We are now in the heart of the vacation season. During this time of year most people set aside a week or two to take a much needed break from the tedious grind of work. Unless, of course, these people happen to be school teachers, in which case they are entering the fifth week of an eight-week break from work. (Relax, I’m not slamming teachers. Some of my best friends are teachers. I’m just, um, I’m just really jealous, OK?)
Anyway, the problem with vacations is that people have very differing views about the purpose of this much needed break from work. Some people think a vacation is the opportunity to do all the things there is no time to do while working, such as: travel to exciting destinations, visit tourist sites and amusement parks, take a million photographs (and upload ALL of them to Facebook), dine in exotic restaurants, visit long lost relatives and friends, and forego sleep, if need be, in an attempt to cram as much fun as possible into a one- or two-week period.
Other people, however, think a vacation is the opportunity to do all the things there is no time to do while working, such as: sleep late and hang around the house.
For people in the first category, a vacation is considered successful if they visit every possible attraction in a dozen different locations — and take at least 125 selfies at each attraction. For people in the second category, a vacation is considered successful if they are still wearing only slippers and boxer shorts at 3 p.m. every afternoon. And this goes for the men, too.
There is actually a third category. These are people who think the purpose of a vacation is to do major home improvement projects, such as repave the driveway, put new shingles on the roof, or paint the entire house. I’m not including this group of people in my discussion of vacations because, frankly, they are emotionally disturbed. People who look forward to working HARDER while on vacation than they do while at work make me nervous.
Problems arise when people in the first category — the “let’s do EVERYTHING while on vacation” folks — are married to people in the second category — the “it’s time for my third nap of the day” folks.
Let’s just say for discussion’s sake that in a particular family, it is the wife who wants to travel and see all the sites while on vacation, and it is the husband who wants to sleep late and startle the Jehovah Witnesses by answering the door wearing only slippers and boxer shorts. (Not that this represents any particular family of which I am aware — especially mine. No, really.)
If this family decides to make the husband happy by staying home doing nothing during the vacation, the wife will become very frustrated and depressed, and for the next 50 weeks the husband will find that certain things he’s taken for granted, such as food and clean boxer shorts, may no longer be forthcoming.
On the other hand, if the family decides to make the wife happy by frantically traveling across North America and seeing the sites, the husband will become frustrated and depressed (not to mention exhausted), and start to wish he had done something less strenuous during the vacation week, such as repave the driveway, put new shingles on the roof, and paint the entire house.
There is a solution to this dilemma. The couple can get divorced each July, take separate vacations, and then re-marry each August. If this is not practical, there is another solution. Both spouses can go back to school and get their teaching certificates.