looking back on it, I am pretty sure that it was not them, it was me. We were all having an off day but hoo boy! I was bitchy. I was bitchy and completely despondent and overwhelmed about things that are not really overwhelming or despondency-inducing. Like folding laundry. Or packing for our overnight trip to my parents’ cottage. Packing a small amount of clothes and toiletries – for one night! – was pushing me over the edge. I was also slightly enraged that I Am Always The Person Who Packs, this rage despite the fact that I would never, never allow my husband to pack anything other than his own personal effects.

Fortunately Saturday found me in a non-bitchy state of mind and we had a very fun time at my parents’ cottage. THIS is my idea of camping: plumbing, hot showers, and a kitchen, with a fridge full of delicious things and also coolers. Their cottage is very close to the Lutheran Bible camp I went to as a child, and you can hear the bells ringing, calling the children to meals, chapel, and vespers. The bells, along with the cool weather and the late-night sunsets, really take me back to those days of lanyards and campfires and swimming in the icy cold lake. One year I memorized the lyrics to Parents Just Don’t Understand at that camp; I still get it stuck in my head when I hear someone say “Here’s the situation.” (“My parents went away on a week’s vacation and they left the keys to their brand new Porsche! Would they mind? Mmm. Well. Of course not.”)

Speaking of pop culture from when I was thirteen, I read today that Darryl Hannah had turned down the role of Vivian in Pretty Woman because she thought the movie was “degrading for the whole of womankind. They sold it as a romantic fairytale when in fact it’s a story about a prostitute who becomes a lady by being kept by a rich and powerful man.” And here come some words I never thought I would say: Darryl Hannah, you’re my hero. That is EXACTLY how I have always felt about that movie. Even at thirteen, I found that movie offensive and terrible. I could go on and on how Pretty Woman epitomizes everything that is wrong with society, but I will spare you the diatribe, as I’m still fairly relaxed from my night away, despite the fact that I Am Always The Person Who Unpacks. But that’s a whole other story.


  1. I always relate that movie to our honeymoon, ’cause that is when we saw it. As for packing, I hate the night before a trip, no matter how long. I have the bitchy packing gene too!

  2. One TIME … in a moment that epitomizes the packing situation, I took 5 loads of gear, food and the likes (that I had packed) to the van while my husband very meticulously rolled up the garden hose.

  3. I love that song! Maybe a little Bust a Move too. If we didn’t pack a lot of important items would get left behind. Once my grandma told me she let my grandfather pack and he forgot pants.

  4. The good thing about this surgery is that this vacation I will not be the Person Who Always Packs the Van.

  5. Mrs.Mayhem says

    Sounds like a fun, relaxing time at your parent’s cabin.

    I always pack everything, even for my husband. And there are six of us. Arrgh. But his argument is that he is the one who always earns the money for the trip. Who could argue with that logic?? Not I.

  6. I am always the person that packs and unpacks too. AND it makes me one bitchy mama. The thing is I really could never let my husband pack because he’d do it ALL WRONG, but unpacking is a whole other thing and really I think he should be pitching in. Right? Right?

    Ah Pretty Woman. I’ve never been a huge fan. Back when I was young, I was turned off by her blue and white dress with the big metal ring holding the two pieces together. Now that I’m older and wiser I don’t like it for other reasons.

  7. I didn’t like Pretty Lady because it really prettied up prostitution. And also it was gross. Richard Gere – ew!

    One time we went on a trip and I forgot the camera and my husband forgot the camera and I was mad at him for the whole weekend because he forgot the camera, of course. How am I still married?

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