I love to celebrate. Holidays, birthdays, vacation days, weddings, communions, retirements, going away parties, or any other party whatever the reason. I love to plan, party, and re-hash. I love to do it for others as much as I love to celebrate something for myself.
But as Beverly D’Angelo so lovingly said to Chevy Chase in The 1989 Classic, Christmas Vacation “Clark, you set standards that no family activity can ever live up to.” I do. I expect a lot. out of myself and others. It’s a very charming character flaw. Shut up. You know who you are, rolling your eyes right now. (mostly family members)
So, it won’t be surprising that sometimes when I’m looking forward to something so much, it’s fate that some sort of shit hits the fan. I’m going to re-cap an example. Mother’s day weekend. No sporting events From 8pm Friday until 3:30 pm Sunday. Beach bound family of 4. Now, I have not left my small town except for some chauffeured shopping excursions since my arm breaking incident 9 weeks ago. It was time.
I fully realize that most people have real problems so please, before you read on, do not think I am complaining or ungrateful AT ALL for my healthy and otherwise happy family, extended family and friends BUT… I just wanted 36 hours of family fun. No hiccups. Right? Wrong.
Saturday started out pretty great. My husband went fishing early am and the kids and I headed to the beach (in the fog. I’m a diehard. It was over 65 degrees and THAT my friends, in the state of NJ in May = beach day). But wait! My beach is closed due to a road block. So kids and I hustle over to the next block. I gotta say, when you have a regular beach street (again an NJ shore thing I think, hence the expression “my beach”), you feel weird going to a different one; even if it’s a block away. I know, First World problems..No worries, we had a great time…On 23rd street. AND the kids are now, after 10 years….CARRYING THEIR STUFF!!!!
I even started my next book as promised… Gatsby. Again. I will never tire of Gatsby. If you pretended to read it in high school, I encourage you to actually read it now. Fascinating story of the division of classes, the grandeur and excess of the roaring 20’s and sweet and fleeting, lost love. Also, now that I’ve seen the Baz Luhrmann version, I can’t stop picturing Leo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Toby Mcguire as Nick Caroway. Amaze.
So anyway, Daddy caught a huge fish on the boat while we were at the beach and there were already plans in the works for a cookout at the marina later in the evening. So we walked back to the house with plans to clean up, and wait for daddy. The first stop would be the boardwalk to make the kids happy and then to the marina.
Next up…. plans are derailed by a flooding toilet. Short story, there is a clogged up drain pipe somewhere under the house. It was only brought on by the fact that we took showers. MY dumb luck. Boardwalk plans, Cancelled. Spent the next few hours calling plumbers that couldn’t make it out. I’m getting agitated because I know what’s next: Wait the rest of the day to get this thing fixed and forget the fun. Kids are now patiently watching Jesse and playing Minecraft (thank God for Disney and iPad apps) Turns out the problem is bigger than expected and we need to go home because we can’t use the water, toilets etc…The point to the story is this:
There’s this switch in me. The one when the plans get de-railed. I freak out a little (it’s a combo of my slight OCD and the “but it wasn’t supposed to go this way and now how am I gonna fix it and still make it fun because I’m responsible for planning and having all the fun” gene.) Bring on the frustrated tears and the UGHHHH. All I wanted to do was get away. Now I have 40 pounds of dirty wet towels to lug home and wash and the kids are pissed because no boardwalk and I’m pissed because of the last 2 1/2 months. Daddy is the only level-headed one who goes with the flow. I’m trying to get better with sudden change. That’s what this whole broken arm drama was about right? The truth is it’s hard to let go of the “Griswold syndrome” and if you have it, you know what I’m talking about. I think most moms do to a degree.
What happened, you ask? Well, after my tantrum and quickly packing up the stuff we just unpacked 12 hours before, plus the wet towels, we headed over to the marina and ate the striped bass that my husband caught. We saw all the old friends that we missed at the wedding we were not able to attend in Key West (because of my damned arm) and MADE THE BEST OF IT. Like I’ve been told to do over and over again this 40th year of my life. It somehow worked. I’m easily swayed by a good party, and red wine. here’s a peek..
Unfortunately we had to go home that evening. We took the kids for ice cream, they fell asleep and we unloaded the car back home. Mother’s day was a bit less eventful than I had planned but it still included a delicious breakfast and dinner NOT made by me. Bonus: I didn’t do the dishes. I did however do 3 loads of wash on Sunday and I’m not gonna lie I was still a little aggravated about the cancelled plans and the highlight of the day being soccer. AGAIN. See below. But I really think It’s stupid to pretend you’re not upset about something because sooner or later its gonna come out anyway and you might as well get it over with even if it IS Mother’s Day and all. Right? I’m right. But, truth be told, Saturday morning and Saturday night were amazing and fun and spent with my family of four. The kids quickly got over whatever they missed out on (kids are good like that). Lesson learned. Get better at accepting the unplanned crap. Don’t set such high expectations for holidays. They are, after all, just like any other day in the end. BUT, it’s ok to be disappointed. We’re all human and I can’t stand fakers.
P.S. I am in love with greeting cards by Emily Mcdowell. If you haven’t been on her website or seen these like EVERYWHERE, crawl out from under that rock and log on.
They say the perfect thing for every occasion under the sun and are irreverently and comically honest. LOVE. Humor is what gets us through the most annoying, and sometimes the most heartbreaking situations. She has something for every occasion has recently come out with “Empathy” cards. I like these two best so far: enough said. Happy Belated Mothers Day friends! xo