Friday, January 26, 2007

Going on vacation is a full-time job

WHEW. As if buying a place and ripping out the closets and having the floors redone and changing addresses on every investment and credit card and magazine and d├ęcoupage club and all those other new-home obligations weren’t enough to suck my life dry, I’m also leaving tomorrow on a week-long cruise through the Caribbean. And it’s wearing. me. out.

Worst of all, the boyfriend won’t be joining me; this trip was booked and paid for a good six months before we even met. It started when my friend Jeremy invited a handful of friends to come help him celebrate his 30th birthday in the Caribbean sun. Of course, they told two friends … and they told two friends … and suddenly there are at least 20 of us with bottles of Wella Balsam packed into our carry-ons.

And since this is a gay cruise, the basic stress factors—the current rules about toothpaste in carry-ons, the amount of Advil and Immodium and even more embarrassing OTCs I should pack, etc.—are multiplied exponentially. It comes as no surprise that gay men—at least gay men on cruises marketed as giant nautical eating disorders—are hyper-aware of their bodies and how they compare to the bodies around them. And when one is (hypothetically) 38 years old with a new condo to worry about and a busy job and extremely limited time to hit a gym, one’s hypothetical body-comparing anxiousness level has a tendency to grow. Hypothetically.

And then there are the costume parties. It seems that Atlantis, in addition to being the purveyor of gay cruises, is also an active lobbyist for the Federal Every Citizen Must Buy Ten Pieces Of Luggage Act. It’s not enough to bring shorts and tank tops and flip-flops and extra sunscreen on an Atlantis cruise. No! You also have to pack elaborate costumes for parties with the following themes: military, Mardi Gras, under the sea, not pretty enough, del Fuego, disco, not popular enough, and white. The boys in my touring party and I have dug around and found some fun group costumes to wear, but as I ponder the logistics of packing feathered masks and ruffled shirts and soldier boots and white top hats, my lugging-suitcases-to-looking-fabulous cost-benefit analysis takes me way past the point of diminishing returns. The ruffled Mardi Gras shirts we found are pretty cool, and they pack well, so they’re coming along. But the white top hat/waiter coat/bow tie combo is more of a packing liability than a fun way to attend a white party. And since in fashion you’re either in or you’re out …

But! Since the boyfriend didn’t have the foresight to book this trip as my roommate last January even though we weren’t scheduled to meet until July, his punishment involves getting our new floors refinished while I’m gone. Which seems fair to me: As I’m engaged in the exhausting act of holding in my stomach for a week, he will be leisurely getting quotes and coordinating the acts of sanding, staining, refinishing, cleaning and check writing here at home. And when I return, there will be lovely new floors. Just like magic!

In any case, there will most likely be no new posts here until I return on the 4th. So you’ll have to go back and re-read this post every day to tide yourself over. You may want to pace yourself and just read half a paragraph a day to ensure you don’t get bored. And take a break on the 1st to mentally wish my mother a happy 66th birthday.

Be good while I’m gone!

No comments: